For my high school graduation term paper, I wrote on the topic of music. I am pleased to share it with you here in the following days. Here is part two!
I am often amazed at how apathetic Americans, and indeed all people, are in so many areas. We just don’t seem to think about what we really believe and how our choices are made. I used to never give a thought to many of the books I read and how they were affecting my mind in good and bad ways, or how certain songs caused various feelings inside me. But now that I have begun this lifelong journey, I want to ask others to join me. Perhaps you will not agree with me on the choices I make regarding music. Quite honestly, that’s really just fine with me! My goal is not to persuade you to take what I say and only choose songs that I will agree with. Not at all! My hope is that you will begin to think – really and truly think – about the why and how of your choices; not only in music, but in books, movies, friends, and any other area. To begin a life of choices and decisions that are filtered through what God says in His Word is one of the greatest things I could hope to inspire in you. And really, that is the work of the Holy Spirit in His children, and something we should pray for.
I do not by any means profess to be an expert on all the ins and outs of music, its techniques, and where it came from. I have not listened to all the different genres out there, and I have no music going in the background as I write this. I love music, and often sing and play instruments at church and at home. But I am not the kind of person who listens to it every minute of the day. I have friends who would love to do nothing but listen to music. I guess I don’t understand that. I think music is a wonderful thing, a way to praise God and enjoy life and family and friends in a whole new level. But I am the kind of person who would rather be playing a song rather than hearing a song. I enjoy doing things that have some sort of benefit. As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
Most of all, I want to honor the Lord in the way that I play music, in the music itself, and in the choices of music that I listen to. That is why I have read numerous books, studied passages in the Bible, and sought God’s wisdom and heart in this area. I decided to write this paper for myself, initially, so I could think through my writing and put in a concise place all that is in my mind and heart. It was an extra bonus when it turned into my term paper for high school.
In my studies, I have learned that music is not neutral. While individual notes are neutral, combined notes can be either beautiful, haunting, or upbeat. Just a letter is neutral, but the letters can all be used to either say something kind, hateful, or sinful. You could use the letter “a” in different ways to communicate completely different ideas, like “I hate you”, or “I love you. Will you marry me?”
In just that way, we can use the notes that make up music to either make cheerful and uplifting songs, or dark, melancholy, and even evil songs.
That’s all for now, folks. Come back for the next part tomorrow.