What Is Your Kind of Music?
AN OLD Spanish proverb says: ‘In music and medicine everybody knows a little.’ True, practically anyone can hum, sing or whistle a tune. Yes, music and appreciation for it are among mankind’s natural gifts. The poet Longfellow went so far as to say: “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
Why, man has been exposed to music since his earliest beginnings! Who has not heard the delightful song of a bird? We may well marvel at the torrent of varied notes pouring out of the tiny throat of a canary. Or we may thrill at the versatility of the mockingbird, the simple cry of the cuckoo or the warbling of other splendid feathered songsters.
Even babies respond appreciatively to their favorite lullaby. Indeed, it has recently been shown that human fetuses react to music. By their movements they indicate their comfort or discomfort over what they are hearing.
When Did Musical Instruments Develop?
From the secular standpoint, that question is not easy to answer. The Encyclopædia Britannica states: “The development of musical instruments among ancient high civilizations appears to have been most substantial in Asia and North Africa. . . . The harp was used from early times in Mesopotamia [and] Egypt.”
However, the Bible is specific in saying that Jubal, an early descendant of the first man, Adam, “proved to be the founder of all those who handle the harp and the pipe.” (Genesis 4:21) Either he invented the first string and wind instruments or he founded a profession that gave impetus to the progress of music—and all of that some 5,000 years ago!
Music was an accepted part of patriarchal life after the Flood of Noah’s day. For example, Laban complained to his son-in-law Jacob: “Why did you have to run away secretly . . . and not tell me, that I might send you away with rejoicing and with songs, with tambourine and with harp?”—Genesis 31:27.
Centuries later, for service at God’s temple, there were “four thousand [Levite] givers of praise to Jehovah on the instruments that David said ‘I have made for giving praise.’” (1 Chronicles 23:5) Israel’s King David himself was an accomplished musician on the 10-stringed harp, and he may have designed new musical instruments.—Psalm 144:9; 2 Chronicles 7:6; 29:26, 27; Amos 6:5.
Music is perhaps more prevalent today than ever before. There is a proliferation of it through radio, television, records and cassettes. And what enormous variety! There is folk, choral, classical, operatic, jazz, country and western, rhythm and blues, disco, forms of rock music—the list seems endless and is ever changing. As fast as one popular style dies away, another takes its place.
So, what is your kind of music? Does your preference really make a difference? Can it affect your outlook—and your future?
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Musical instruments—as they have developed