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Featured Was musical performance ever used for expiation in the Abrahamic context? Does God like music?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by ideogenous_mover, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    It seems that music has often been referred to in Abrahamic traditions , but it isn't clear if its role was standardized into well defined modes of theological utility. In other words, I don't believe that its use would specifically atone for anything in Leviticus or Deuteronomy etc., yet man seems to try to make it do something for God, or various passages seem to ascribe it as perhaps affecting God.

    One wonders if one ancient intent for music was to affect deities, but perhaps it was not considered to be physical enough to impress them all that much. Otherwise, the ancient lore would call for songs instead sacrificial smoke smells, for instance. But what does harp playing do for God, or singing, as the bible declared that the voice was the 'sweetest' instrument, and a harp type instrument to be calming

    Once we are in the new testament, music hardly seems to figure in at all, though there you think would. The theological rules change, so that God is said to be more impressed by 'the praises of one's lips.'
     
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I don't think music figures largely in Islam. Correct me if I'm wrong. :)

    Christians sing all the time, have music, hymns and things like that. Many think that singing is worship and that God likes to hear compliments in song. Nobody plays harps except in churches that have bell choirs. :p

    Jews dance at festivals and play music, and they are rumored to be able to sing. It is not clear why, since they are not Christians. :D
     
  3. Gargovic Malkav

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    I worship and believe in the One I see as the Source of Everything as a result of experience and faith. Label me as you see fit.
    To me, God doesn't change, but people do. Everything people do for Him is for their own benefit, and not His. I think God was so anthropomorphized in older scriptures so that the concept of Him was easier to understand for the people living in that time. I think the mosaic law would've been a righteous law if the people managed to stick to it, but they didn't. Their repeated transgressions influenced their mindset to such an extent that the mosaic law was no longer compatible for them. They've eaten once again of the forbidden fruit so to speak. And once that has happened, you cannot go back, but you have to live with the knowledge and the consequences of it. Unless He wills it otherwise. So, concerning music, I think it depends on the culture whether it's appropriate to honor God through music and dance, or just through singing, or solely through thoughts, words and acts that are good in His eyes.
     
    #3 Gargovic Malkav, Aug 1, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 1:08 AM
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  4. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Some deem it unIslamic.

    Sufis, especially those in the Chisti lineage, use music and the school of Rumi does as well. Qawwali is a great example such as this:

     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    And from Hinduism, there's the bhajan. Maybe someone else has a good example. But here's one:

     
  6. EsonauticSage

    EsonauticSage Between extremes

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    That is wrong, Nasheeds and lots of other forms of music are incredibly popular. The types of music (such as acapellla to instrumental) and the role of music in society though has largely depended on what Islamic society you're talking about throughout history.

    Islamic music - Wikipedia

    https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~blackrse/islam.html

    For example:

     
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  7. EsonauticSage

    EsonauticSage Between extremes

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    Yes, Tasawwuf has a beautiful tradition of Islamic music, seeing how much poetry, supplication, philosophy and music often blends for them.
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Music has the power to affect the human psyche powerfully. As such, music is one of the arts employed extensively as an aid to religious worship and observances. As with other arts, people have often dedicated musical compositions or performances to God or the saints.

    Music can be a form of prayer. In Christianity, Gregorian chant is the most obvious example, but any music that helps people in their devotions can be considered in this way too. Other religions use music in a similar way.

    . However I can’t think of any example of music being offered in sacrifice, which seems to be what you are enquiring about.
     
  9. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    The religion requires this? It encourages or discourages it? Discourages it from what I hear, excepting the exceptions mentioned already by sunrise. The three religions do not at all group well in some kind of sliding scale from Judaism to Christianity. The OP got this wrong about the 'Abrahamics' when attempting to lump them together, yet again, in yet again another thread attempting to lump them together completely ignoring the reality.
     
  10. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    Most of the Psalms are hymns to be sung, some with a 'harp' etc. Does God 'like' music, according to Amos, it depends on the heart that is offering it.
     
  11. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    They're not considered music.
     
  12. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    Music takes you further from God. It is haram in Islam.
     
  13. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    Elaborate further on that, if you would.
     
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  14. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    A strange thing, perhaps, is the fact that it took an extremely long time for Christians to historically develop basic music, apparently. It would be interesting to hear from scholars on why that is. Starting with the four note Gregorian monophonic plainchant, centuries into the tradition, and finally coaxing polyphony out of that centuries later, and taking more centuries to finally write it down so that we can read it with even a sense of rhythm..

    Couple that with the theory that perhaps polyphony was there all along, and was perhaps rejected for a long time, as perhaps it had flowered as a secular or pagan achievement long before. I believe I had read things to this effect, there is a quote somewhere about the pagan Irish not taking well to the new 'droning' music of the Christians. As well for the English, the early and rich polyphonic example of 'sumer is icumen in,' which clearly is not about god, fits better in history when it is assumed there was a secular or pagan context for its content
     
    #14 ideogenous_mover, Aug 2, 2020 at 10:18 AM
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 10:38 AM
  15. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    I think my attempt is to analyze why things are the way they are, and why the scale slid where it did. I do think it is a complicated thing in regards to music, and I don't come knowing why. My suspicion is that there was allowance for arbitrary inclusion as the Christian tradition spread for example, but it seems that perhaps the Abrahamic texts themselves, in retrospect, may have taken an epistemological trajectory away from the device

    One example where Christians historically might have pared down music, is to eschew dancing.. if I recall correctly
     
    #15 ideogenous_mover, Aug 2, 2020 at 10:25 AM
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 11:15 AM
  16. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think its confusing sticking them all under the Abrahamic dir. Christianity has Greco-Roman cultural roots. Islam has Desert culture. Judaism has Mesopotamian roots. Each religion has to be learned separately. There is not a place where they take a musical turn. They begin differently in different places, so their music is different. They do not evolve gradually one into another.
     
  17. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. What do you mean by 4 note chant, though? Gregorian chant uses the full octave, and in many more modes than in modern music, which only uses two (major and minor).

    I think I read that only these modes lend themselves easily to harmony, which may be why we lost all the other modes when harmony appeared. But in fact harmony in music developed in liturgical music too, fairly quickly. The most creative exponents of it wrote music for the church (think of the efflorescence in the Low Countries in the Renaissance. I’ve sung some of this and it is really complex, subtle - and difficult!)
     
  18. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    I do realize that it did reach peaks of modal exploration that our western culture abandoned, but it is said to have started out far more humbly. A music theory class I had taken a long time ago, talked about the tetrachord format as being the origin of western music, and new notes had to be 'discovered' gradually as history progressed. Is this what you find when looking at the very earliest church music?
     
  19. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    I’m aware one can view the octave as comprising two tetrachords separated by a tone, and I think the Ancient Greeks viewed it as a fundamental building block. But all that was much earlier. I think Gregorian chant evolved out of earlier chants in the era of Charlemagne, i.e. around 800 AD.

    Polyphony was in full swing by 1400 or so, I think. I’ve sung. Joaquin des Prez’s Ave Maria which dates from 1475 or so and that is seriously complicated to sing. But very beautiful:

     
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  20. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    In trying to look at this from my standpoint as a musician, I don't know if heterogeneous evolution was the rule, but also, I don't know if tracking emerging patterns is more complicated than I can understand
     
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