Is music neutral?
Many media references including Christian sources are starting to say that Christian music is neutral or harmless becoming amoral which means it is neither good nor bad. So is this statement founded on solid ground or rather a “trend” designed to mislead the faithful to put them into disarray and confusion?
Let’s first analyse people’s opinions who support this view:
1. The most common statement music is like technology neutral and therefore matters how it is utilised and the purpose for which it is used. In other words, a computer I own is neutral or amoral all that matters is if you use it for noble causes or not.
Not long ago I spoke with an acquaintance who is a Doctor in Theology and a supporter of ideas of neutrality in music who gave me the following example “plastic” music is like a large knife you can prepare dinner for your family but at the same time, you can cut yourself.
2. The next argument is lyrics and the balance between good and evil whereas Christian music lyrics are dedicated to God.
At first glance, all these arguments are summed up as popular and rational.
I would like to remind you that in the beginning Eden was scammed by nothing sophisticated everything was exposed using simple ‘harmless’ words mentioned in Genesis 3:1 because of harmless neutral and amoral words came all the trouble with humanity. Everything transpired doubt instilled by the devil lust and pride came from simple speech.
If something is rational logical and accessible to anyone it does not mean automatically that this is the truth.
Let’s not forget science with all its analytical reasons has disowned discoveries over time the same can be said with the conception of evolution many of us including Christians know that it’s just one of many fables from the author of lies the devil. I said many of us because things have appeared in Christian areas of so-called evolutionists which represent contradictions in terms So let’s look at this:
1. Music, unlike technology, first of all, is like complex divine nature with huge emotional cargo. Be it sacred or secular instrumental or voice we can express our feelings, emotions and inner experiences of our lives. Although what we perceive is physical through hearing music it’s not neutral and has a huge impact.
By comparison pigment red is a colour of a larger spectrum of other shades nothing extraordinary so far. To many this is neutral and an innocuous thing but when we talk about colours like a traffic light they can make the difference between life and death. Everything must be observed The Bible said:
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.”
Let’s take an example from everyday life Suppose next week we will get married everything is organised in detail from the smallest to the greatest of things. As we all know every groom or bride wants their day to be perfect and to be on time in church with their favourite song played on the organ like The Air on the G String by J. S. Bach there could be another scenario:
You are in front of the church door ready to enter everyone is waiting for this sublime moment DJ is on standby and one of the organisers is beckoning to press Play the CD player starts and into the loudspeakers plays the majestic song from The funeral march by F.Chopin.
A regrettable mistake by the DJ Who wasn’t careful putting on the melody a day before used at a funeral.
Could someone try to save the situation saying:
“Don’t worry be happy music is neutral.”
The deep logic of music I sense peace my brain generates a mind state and attributes it to the music, my soul engages fully with the complexity of rhythm giving me a unique relationship to that form of harmonious poetry.
Music has had emotional cargo for thousands of years it has been used as an expression of human feelings and language. Whether listening to melody or playing it is always dependent on the condition that we encounter. Music expresses different emotions like sadness, melancholy, sorrow or joy, optimism, comfort and even sentimental fulfilment. Music has an effect on us be it good or bad young or old cultivated or uncultivated people will react lesser or with a greater measure, So when people want to create a certain mood they will use music as a tool to induce an emotional state. Therefore may it be everyday activities or major events mankind will seek music for the proper moment sometimes enhancing the experience for better results. Let’s see a few examples:
You’re on the motorway having driven for hours and feel like you’re needing sleep what are you doing then? Maybe time does not allow you to stop and get some rest easiest solution would be to turn on the radio. In the next moment you will look for a channel that will come through and chase out your slumber classical music will not help too much especially if you sing something very soothing with piano, so you change the channel until you hear something rhythmic and cheerful if you know the song you might start singing too and will not care if someone sees you as its important to reach your final destination. Everyone has visited the doctors or been to a clinic have you ever noticed that in most of these establishments there is background music? you’ve probably noted that the tunes you hear are quiet and calm. Musicians call this ambient music but you can imagine if you go to the emergency department and hear loud music like metal the question could be how do you feel?
I think I was pretty clear about the effects of music in this regard I recommend fans of music and its results read speciality articles in which scientists use music in many experiments on plants and animals where you can find extraordinary facts about the amazing effects of melody. Secondly music has an overwhelming impression I mean when we talk about the impact on education of young people mostly teenagers and the influence of social and cultural areas in particular we could write a whole book, But here we have to deal with a bilateral situation on the one hand music mirrors ourselves a great composer of the last century said:
“Music is the reflection of a nation.”
