By Jonathan L. Friedmann
Tune used to be critical to the lifestyle of old Israel. It observed actions as different as guide exertions and royal processionals. At key junctures and in center associations, musical tones have been used to convey messages, exhibit feelings, increase communal bonds and identify human-divine touch. This booklet explores the tricky and multifaceted nature of biblical song via a close look at 4 significant episodes and genres: the music of the ocean (Exod. 15), King Saul and David's harp (1 Sam. 16), using track in prophecy, and the publication of Psalms. This research demonstrates how track assisted in shaping and outline the self-identity of historic Israel.
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Additional resources for Music in Biblical Life: The Roles of Song in Ancient Israel
87 It would have been impossible for the Israelites to avoid the inﬂuence of the host culture, especially because, during the many generations of slavery, their own customs and practices would have been severely restricted. In addition to being in Egypt for such a long duration, there were few Israelites, even in the early years, who knew of life outside that foreign civilization. According to the Bible, there were only seventy Israelites in Egypt during Joseph’s lifetime (Exod. 1:5); but by the time of the Red Sea crossing, there were “600,000 men, aside from children” (Exod.
While the biblical account does not specify exactly how the Song was sung, the text’s form and the indication that it was simultaneously spontaneous and communal suggest that it was a call-and-response. The best — albeit indirect — textual evidence to support this view comes in the verses following the Song, which depict Miriam leading the women in song and dance (vv. 19 –21). In addition to the short refrain preserved in the Bible —“Sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea” (v.
18). Although the Song is the Bible’s ﬁrst occurrence of responsorial singing, it can be assumed that call-and-response was already in common use among the Israelites. Whatever the speciﬁc groupings may have been, the text displays imagery, meter, word choice and other devices indicative of a mature genre. It is also probable that the character of the Israelites’ music was informed by Egyptian practice. The Bible records that the Israelites resided in Egypt for 430 years (Exod. 87 It would have been impossible for the Israelites to avoid the inﬂuence of the host culture, especially because, during the many generations of slavery, their own customs and practices would have been severely restricted.
Music in Biblical Life: The Roles of Song in Ancient Israel by Jonathan L. Friedmann