by Dr. Brad Black
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We just got back from Disney World again and while we were there, I purchased a CD set of “Disney, The Music behind the Magic.” In the cover, it has a booklet about the music and I found several passages very interesting. I would like to share them with you. “Disney recognized the importance of music when he made his First sound cartoon….” Later he “launched the music-driven Silly Symphonies.” “With the release of his first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney pioneered the first movie soundtrack recording and propelled a handful of songs on to the Hit parade.”
Do you remember watching a scary movie and hearing the creepy music and how it creates the scary mood? Probably the best one for me is the movie Jaws and how you hear that “don don tha don don” and you know the shark is coming. Disney understood this so well that he has made several movies with very few words, he used pictures and music. Most people remember “Fantasia” and Fantasia 2000” but most people do not realize that “Bambi” only has 950 words in the whole movie. The rest is told in the music.
Disney did not discover anything new; the Bible records how music could change Saul’s (the first king of Israel) mood. 1 Samuel 16: 14 -23
14 Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
15 Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."
17 So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me."
18 One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him."
19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep."
20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers.
22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him."
23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
The last verse says it all, David would play and relief would come to Saul: he would feel better.
We also see that Music was birthed in the Bible. Gen. 4:11
“His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute.”
Music is well established in the Bible. In fact, the Psalms were the Jewish songbook of the Old Testament.
Martin Luther understood this fact very well. When he was starting the Lutheran faith, he knew the people would need to know the Bible and since most of them could not read, he took Bible doctrine and used tunes the people already knew and changed the words.
For all of these reasons it is very important to look at the music we are listening to with our “little ear.” Like the kid’s song, “Be careful little ear what you hear.” If music can have positive effects, it can also have negative effects and if music can help you teach the Bible it can also help you learn to sin. This is why Christians are so concerned about some of the popular music of the day.
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I have to agree, as it is my observation that music has a profound influence in the lives of a percentage of my students. I think it's true to say, what sort of influence depends on what sort of music.