The faces of holy sounds: the singing of angels – music of the spheres – sacred songs

Who was the first to describe music of heaven? The biblical prophet David, the Greek wiseman Pythagoras or maybe the anonymous authors of Irish fairy tales? read more

Who was the first to describe music of heaven? The biblical prophet David, the Greek wiseman Pythagoras or maybe the anonymous authors of Irish fairy tales? Since time immemorial, people have seen the sources of music in divine plans. This was the source of inspiration for the composers of sacred hymns. Scientists see the genesis of music in the singing of birds and the oceanic giants – whales, mating calls and the rhytmization of work. Once, however, people believed that music fills another dimension - heaven.

Fairy tales and myths from all over the world are full of the mentions of wondrous sounds heard in unusual circumstances. In the ancient Greece, the Pythagoras's students, were spreading their master's teachings about the harmony permeating the cosmos – music of the celestial spheres.

The Middle Ages adopted these ideas, thanks to Boetius, enriching it by a yet another layer – a mistical one. It was believed that God speaks through people through the agency of angels. And angels are incorporeal beings populating heaven above the visible dimension, beyond the sphere of stars. They dance, whirling around the central point, God.

And so, in the hierarchy of music, the angel choirs where the highest. The music of planetary spheres was its equivalent in the universe, just as hymns full of spirit were on Earth.

David was supposed to be the first composer of these hymns – a shepherd, prophet and king and also a talented musician and poet, an the author The Book of Psalms It was he who wrote the words: The Lord is my strength and my song. That is why he has been considered a patron of religious music.

Painters and sculptors, since the 13th century, have been passionately depicting pictures of angels stumming harp and zither strings, blowing trumpets and flutes. Some have been reconstructing entire orchestra. Apart from angels, David has also been often painted, usually with a harp or a lyre, and Saint Cecilia, the patron of liturgical music, has often appeaered on the railings of organ lofts. The greatest masters: Fra Angelico, Rafael, El Greco were emulated by everyone and so, motifs spread all over Europe, also reaching the walls and vaults of Tatra churches.

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