1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

What is music?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Aaron, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    From the best I can gather, your argument boils down to the conclusion that limits are placed on a particular kind of pleasure. The nature of this pleasure and manner in which it is derived seem like a constantly shifting goal.First you create a rule system with the premise of discerning good and evil in every thing, then you simply assume the premise and without any explanation of any kind, proceed to call particular musical styles "evil".

    I sure wish you would get into the mechanics of this whole operation. I'd like to know exactly how it works.
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    My argument, as has been stated straightforwardly multiple times, is that music is the communciation of mood and demeanor, and that any mood or demeanor inconsistent with Christian character is evil. Any music, therefore, which communicates such mood and demeanor is evil as well.

    How is it that you have a difficult time "gathering" what my main argument is?
     
  3. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    It seems to shift alot.

    First you ignore the cultural and subjective by saying music communicates a universally understood language, then with regard to style and expertise you insert culture and subjectivity in an attempt to demonstrate that man can make something outside of himself evil (Because music is performed by a communicator, the music is a moral expression of his heart and will).

    What kind of mood or demeanor does music communicate?


    To use some of your terminology, what does it mean to say that music appeals to "lower, base appetites"? What does it mean to say that music is "riotous"?
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    My argument hasn't shifted at all. You're confusing my answers to tenor's technical and anthropological issues with the moral issues.

    Look at it a different way. The sophistication of a culture's visual arts will depend highly on the advancement of their institutions of science, law and education, but the morality of a painting or drawing or etching or whatever is something that is altogether independent of them.

    The same way with a culture's music.

    It takes no training to understand music, i.e. to know what mood is being evoked, but making music is something else altogether.
     
  5. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    Yes, that's exactly my point. I don't see why you would bring it up unless you were trying to make a deeper moral argument.
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I didn't bring it up. tenor brought it up in an attempt to link the music of ancient Israel with what we hear now in the Middle East. What reason does anyone have to think that we in the Twentieth Century (Twenty-First, actually) are making the most sophisticated music ever made?
     
  7. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    Or what would it matter if we did?
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    A host of unfounded assumptions depend on that premise. It matters.
     
  9. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    How so? How could you even come up with a workable standard for "sophisticated"? Even if you did, what knowledge concerning inherent moral character in music could you possibly glean from such an experiment?
     
  10. tenor

    tenor New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never said that. I did not intend to insinuate that merely because a music is simpler that it is "less sophisticated." Actually with the nuance and embellishment used in much Middle Eastern cantillation, it is even more sophisticated than much music of the 20th(21st) Century. Merely because it is primarily melodic rather than harmonic does not make it less sophiticated.

    Like most arts, music has gone through various stages of development. There are even times when they hark back to an earlier, simpler style. We know harmony has developed from accidental running together or melodic to the very functional I-IV-V-I chord progression that most of our popular music and even most art music of 17th-early 20th centuries relies on, with some variation. There is even a school of music analysis that boils everything down to I-V-I.

    I was merely stating the supposition that the music of ancient Israel was probably very similar to that around it or God would have given more explicit instruction. Their architecture was similar to the neighbors, so why not the music?

    Actually, there is not enough evidence that we can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt either of our premises.

    I have to get back to planning my choir rehearsal for tonight. Have a great time in worship this Sunday.

    Tim
     
  11. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Again, morality and sophistication are two separate arguments. I haven't combined the two, why do you continue to respond as if I have?

    But c'mon...you can't look at two different works and judge which one is more sophisticated? Which would you call more sophisticated, a modern flute or a reed pipe? Our God Is an Awesome God or Immortal Invisible?
     
  12. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    That's not known. That's assumed, and it's assumed because of the influence of Darwinism in anthropology.
     
  13. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    Again, morality and sophistication are two separate arguments. I haven't combined the two, why do you continue to respond as if I have?</font>[/QUOTE]Well I don't know exactly. Something tells me you are trying to tie the idea of culture and standards in musical styles with this notion of "sophistication" expressing more "noble" moods and sentiments while perhaps the more rudimentary or uncomplicated styles appeal to the "lower, base" apetites.

    And really, I don't get how this anthropological discussion fits into the greater argument of music and communication. Honest admission on my part: I really only glance at posts which discuss music history. I guess my feeling is that there is too little we can ever know about what music sounded like centuries and millenia ago. Even when we can tell what something probably sounded like I don't see what relevant conclusions you can draw from it.

    Define sophisticed. Not the definition of sophisticated, but the exact sense you are using it.
     
  14. tenor

    tenor New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's not known. That's assumed, and it's assumed because of the influence of Darwinism in anthropology. </font>[/QUOTE]No, it is known because histories of music were written discussing this long before Darwin was born. There were also music theory treatieses (sp?) written about this.

