Sunday, March 1, 2015

Is Music the Language of the Angels?

The Ghent Altarpiece: Angels Playing Music
The Ghent Altarpiece: Angels Playing Music (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.

Psalm 33:2-3
New International Version (NIV)

      Music speaks to all of us in one way or another.  Where does music come from and why are we so attracted to music?   The rhythms of our heartbeats or our footsteps can become integrated into the natural music that occurs within us and all around us.  Our very lives are a part of a vast music of all the Earth and the universe.

        God gave birds, whales, and other animals the abilities to communicate with music-like tones, rhythms, and sound patterns.   Astronomers have even used a measurement technique called "stellar seismology" to reproduce the sounds emanating from the stars in the heavens.  In the book of Job we are told that "the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy" (Job 38:7).   Music was instilled in all of God creation from the outset.

        It seems possible that music could be the language of the angels.  Ears perk up and become attentive at the sound of music.  All music communicates something of some nature to us the hearers.  That music can be pleasing for some and for others not so pleasing.  Just as we have different spoken languages there are stylistic variations in musical sounds according to culture.  A person from Ireland will respond to one kind of music that may sound quite alien to the person in India and vice versa.

       When human language was disseminated at the Tower of Babel it's possible that the music languages were distributed in kind.   If we accept a premise that music was originally a language of heaven that was given to humans then we might also accept that the intent of music has been corrupted and given an earthly value.   This is not to say this man-centered music is bad, but we might want to be discriminating about the nature of the music to which we listen.

        Personally, I greatly enjoy music and appreciate many styles of music.  There are some musical works that speak to me in more heavenly ways than others, but I think that all music has some purpose.  Perhaps some music is better than others, but music should be given a chance before we dismiss it on initial listening.

         I know what I like.  I can appreciate the efforts and talents of those who perform music that might not appeal to me so much.  Most of us probably have an inherent judgement of what music is better than other kinds.   What we do with that judgement is another thing entirely  If the music elevates us to a higher level of positiveness and enlightenment then perhaps we are hearing the language of the heavens.

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
James 5:13
New International Version (NIV)



  1. Music, the language of the angels--I like this thought, Arlee. Music allows God to speak to our hearts without a translator. :)

  2. I think this is my love of music on a subconscious level.

  3. Hi Arlee,
    Nice to be here again after a bit gap.
    Yet another encouraging and inspiring piece for the week,
    Hope you had wonderful weekend and blessed Sunday.
    The Day is approaching...
    Keep informed. :-)
    ~ Phil

  4. Hi Arlee: Music on my IPhone helped me through a difficult recovery from surgery. At 3 am I would listen to Mozart and Opera and be transformed for a little while. I never liked Bach but I heard a lecture about the St. Matthew Passion and now I want to learn more. Music is God's gift, I am convinced, all through the IPhone.


Please offer your thoughts.