music has power. It can calm us, stir us, and lift our spirits. It can express both our joys and our sorrows. Common to virtually all cultures—past and present—music is a language of both the mind and the heart. Yes, music truly is a gift from God.—Genesis 4:21.
The ancient Israelites commemorated a number of special occasions with song. (Exodus 15:1-21; Judges 5:1-31) The prophet Moses prepared a song that included history and heartfelt admonition for the people. (Deuteronomy 32:1-43) No doubt such songs were good memory aids.
Because music can have a powerful influence on the heart, we should be selective. Beautiful melodies, for instance, may sugarcoat ugly lyrics that make light of or even promote hatred, immorality, or violence—themes that no person of principle would find entertaining. (Ephesians 4:17-19; 5:3, 4) “More than all else that is to be guarded,” says God’s Word, “safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Yes, your choice of music is no minor matter. a tenth of the Bible is written in the form of songs? The foremost examples are the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and Lamentations. Understandably, the majority of the approximately three hundred references to song relate to the worship of God. with my song I shall laud him,” wrote Israelite King David, a gifted musician and composer.—Psalm 28:7. David organized 4,000 men who belonged to the tribe of Levi to serve as musicians and singers in Jerusalem. (1 Chronicles 23:4, 5; 25:7) No doubt these singers practiced assiduously. Indeed, music was so important to the worship of God that singers were relieved of other temple duties in order to concentrate on their profession.—1 Chronicles 9:33.
The night before Jesus died, he and his apostles sang praises to God, likely Psalms 113 to 118. By Jesus’ time, these psalms—termed “Hallel Psalms”—were sung during the Passover celebration. (Matthew 26:26-30) The designation “Hallel Psalms” refers to their repeated use of the exclamation “Hallelujah!” which means “Praise Jah!” “Jah” is a shortened, poetic form of Jehovah, the name of the Most High God.—Psalm 83:18.
Because music enables us to express virtually every emotion and because it can have such a powerful influence on heart, mind, and body, we should accord this “perfect present . . . from above” the deepest respect. (James 1:17) Yes, may we use it both generously and wisely.