What's the Purpose of Music?
Do you ever wonder why we have music? Why we find enjoyment in noise set to a melody and rhythm? It's a little weird if you think about it in those terms. 'Ok, you bang on that thing at a steady pace, I'll poke these black and white keys' and....something beautiful happens. We're transported to a place only music can take us.
Music can express every emotion there is. It can make you happy, sad, angry, stressed, relieved, content, romantic, celebratory, even tired. It is the oddest thing. It's a universal language and can connect people across cultural and language barriers. It's a huge part of everyday life, funerals, weddings, parties, etc. It is, in a word, everywhere.
But why does it exist?
I submit it is because of beauty. It is yet another way that God expresses the all encompassing beauty of his being. If beauty were only visual it wouldn't be nearly as intoxicatingly brilliant. I can see beauty and that's fantastic, but now I can hear it too! Beauty is not subject to a single sense, it is found in them all (don't get me started on KC Barbecue...the aroma of Christ to be sure).
Music can connect with us on the deepest of levels. Think about that for a second. Music has the ability to be therapeutic, cathartic, and empathetic all at once. It can meet us exactly where we are, the whole time reminding us of the beauty of God. Now, having said that I should stipulate what I mean: music that is God honoring has this ability. Music that is self honoring or evil honoring cannot do this. That stuff only pulls you further down the drain.
Music that is made for the purpose of revealing the beauty, majesty, glory and power of God has the ability to pull you out of the deepest depths and confront you with the one who is at the same time violent enough to breathe out stars and yet gentle enough to breath life into your lungs.
Music that glorifies God speaks to our souls, it moves us in places we didn't know we had. I certainly appreciate music in general, I'm a sucker for a catchy hook. What can I say, I grew up in the 90's. But no matter how catchy the chorus is, if i know the lyrics are weak, stupid, or pointless the song loses its impact.
It's like meeting the most beautiful girl you've ever seen and then realizing she has NO personality or character. What a bummer!
What is so great about excellently composed, God honoring music is that you get to enjoy both the music and the lyrics. There is redemption in both. The message of salvation is written on our hearts and music has the unique ability to bring it to our undeniable attention.
If you're looking for some high quality, God honoring music, check out: + David Crowder Band + Shane and Shane + Switchfoot + All Sons and Daughters + Lecrae + The Digital Age + Gungor + Hillsong United + Relient K + Rocket Summer + Seabird
Obviously these bands make music that appeals to my sensibilities and leanings, there are plenty of other musicians out there that make great music that both honors God and stirs up our affections. I'd love to know what musicians inspire you. Let me know by leaving a comment.