MUSIC

In the early days of the human race, music was one of the first expressions of artistic and cultural development (Gen 4:21). It soon became widely used, along with singing and dancing, to celebrate special occasions, whether private or public, domestic or national, secular or sacred (Gen 31:27; Exod 15:20-21; 2 Sam 6:14-15; 2 Chron 20:28- 29; Ps 92:1-3; 144:9; Isa 5:12; Amos 6:5; Dan 3:4-5; see also DANCING; SINGING). At other times people played or listened to music purely for relaxation or enjoyment (1 Sam 16:16-17,23; 18:10; Job 21:11-12; Ezek 26:13; 33:31-32; Lam 5:14; Rev 18:22).

Music also accompanied mourning and singing at funerals (Matt 9:23; Luke 7:32; see FUNERAL). Hebrew musical instruments were of three kinds – stringed, wind and percussion. Chief among the stringed instruments were the harp (1 Sam 10:5; 2 Sam 6:5; 1 Kings 10:12; Isa 5:12) and the lyre (Gen 4:21; 31:27; 1 Sam 10:5; 16:23; 2 Sam 6:5). The main wind instruments were the flute (Isa 5:12; Jer 48:36; Matt 9:23), the pipe (Gen 4:21; 1 Kings 1:40; Job 21:12; Matt 11:17), the horn (2 Sam 6:15) and the trumpet (Num 10:2; 31:6; Amos 3:6; Matt 24:31). Percussion instruments included cymbals (2 Sam 6:5; Ps 150:4; 1 Cor 13:1), tambourines (Gen 31:27; 1 Sam 10:5; 2 Sam 6:5; Job 21:12) and timbrels (Exod 15:20; Judg 11:34; Ps 150:4). In the music that David organized for Israel’s temple worship, the main instruments were harps, lyres and cymbals (1 Chron 15:16,19-21; 16:5).

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