    Aaron, It seems that everything with which you disagree boils down to Darwinianism. Do you not believe that things do change over time? Do not arts change? Yes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Do you feel that had it not been for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, we would be able to hear the Ancient Hebrew music now as it was then? Many synagogues do use an ancient cantillation style and it has that "Middle Eastern" sound.

    Also, you didn't address my question as to why God did not give the Hebrews more explicit instruction in music style, if it was so unique. I concede there is a possibility in this, but I don't feel it is likely due to the evidence we have.

    Tim
     
  15. Dale McNamee

    Dale McNamee New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All!

    Here are some definitions from Merriam-Webster for sophisticated,demeanor, and its synonym: bearing.

    Main Entry: so•phis•ti•cate
    Pronunciation: s&-'fis-t&-"kAt
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): -cat•ed; -cat•ing
    Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin sophisticatus, past participle of sophisticare, from Latin sophisticus sophistic, from Greek sophistikos, from sophistEs sophist
    1 : to alter deceptively; especially : ADULTERATE
    2 : to deprive of genuineness, naturalness, or simplicity; especially : to deprive of naïveté and make worldly-wise : DISILLUSION
    3 : to make complicated or complex


    Main Entry: de•mean•or
    Pronunciation: di-'mE-n&r
    Function: noun
    Etymology: 1demean
    : behavior toward others : outward manner
    synonym see BEARING

    Main Entry: bear•ing
    Function: noun
    1 : the manner in which one bears or comports oneself
    2 a : the act, power, or time of bringing forth offspring or fruit b : a product of bearing : CROP
    3 a : an object, surface, or point that supports b : a machine part in which another part (as a journal or pin) turns or slides
    4 : a figure borne on a heraldic field
    5 : PRESSURE, THRUST
    6 a : the situation or horizontal direction of one point with respect to another or to the compass b : a determination of position c plural : comprehension of one's position, environment, or situation d : RELATION, CONNECTION; also : PURPORT
    7 : the part of a structural member that rests on its supports
    synonyms BEARING, DEPORTMENT, DEMEANOR, MIEN, MANNER, CARRIAGE mean the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. BEARING is the most general of these words but now usually implies characteristic posture &lt;a woman of regal bearing&gt;. DEPORTMENT suggests actions or behavior as formed by breeding or training &lt;your deportment was atrocious&gt;. DEMEANOR suggests one's attitude toward others as expressed in outward behavior &lt;the haughty demeanor of the headwaiter&gt;. MIEN is a literary term referring both to bearing and demeanor &lt;a mien of supreme self-satisfaction&gt;. MANNER implies characteristic or customary way of moving and gesturing and addressing others &lt;the imperious manner of a man used to giving orders&gt;. CARRIAGE applies chiefly to habitual posture in standing or walking &lt;the kind of carriage learned at boarding school&gt;.

    As everyone can see (except for Aaron),none of these words have anything to do with music,but everything to do with how we behave when alone or most importantly,towards others.

    Mark 7:1-23: (for Aaron)

    Mar 7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

    Mar 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

    Mar 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash [their] hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

    Mar 7:4 And [when they come] from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, [as] the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

    Mar 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

    Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me.

    Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

    Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

    Mar 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Mar 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

    Mar 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, [It is] Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; [he shall be free].

    Mar 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

    Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

    Mar 7:14 And when he had called all the people [unto him], he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one [of you], and understand:

    Mar 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

    Mar 7:16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

    Mar 7:17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

    Mar 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, [it] cannot defile him;

    Mar 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

    Mar 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

    Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

    Mar 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

    In Christ,

    Dale

    [ October 06, 2005, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: Dale McNamee ]
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I can assure you I am not.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Did the ones writing these theses witness the accidental discovery of harmony? If not, then it's an assumption. Language did not develop from simple to complex. It suddenly appeared fully formed. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden. Did they sing? They knew the ecstasy of God's presence. They sang. The point is that music is as much a part of our being as language, and someone, somewhere will always have an ear for harmon. When they join in the singing, it is no accident.

    Also, you didn't address my question as to why God did not give the Hebrews more explicit instruction in music style, if it was so unique.

    It's a non sequitor. God commanded separation and a certain reverence. This would naturally be reflected in the music.
     
  18. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Dale, you are wonderfully two-dimensional in your thinking. Would you think to look of the definitions of emotion and feeling and see if music is mentioned therein? And if not, would you conclude that music has nothing to do with emotion or feeling?

    Also, do a Google search with the words "sophisticated music" in quotes just like it looks here. How many results do you get?
     
