The Potential And Purpose Of Music
The dictionary defines Music as “the science or art of combining tones into a composition having structure and continuity:Also as vocal or instrumental sounds having rhythm,melody,or harmony.
This is a wonderfully academic definition and be it far from me to question the authority of the dictionary,however this definition describes more the process of producing music than it defines what music actually is. Music is far more than a science it is in fact a creative force a spiritual dimension of life. Music has been apart of the human experience in every culture and society of mankind since time began. From the earliest cultures of man until now music has been used to express a wide range of human emotions from love, joy and celebration to sadness,anger and fear.Music has been used to inspire patriotism,incite wars and promote peace. Music is so much apart of us that we could not imagine a world or an existence that did not include this dimension of life. My point here is not to make a case for any particular genre of music but rather to help us understand that whether we know it or not the reason music is so much apart of us regardless of our age, race ,cultural background, or preferred musical genre and the reason it affects us the way it does is because in essence music is spiritual.
Understand that any thing that has the ability to alter our mood(positively or negatively), give language to feelings we cannot express, or transport us back in time or forward into the future is a spiritual force. Music does all these things on varying levels. When we speak of things being spiritual we are speaking of that which possess the following: potential,purpose and power
At this point I must inform you that music like many other things in life such as money and even religion has the potential for good as well as evil. If we believe that music is spiritual than it is crucial
to understand that there is a good and an evil side to spirituality and spiritual things. For example the same knife that can be used to prepare a wonderful meal can also be used to mortally wound some
one. The same wealth that can be used to feed the poor and promote positive change in the world could also be used to fund the trafficking of Illegal drugs or guns. In recent years the positive potential of music has been rediscovered as many mental health and therapy organizations are now including the use of music as a part of there therapy and recovery programs. Yet this is nothing new, in the bible there is a story of a great king named saul who was tormented in his soul and mind by an evil spirit. it was recommended to him that he employ the service of a skillful minstrel(musician). He was made aware of a young man named david who it was said was a cunning(expert,master) musician. David was brought before the king and he became the kings personal attendant. Whenever king Saul would start having one of his tormenting episodes David would play his instrument and the scriptures declare that as david played Saul would be refreshed and made well (read more in I SAMUEL 16). The positive potential of music to change our society and culture cannot be underestimated. Which brings us to the next thing we must understand about music.
The Highest Purpose
Someone has aptly stated: “that when the purpose of something is not known abuse is inevitable”
when those who have been uniquely gifted to release the dimension of music into the earth fail to
understand the reason for there gift it is possible to unknowingly(and in some cases knowingly) use the musical gift in a way that it becomes a conduit for the release of evil,perversion and negativity into the world. This is where we come to a very important point. music in and of it self is a neutral spiritual force. what do I mean? Its like a glove lying on a table it’s just there until someone with the ability to give it form puts his or her hand into it and then it assumes the form of the hand that it contains. In the same way music with all of its potential and possibility simply hoovers in the spiritual atmosphere around us awaiting to be employed by some one who has the musical ability to take it and form it into a song or composition and bring the awareness of it into the earth for the world to hear. When this process takes place the music simply assumes the form of the one forming it. What ever philosophy of life or worldview the gifted musician holds good or bad will inevitably be transmitted into there music and songs. So what is the purpose of music? I do not believe that we can answer this question, until we answer the question of the origin of music. since we know that music is a neutral spiritual dimension, we must then conclude that it has a spiritual origin. in other words, that which is spiritual comes from that which is spiritual. The bible declares in the book of John 4:24 that “God is a spirit” one of the most profound aspects of God’s spiritual nature is the creative aspect of his nature, in fact the first thing we learn about God in the bible is that he is the creator of all things,that means that every realm,domain,sphere,atmosphere and dimension was created by God(read Genesis 1 &2). in the book of revelations 4:11 it says “worthy are you our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for you have created all things, and because of your will they existed, and were created. All things include the dimension of music with all its potential and power which includes those who have been gifted musically to release the benefit of music into the earth. Herein lies the purpose of music.
Let me say right here that I am not talking about whether your chosen genre is classical, jazz, pop, r&b gospel or contemporary Christian, the issue is one of heart motivation. As a gifted musician,composer,singer what is the heart motivation behind your music. The bible says that that our highest motivation as musician’s should be to perform,write and produce music that glorifies God and demonstrates the greatness of his creative spirit in the earth. Might I add that that this does not always mean that the songs or musical compositions have to be in the genre of what is known as gospel or Christian music. If the music was inspired buy Gods creative spirit
and the heart motivation of the musician or composer was to inspire and add value and meaning to
the life of the hearers in a positive, creative,powerful and beautiful way than this is a good work that glorifies God. This is what we learn when study the life of Great composers of the past such as Bach, Handel, Beethoven and Mozart. These men were master musicians and composers who were aware that there musical genius was a divine gift, but their music was more than just religious, it was inspired by Gods creative spirit within them. I only use the classical genre to make a point not to say that it is better or more meaningful than another genre,however there is reason why the works of these men are still used and referenced in the musical programs of our institutions of higher learning and even today are used as bench marks of Excellence and music mastery.
My point is that music has a purpose and the potential to change the spiritual climate of the earth.
And I believe that we are about to see a modern renaissance as the creative spirit of God inspires
musically gifted individuals both inside and outside of the church to begin to compose and bring fourth
music that will promote change in our societal and cultural landscape.
If you are a musician reading this and in your heart you sense that this is your destiny begin
by asking God to change your heart, recognize that your gift was given to you by the God of heaven and earth to be a conduit of his presence and voice to the world. dedicate your life to knowing God in a personal way and dedicate yourself to the craft of your music as a service for humanities good.