The Ubiquity of Musical Sound

Have you ever noticed the great cloud of musical sound that surrounds us at every point in our daily lives? Whether walking through a store, passing someone with earbuds on the street, catching up on the news, or watching a movie, we are exposed to music that has been painstakingly crafted to influence our behavior, our purchasing decisions, or manipulating our emotions. Music is woven into the fabric of our life experiences, just as much as God’s communication through nature. Much of the music we are presented with is not of our own choosing. Much of it accompanies other content.

All music, however, communicates with us at varying levels of our being as humans. Rhythm speaks to our body, our flesh. Melody speaks to our spirit, and our soul. Harmony captivates our mind, our aesthetic sensibilities. All of it gently prods our minds and our hearts and our actions in one direction or another. Sometimes, it is difficult to even tell on a purely intellectual level where the music is leading us, but lead us it does. How important it is, then, that the music we choose be the kind of music that points us in the direction we ought to be moving, not fighting our spirit, or turning us in directions that we should be avoiding.

I believe that we as humans have been created with an innate proclivity for musical expression, that we enjoy the feelings created by organized sound, and that we thrill to participate in making these musical sounds. Truly we are made in God’s image, in the likeness of the One who sings (Zeph 3:17), blows the trumpet (Zech. 9:14), created heavenly beings who are musical (Eze. 28:13), and who enjoys the songs of His saints (Psalm 118:14).


Why Asaph?

I have known since I was Jr. High age that my calling in life was to be involved in church music. It has been amazing to me how strongly the thread of church music runs through my life, from singing in family devotions, to singing for church as an elementary child, singing for school competitions, singing in church choir, involving myself in every possible singing opportunity at college, traveling with college singing groups, recording at Faith Music Missions, being a full time music director, etc.

Recently, I have been taking some online business courses and reading books that have helped me delve deeply into what makes me tick, what my interests are, and what brings me great satisfaction. In doing so, I have had to stop and evaluate why music has such a strong draw for me.

Here is a list of reasons that I came up with:

  • God has moved me deeply through the medium of music.
  • Music allows me to express deeply felt messages of truth from my heart to the heart of others.
  • I am fascinated by the capability of music to communicate on many different levels simultaneously – intellect, emotion, physical, spiritual.
  • When I sing, I don’t have to be spontaneous – the words and music are known beforehand. I am not comfortable communicating on an “ad lib” basis, as in preaching.
  • When I sing, I receive positive confirmation that others have been moved by the message of the song – through facial expressions, body language, and verbal comments.
  • I am simply enamored with sound – I love to study acoustics, the physics of music, the patterns of sound that make up music, instruments with unique timbres, different scales and modes of other cultures, tongue twisters, languages, accents, etc. I am very aurally oriented.
  • I enjoy the team effort of combining my skills with others to create beauty, and to express powerful messages that speak to the audience.
  • I enjoy spreading the joy of music to others, particularly children.

As part of my coursework, I was asked who my all-time favorite hero was. My answer was Asaph. I guess that makes perfect sense, since my life and career has fairly closely paralleled his.

Following in the footsteps of Asaph, I have sung (1 Chr. 15:19), performed on instruments (1 Chr. 15:19), taught music to others, composed songs (Psalm 50, 73-83), recorded and published songs for others (1 Chr. 16:7), taught and preached about music and through music (2 Chr. 29:30), and taught my children to love music (1 Chr. 25:2, 6).

I think the one area I struggle most with, however, is how to leverage my life to help more people become better musicians for the Lord. Our world certainly needs more Biblically qualified musicians who are producing, teaching, preaching, performing, publishing, Godly music.

Oh, Lord, make me more like Asaph!