Published 4-2-12 The Religion Network publishes every Monday
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Joseph Haydn, Hildegard of Bingen, Johannes Brahms,
Felix Mendelssohn, Book of Psalms, Nan C. Merrill
Joseph Haydn, the superb classical composer, dressed up
in his good clothes to write his heavenly music because
as he put it, "I'm going to commune with God
and I must be appropriately dressed!"
Can it be that music is the murmur of heaven to earth?
Our brains process music in a place different from normal
speech, which is why Alzheimer patients often remember
songs and why brain-damaged patients are sometimes re-
taught language utilizing songs. Music wields unique power
over our spirit: it uplifts our hearts, calms our nerves,
touches our soul and guides us into meditative spirituality.
Maybe that's why the Bible encourages us to sing praises
to God; to make music about His glory; and why so many
painters choose to show angels playing instruments.
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Detail from "Angel Musicians" by Hans Memling (c. 1430-1494)
Whenever I think of God I can only conceive of Him as a
Being infinitely great and infinitely good. This last quality of
the divine nature inspires me with such confidence and joy
that I could have written even a miserere in tempo allegro.
When I think of God, my heart is so filled
with joy that the notes fly off as from a spindle.
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Austrian Classical composer;
friend to Mozart, teacher to Beethoven
All the arts serving human desires and needs are derived
from the breath that God sent into the human body...
Sometimes when we hear a song we breathe deeply and sigh.
This reminds the prophet that the soul arises from heavenly harmony.
In thinking about this, he was aware that the soul itself
has something in itself of this music...
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
German Benedictine abbess; polymath
Straight-away the ideas flow in upon me,
directly from God, and not only do I see
distinct themes in my mind's eye, but
they are clothed in the right forms,
harmonies, and orchestration.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
German Romantic composer and pianist
"Angel Musician" by Melozzo da Forli (c. 1438-1494)
(On composing the "Messiah")
I did think I did see all Heaven before me
and the great God Himself.
George Frederic Handel (1685-1759)
German-born Baroque composer
Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive,
even the smallest task in music is so absorbing,
and carries us so far away from town, country, earth,
and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
German Romantic composer, pianist, conductor
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
New International Version
The Last Word:
Listen for the Music of the Spheres
in the resounding silence of
From "Psalms for Praying,"
by Nan C. Merrill
Utterly Random Bonus Quote:
Since love grows within you,
so beauty grows.
For love is the beauty of the soul.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Bishop, Latin philosopher and theologian
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