Evolution of Worship Music

The origin of Temple musicians, arguably, is found in 1 Chronicles 25 when King David along with the Levite priests selected musicians to lead worship.  From this passage, we see that the musicians were all Levites; the clan of priests.  Note that only 24 of them, the group leaders, were considered “experts.”  Yet whether beginners or experts they were all called to duty equally.  With that, know that God may be calling you as a Temple Musician even if you don’t consider yourself to be an expert.

1 Chronicles 25:1-24 - The Temple Musicians

25 King David and the leaders of the Levites chose the following Levite clans to lead the worship services: Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. They were to proclaim God's messages, accompanied by the music of harps and cymbals. This is the list of persons chosen to lead the worship, with the type of service that each group performed:

2 The four sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah. They were under the direction of Asaph, who proclaimed God's messages whenever the king commanded.

3 The six sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah. Under the direction of their father they proclaimed God's message, accompanied by the music of harps, and sang praise and thanks to the Lord.

4 The fourteen sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. 5 God gave to Heman, the king's prophet, these fourteen sons and also three daughters, as he had promised, in order to give power to Heman. 6 All of his sons played cymbals and harps under their father's direction, to accompany the Temple worship. And Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under orders from the king.

7 All these twenty-four men were experts; and their fellow Levites were trained musicians. There were 288 men in all.

8 To determine the assignment of duties they all drew lots, whether they were young or old, experts or beginners.

Here are a few pictures alluding to the history and evolution of Temple Musicians.  The appearance of the musicians and the style of their songs has certainly changed over the centuries, but it is still the same unchanging God they/we worship and praise.

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Depiction of early Temple Musicians

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Modern choir

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Modern Jewish Temple Musicians

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Michael W Smith concert

Notice the choir in the background

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Kutless concert

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Chris Tomlin concert

(Bing.com stock photos)

Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 12:53 PM