Music: A Moral Implication

Music, at its core, is a form of expression unlike any other. Regardless of a religion’s stance on music, one cannot refute that “one finds an unequivocal belief in the overwhelming power of music,” as stated by Amnon Shiloah in Music and Religion in Islam (149). We experience an array of emotions though vocal and instrumental music alike. Although samā view passive listening to music (149), Shiloah argues that one’s faith can be experienced in a far more effective degree with the use of music (148). To incorporate it into warship would allow, theoretically, not only a quicker understanding of the message but also a feeling of closeness with one’s faith and identity. This deepens the impact of one’s own faith.

To further the question Shiloah is refuting, Erik Routley in Church Music and Theology begs this question: in what context is music ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (12)? Music is judged based on the contexts in which it is performed and for what purposes. To judge examples of music outside of the church erases all relevance it has to the argument of how well music can influence religious ideals. While this argument is never explicitly mentioned, it can be implied when arguments are brought against the use of music in the church.

To answer our own question, music is a excellent source of emotion as well as instilling ideas into people over time. A traditional hymn or text provides the message of one’s faith while underlying music, be it accompaniment to the text or the text imposed on a melody, enhances the tone of the hymn or text and thus magnifying its message.

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