Religious music

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David playing his harp (unknown artist, c. 960). The book of Psalms, included in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and said to have been written largely by David, is one of the earliest collections of sacred music, and still plays a role in the liturgies of the two religions.

Religious music (also sacred music) is music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence.[1] Ritual music is music, sacred or not, performed or composed for or as ritual.

Christian music[edit]

According to some scholars, the earliest music in the Christian Church came from Jewish worship music, with some additional Syriac influence.[2] It is believed that this music lay somewhere between singing and speaking, or speaking with an understood ritual cadence.[3] However, there is another opinion that the roots of early Christian music come from the early ascetic monastic orders.[4]

Islamic Music[edit]

Islamic "songs" come in the form of prayers (In Arabic, prayer is Salah) that occur 5 times a day. These prayers are conducted by facing Mecca and having both knees to the ground bowing and reciting these prayers and usually are recitations of the Islamic Holy word the Quran.[5] These prayers occur of the day and connect the Muslim people through a series of melodic prayers that often become amplified through the city. In Islam the implication of prayer and in this case the Salah is for ritual since it is believed to be the direct word of God that shall be performed as a collective, as well as individually.[5]

History of Islam Prayer[edit]

"What shall I say of their prayer? For they pray with such concentration and devotion that I was astonished when I was able to see it personally and observe it with my own eyes.” (Riccold De Monte in the year 1228).[5] The origin of the art of prayer in all Abrahamic religions is to glorify God and the same goes for Islam. The Al Salat is the most widely used word to mean institutionalized prayer and is one of the oldest forms of prayer in Islam.[6] Islamic prayer, traditions, and ideals had influence from these Abrahamic religions.[7] The time of origination of Salah came from the Muslim prophet Muhammad (the Messenger of God) in a cave as he began to worship Allah (God). It is believed that through this act of worship Mohammad interacted with the Abrahamic prophet Moses.[5] Now these "prayers" come in the form of recitations of the Quran and poems written by prophets of the faith.

The Spread of Islamic Prayer[edit]

Besides the spread of Islam through Arabia by prophets it spread through trade routes like the Silk Road and through conflict of war. Through the Silk road traders and members of the early Muslim faith were able to go to countries such as China and create mosques around 627 C. E.[8] As men from the Middle East came to China they would get married to these Asian women, which led to a spreading of the faith and traditions of Islam in multiplicities.[8] The Crusades in the 9th and 10th century encouraged the spread of Islam through the invasions of Latin Christian soldiers and Muslim soldiers into each other's land. The whole conflict began on the premises of a Holy Land and which group of people owned these lands that led to these foes invading their respective lands.[9] As the religion itself spread so did its implications of ritual, such as prayer.

Sikh music[edit]

Jewish music[edit]

The earliest synagogal music was based on the same system as that in the Temple in Jerusalem. According to the Talmud, Joshua ben Hananiah, who had served in the sanctuary Levitical choir, told how the choristers went to the synagogue from the orchestra by the altar (Talmud, Suk. 53a), and so participated in both services.

Islamic music[edit]

Rastafarian music[edit]

Shintō music[edit]

Shintō music (神楽) is ceremonial music for Shinto (神道) which is the native religion of Japan.

Buddhist music[edit]

Buddhist music is music for Buddhist ceremony or meditation.

Zoroastrian music[edit]

Zoroastrian music is a genre of music that accompanies Zoroastrian traditions and rites.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Religious Music Genre Overview | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  2. ^ Conomos 2003.
  3. ^ Foley 2008,[page needed].
  4. ^ Taruskin and Gibbs 2013, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b c d A. Rasheid, Omar. "Muslim Prayer and Public Spheres: An Interpretation of the Quranic Verse 29:45". Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology. 68: 41.
  6. ^ Khalee, Mohammed (1999). "The Foundation of Muslim Prayer". Medieval Encounters. 5.
  8. ^ a b waheed. "Islam Enters the Far East - The Religion of Islam". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. ^ "Why Muslims See the Crusades So Differently from Christians". HISTORY. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  • Conomos, Dimitri (2003). "Early Christian and Byzantine Music: History and Performance". (February). Reprinted Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music: Greek Orthodox Archdioces of America, 15 November 2012 (accessed 7 October 2016).
  • Foley, Edward (2008). From Age to Age: How Christians Have Celebrated the Eucharist. Liturgical Press; Collegeville. ISBN 978-0-8146-3078-5.
  • Taruskin, Richard; Christopher Gibbs (2013). The Oxford History of Western Music (College ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.[full citation needed]

Further reading[edit]

  • Fertonani, Cesare; Raffaele Mellace; Cesare Toscani, eds. (2014). La Musica Sacra nella Milano del Settecento. Atti del convegno internazionale. Milano, 17-18 maggio 2011. Cantar sottile 3. Milan: LED Edizioni Universitaire. ISBN 978-88-7916-658-4.

External links[edit]