  19. tenor

    tenor New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did the ones writing these theses witness the accidental discovery of harmony? If not, then it's an assumption. Language did not develop from simple to complex. It suddenly appeared fully formed. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden. Did they sing? They knew the ecstasy of God's presence. They sang. The point is that music is as much a part of our being as language, and someone, somewhere will always have an ear for harmon. When they join in the singing, it is no accident.

    Also, you didn't address my question as to why God did not give the Hebrews more explicit instruction in music style, if it was so unique.

    It's a non sequitor. God commanded separation and a certain reverence. This would naturally be reflected in the music.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Are you denying that language has developed in any way, size shape of form? Actually in usage, language is currently moving from complex to a simpler form. I concede the fact of the fall and the fallen state of human kind.

    Perhaps, I should have said the harmony was discovered.. Accoring to the sources used (I'll even say most) most music in Europe, yes this is where most of my training is, was at first conceived melodically. Melodic lines were combined to form poyphony. Then as the usage grew functional harmony emerged and was "discovered."

    I will concede that A & E would sing. I also say I have no idea what it sounded like. Perhaps it was nothing we've ever heard and won't hear until we get to heaven. This is NOT the discussion.

    We both have our preconceptions and as I stated before neither can be proven absolutely.

    Separation, yes, but there is a great deal of discussion of worship rites and other practices. Are you afraid of saying "I don't know?"

    I'll say it, I don't know the answer, but I have discussed my theories and opinions based on my study both musically and Scripturally.

    Thank you for this discussion. I appreciate you as a brother in Christ.

    Tim
     
  20. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,593
    Likes Received:
    756
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Not at all. Neither am I denying that music has developed in any way, size shape or form. I'm just saying that we're only seeing a fragment of history, and our view of that fragment is itself fragmented.

    If we were to graph a culture's knowledge of music, we'd start with Adam and Eve at the "perfect knowledge" level. It would continue in a horizontal straight line until the Fall. Then as the population grew, the line would take a nose dive until the populations began to organize and specialize. Then the line would begin an upward trend as the knowledge that was first lost was "rediscovered." It would continue upward...

    [aside for Travelsong: The up and down directions of this line are about technical knowledge, e.g. sophistication, not morality.]

    ...until the Flood. Let's assume that Noah and his seven relatives were not musicians in the antedeluvian society. The line goes straight down to almost nothing. Then as the population grows the line goes upward again.

    Now we're at the Tower of Babel. Nothing that man can imagine is impossible for him. The line is almost at the top and nearly horizontal again. Then God confuses the languages.

    Instead of one line, now we have lots and lots of lines as the different families scatter all over the globe. Each line follows it's own patterns of ups and downs according to that family's (or nation's) success or failure as a society, and the influences that help shape its musicality.

    Presently as the nations are less isolated than before, and communication is less of a problem, each line with it's own ups and downs has a general upward trend and is merging with the others to form a single line again. All we need is some global catastrophe, and we're at the bottom once more.

    What is happening in most cases is, we are looking at ourselves in an upward trend. Much of the knowledge of the past is lost, so we merely assume that the trend we see now has been a constant upward trend from the beginning.

    Actually in usage, language is currently moving from complex to a simpler form.

    That is true.

    Perhaps, I should have said the harmony was discovered.. Accoring to the sources used (I'll even say most) most music in Europe, yes this is where most of my training is, was at first conceived melodically.

    I will not argue with that.

    I will concede that A & E would sing. I also say I have no idea what it sounded like. Perhaps it was nothing we've ever heard and won't hear until we get to heaven. This is NOT the discussion.

    But it is the discussion. I think that as their children, we do have an idea of what it sounded like. I think it more reasonable to assume that the things we think are beautiful are at least a remnant (if only in ruins) of the beauty that was their music. I think it less reasonable to leave the door open to the possibility that it wouldn't sound like music to us.

    We both have our preconceptions and as I stated before neither can be proven absolutely.

    Even without an actual recording of their music, I think reason can give us a good clue.

    Separation, yes, but there is a great deal of discussion of worship rites and other practices. Are you afraid of saying "I don't know?"

    No, but in this case I do know. Music is a manner of interaction, and the commandments governing our interactions with one another apply directly to music. There is a natural connection between our demeanor and our music. There is no need for a book on music theory in the Scriptures. But the proper approach to God, and the things that the Law teaches us through the OT rites and practices are not so easily discerned.

    I'll say it, I don't know the answer, but I have discussed my theories and opinions based on my study both musically and Scripturally.

    You probably just haven't thought much about it till now.

    Thank you for this discussion. I appreciate you as a brother in Christ.

    Same here.
     
Loading...