…With stringed instruments (Ps 4, 6, 54, 55, 61, 67, 76)
…For flutes (Ps 5)
To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” (Ps 9)
To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning” (Ps 22)
A song for the dedication of the Temple (Ps 30)
To the tune of “Lilies” – A Wedding Song (Ps 45)
To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks” (Ps 56)
To the tune of “Do Not Destroy” (Ps 57)
To the tune of “Do Not Destroy” (Ps 58)
To the tune of “Do Not Destroy” (Ps 59)
To the tune of “The Lily of the Covenant” (Ps 60)
To the tune of “Lilies” (Ps 69)
To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant” (Ps 80)
Sometimes I wish that the Bible came with an inspired CD for the accompaniment of these Psalms! What did these tunes sound like? The words have been preserved but the music has not. They were probably accompanied by flutes, lyres, harps and tambourines. I think it would help us immensely when it comes to musical style. Or, maybe God is trying to tell us something else. Maybe the lyrics are more important than the music. Maybe we shouldn’t get hung up on the style or the instrumentation. Maybe the music can be in any number of formats; that change with time and culture. Maybe the music is only meant to serve the words; to draw attention to the words; to affect us and draw us closer to God.
In fact, if you think about, these Psalms are inspired song lyrics from God. The following therefore, is typical of a song inspired by God:
Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.
You’ve just read Psalm 117 in its entirety. Musically, it appears to have at least a verse and a chorus. The chorus is “Praise the Lord.” It starts and ends with it. The chorus is a response to a truth expressed in the verse. We are to praise him “for his great love toward us and because his faithfulness endures forever.” There’s also what appears to be a bridge which describes who this is for: “all nations and all peoples.” It’s a simple song, with at lest one important lesson for us – Keep It Simple!