Friday, October 19, 2007

Seeking a theology of NT music.

I thought it would be interesting to repost a portion of comments I made on a church music blog/discussion board concerning the analysis of a contemporary piece of music. It was late as I typed this initially, but for some reason I was able to crystallize my yet unanswered questions into concise form.

First, the OT idea of doing something skillfully related to music always has to do with performance. The musicians were skillful in the way they played or sang. Never [to my knowledge] is there a mention of the songs played or sung being written skillfully. Yeah, it may be splitting hairs, but isn't it interesting that the text goes out of its way sometimes to describe the skill of the musicians while saying very little about the music itself?

Second, and this may have been thoroughly covered elsewhere in previous discussions, so I apologize for bring it up, but how do we derive a New Testament theology of musical practice from Old Testament descriptions where the New Testament is curiously silent? What are we to conclude about the absolute qualifications of music and musicians from the Jewish/Chosen setting of the Old Testament to the Church/Gentile setting of the comparatively silent (on music) setting of the New Testament?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.