We could even say that harmony reflects different races of people just by listening to a few seconds of music we can identify whether its Asian, Middle Eastern, African or European. Everyone knows when it comes to culture mostly music is an integral part if not a priority also in terms of appearance as things stands globally and on an individual plan.
A known proverb goes like this:
“Tell me who accompanies you to tell you who you are.”
By analogy we can formulate this proverb in the following way:
“Tell me what music you are listening and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Music has the power to influence mankind I am referring primarily to media, TV, radio and the Internet people become a media product character becomes shaped by these forces. Nations are investing huge sums of money into the field of music shaping people by some standard just look at shows like American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent. I have no intention now to develop a discussion about this masked Idolority or secret modern Baal’s no matter how harmless they first seem they can become what the Bible condemns, not to mention a large number of hours spent in front of the media too. When I met some acquaintances who are members of a church that wants to be the most elite house of God in the city theologically speaking they asked me if I think it’s a shame that Christians participate in this type of broadcast TV it was very surprising. The Bible says clearly:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Do not graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow before them nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing up to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
Well people can say that this only applies in The Old Covenant and
we live in a period of grace, not in the law given by Moses but we can be clearer on this subject.
Our model of life is and will remain the same forever that is Jesus Christ who came into our world to destroy the works of the devil and show us through his life how to live and perfect our faith Jesus said and validated these words:
John 14: 6
“I am the Way, the Truth and Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Thirdly music has spiritual baggage
if until now we talked about melody impact and effect now is the time to talk about causation.
Music is not the cradle of terrestrial man or anything material no scientist can explain the origins of music the creator of harmony is divine and spiritual.
The composition has existed before the world and will be with us for eternity.
How do we know? God himself tells us in his Word:
“You were in Eden, the garden of God, and were covered with all kinds of precious stones: the ruby, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, ruby, emerald and gold; eardrums and your job flutes were prepared for the day that thou wast created.”
We know from this scripture that Lucifer existed before our creation as you can see if you read further in the Bible he was lifted and was expelled from heaven he will become for a while prince of this world and establish his kingdom here on earth, therefore he knows how to manipulate music because he was once a leader of Worship in the heavenly household. Another Biblical reference is the moment of creation:
“When the morning stars sang together and all the joy the sons of God shouted for joy.”
Maybe we can say that the deceleration of “The morning stars sang together for joy” was the angels, or could it be a poetic expression or a figure of speech, not something to be taken literally. I remind you that it’s no longer something new in the scientific world long ago every celestial body whether stars or planets emit a characteristic frequency measured in Hz called infrasound which the human ear can not hear the earth, for example, emits a musical note at 7.83 Hz measured very low.
In fact, our entire beautiful universe is one mega-concert that began at the time of creation and will end according to the Bible:
2 Peter 3:7
“But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
As I said earlier music has been a foundation and we know it will be in eternity. The Bible tells us that all who are written in the Book of Life will sing along and all the heavenly host of angels so the foundation of music is spiritual. The Spirit of life animates our body making it functional just as music is animated by the spirit that is behind all musical notes some examples:
Each year as we approach December 25th we hear all around us many songs if you ask anyone he can point out Christmas songs.
The question is:
How many of these songs have Jesus Christ at the centre and how many is all about Santa Claws?
Listen to them carefully and identify what spirit is behind them is it the Spirit of Christmas or something else.
Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior but not a pagan legend which is meant to lie to children many children think Jesus was Santa Claws.
Anyone who has seen historical films when advancing troops are attacking the enemy background music is made by wind instruments like a trumpet or horn accompanied by drum beats at a fast pace What can we distinguish here maybe the spirit of war.
Moreover we have a case in the Bible when Moses descends from the mountain with the tablets of Testimony Joshua met him they heard a strange noise coming from the camp of the Hebrews written in Exodus 32:15-24 Joshua thought it was a cry of war but Moses immediately identifies and corrects him saying that in fact what he heard is music.
There is nothing like songs of praise after the victory of Moses crossing the Red Sea but now idolatrous people were singing songs dedicated to the golden calf.
Moses distinguished singing behind The Holy Spirit in the second case stands The spirit of idolatry that makes melody sound so hideous and distorted that it resembles a cry to war.
I wonder what kind of songs we hear in our churches today the songs of Moses or of the golden calf?