What Is Music to Your Ears?
By “Awake!” correspondent In Germany
DO YOU have a favorite melody? Perhaps you are a lover of classical music. Does light opera please you more? Or, popular music may be more to your liking. On the other hand, you may say that music makes you nervous. What, then, can be said about music?
Music is a wonderful gift from God, provided for our enjoyment and for which we should be appreciative. Music can affect us in a variety of ways. It can cheer us up, make us happy, incite us, calm us, and even help us to go to sleep. The servants of King Saul of ancient Israel arranged for David to play on his harp, and as a result “there was relief for Saul and it was well with him, and the bad spirit departed from upon him.”—1 Sam. 16:14-23.
We often give expression to our moods through music. When a person is in a good mood he often whistles or sings a tune of some sort. It was an expression of joy when the Israelite armies, returning victorious, were greeted with music and song.—1 Sam. 18:6, 7.
Music sometimes is used to honor someone, as when the heavenly hosts and others honor their God Jehovah with songs of praise. (Rev. 15:3, 4) The Psalms are such songs of praise that in ancient times were sung by God-fearing men.—Matt. 26:30.
But we should not forget that music, just as with other gifts from God, has been misused by men. Many businessmen use music to put their customers in a buying mood. In bars and restaurants music that arouses sexual impulses often is played. If an innocent social gathering deteriorates into a sex orgy, it may well be that it was not just the alcohol but also the music played that contributed to it.
Politicians and military men likewise use music to serve their purposes. In time of war, brisk march music and patriotic war songs that heighten the war spirit of the populace are featured. Leaders of radical groups also use music for their own purposes, music that causes nervous tension and makes one irritated and aggressive. The latest trend along this line is what is known as “punk rock.” No question about its expressing and abetting harmful emotions and actions!
Do you like to listen to orchestral music? Is that a form of relaxation and recreation that you enjoy? If so, then you may want to purchase modern stereo equipment, if you have not already done so. To get the full effect of the orchestra, be sure to position the loudspeakers properly. This means that the speakers carrying the bass tones are best located a few meters to the right of the radio or record player and the speakers that carry the high notes, such as those of the flutes and violins, are preferably located a few meters to the left. If the speakers are located immediately to the right and the left of the radio or record player, the large orchestral effect is lost.
If you are a good husband and father, you will also want to be considerate of the needs and comfort of your family. Curb your enthusiasm for the full orchestral sound lest you unduly interfere with your wife’s concentration on her duties or the children’s efforts to get their homework done. In fact, more than one family quarrel was started because of the stereo set. Show consideration also for your neighbors. Your music, if played too loud, will be just so much distracting noise to them. Especially likely to cause such “noise pollution” are those who go in for rock music. Remember the Golden Rule about doing to others as you would have them do to you.—Matt. 7:12.
Music That “Nature” Supplies
Do you always take along your portable radio everywhere you go because you never tire of hearing the latest popular “hits”? Take care that you do not inflict your style of music upon the ears of others who might have different tastes. At the same time you may be robbing yourself of music of quite another kind—especially if you live in a small town or in rural areas—the music that “nature” supplies.
Stand still for some time at the edge of a flowering field of grain and listen to the whispering of the wind that sends the grain into soft waves as it scurries across the field. As you deeply inhale the smell of the grain and the sweet scent of the meadow next to it, a few tuneful crickets join in the soft song of the wind, one of the cows in the meadow lows the bass and a meadowlark fills in the soprano, while a bumblebee plays cello and a few bees the violin. It is music that delights the minds and hearts of some people.
Have you ever paid attention to the robin? He’s a star performer who needs no accompaniment. Or have you watched dragonflies skimming over a pond on a hot summer afternoon? Listen to the metallic sound of their wings when they touch in wild fascinating flight. In the neighborhood a woodpecker bores into a tree, a cuckoo calls from the woods, and a few titmice and bullfinches—yes, perhaps a warbler—complete the musical score. It is refreshing music that has a charm of its own.
Have you ever had occasion to sit on the bank of a babbling brook on a lovely summer evening and listen to the croaking of the frogs and the chirping of the crickets? It is a lovely melody. While sitting there, you may even see fireflies lighting up here and there as the evening fragrance from the woods adds atmosphere. It is music that you not only hear but almost feel with all your senses. Truly beautiful, is it not?
Year after year this musical refrain is taken up. It is always different and never boring. This music does not make you nervous or sick. Rather, it is balm for the soul, for your heart and for your nerves.
One nice thing about this kind of music is that the musicians are not playing for fame or honor and also not for your money. They might be said to play to the honor of their Creator, Jehovah God, who made them for you to enjoy. God’s Word says that the Creator prepared the earth for man; the animal realm was a part of this preparatory creation. Therefore, open your heart to this music. If you are a city dweller, take time now and then to visit some large park or the surrounding rural areas so that you, too, may enjoy this kind of music.
No question about it! Music is a fine gift from our Creator. When indulging your fondness for it, be considerate of others—members of your own family and your next-door neighbors. And do not overlook the music that the Creator made possible in the visible creation.