Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2013


College of Arts and Sciences


Music: Choral--Teacher Certification

Primary Subject Area

Music; History, Ancient


David, Saul, music, Hebrew


Biblical Studies | History of Religion | Other History | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures


Music has always been an inextricable component of Jewish culture from its beginnings. Even before the construction of the Temple, music was used for worship, feasts, festivals, and various other cultural activities. Since much of this music involves the singing of texts, poetry was also a central part of the Jewish music culture. Singing in ancient Israel often involved instrumental accompaniment. The Bible records the texts of much musical activity. Instrumental music, vocal music, and accompanied vocal music are found throughout the Bible. Instrumental music is found in 1 Samuel 16 when David played his harp to soothe Saul and in 1 Samuel 19 when Saul tried to kill David when a troubling spirit came upon him. When men were coming back from battle in 1 Samuel 18, women played instruments and sang songs of David’s greatness. Psalms 16, 24, and 64 are great representations of Hebrew vocal music written by David. Music played a central role in the lives of the first two kings of Israel. This study will encompass a discussion of the role of music in the lives of the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David.