Last week I attended a worship conference called "WorshipLife" that was hosted by Lifeway Worship Resources. One of the speakers was Mike Harland (the Director of Lifeway Worship Resources). I would like to share with you some interesting thoughts that he had concerning the book of Psalms.
In the book of Psalms many of the chapters have an introduction called a superscript. They say things like "for the choir director" or "to be accompanied by stringed instruments" or "sung by David to the Lord concerning some battle". But what is truly interesting is that some of these Psalm intros say that they are to be sung to the tune of very specific songs. These melodies were so familiar that everyone would know how these Psalms were supposed to sound. But over time, these melodies have been forgotten. Think about that. God preserved the text, but not the melodies. Why?
Could it be that we aren't supposed to know how those songs sounded because each new generation is supposed to come up with their own melodies, their own music?
As I get older, I can definitely see how melodies and music change from generation to generation. My parents' and grandparents' generation was comfortable singing hymns like "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" to the piano and organ. My generation is comfortable singing praise songs like "Revelation Song" and "How Great Is Our God" to an acoustic guitar or praise band. The generation after me...well let's just say that they are coming up with some truly unique sounds and arrangements.
But regardless of how each generation sings the Psalms, it is the lyrics and theology that come from the text that ties and connects us all together.
Psalm 96:1 says "Sing to the Lord a new song".
New songs...but with timeless words.