Christian Churches of God
Musical Instruments in Worship
(Edition 1.0 20070730-20070730)
Some people have doubts regarding the use of instruments and music in worship. In this paper we will see that music is in fact a central part of the worship of God.
Musical Instruments in Worship
We have to go back to Genesis to see the first recorded use of music and musical instruments in the Bible.
19 And Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle. 21 His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Na'amah. (RSV throughout)
Some people express doubt that because the line of musicians came from Cain, and Jubal was the father of music in the Bible record, there is something wrong with using music in worship. However, we see that there were special arrangements made for the establishment of music in the Bible record.
God is quite clear that in the Last Days we will be confronted by the “howlings” of Amos, which has happened – and that howling is upon us. However, that does not mean that God did not desire music and order and beauty in worship.
In deliverance of Israel we see that it was understood that the use of music was appropriate and part of thanksgiving in the time of the Judges.
1 Then sang Deb'orah and Barak the son of Abin'o-am on that day: 2 "That the eaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the LORD! 3 "Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes; to the LORD I will sing, I will make melody to the LORD, the God of Israel.
It was also part of national rejoicing when God had delivered the nation from its enemies.
6 As they were coming home, when David returned from slaying the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with timbrels, with songs of joy, and with instruments of music.
The nation expressed joy before the Lord in music, and David established the Psalms as a basic medium of prophecy and rejoicing in worship.
5 And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
David made specific preparation for the Levites to establish within the ranks of the ministry those musicians and talented people who could sing to the music as part of the worship, and whole houses were dedicated to that function among the Levites in the Temple. They were headed by musical directors appointed from those who understood music.
16 David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brethren as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Jo'el; and of his brethren Asaph the son of Berechi'ah; and of the sons of Merar'i, their brethren, Ethan the son of Kusha'iah; 18 and with them their brethren of the second order, Zechari'ah, Ja-a'ziel, Shemi'ramoth, Jehi'el, Unni, Eli'ab, Benai'ah, Ma-asei'ah, Mattithi'ah, Eliph'elehu, and Miknei'ah, and the gatekeepers O'bed-e'dom and Je-i'el. 19 The singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were to sound bronze cymbals; 20 Zechari'ah, A'zi-el, Shemi'ramoth, Jehi'el, Unni, Eli'ab, Ma-asei'ah, and Benai'ah were to play harps according to Al'amoth; 21 but Mattithi'ah, Eliph'elehu, Miknei'ah, O'bed-e'dom, Je-i'el, and Azazi'ah were to lead with lyres according to the Shem'inith. 22 Chenani'ah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it.
David and the Levites did not address this issue lightly or in improper attire. All music was conducted properly attired in priestly attire, and the king was likewise in fine linen when he appeared with them in thanksgiving, either in the Temple or outside of it. This was especially so when appearing with the Ark of the Covenant, which came to represent the containment of the Holy Spirit among the elect of God.
27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers, and Chenani'ah the leader of the music of the singers; and David wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres. 29 And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David dancing and making merry; and she despised him in her heart.
Rejoicing is a great blessing, but there are always those who would rather not see it, and such was the case with Michal.
It is the prince’s responsibility to make provision for the nation in the Sabbaths of rejoicing and David did what we see recorded in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 45. The Ark was housed and was the centre of worship just as now we meet together as the Body of Christ in order to worship.
1 And they brought the ark of God, and set it inside the tent which David had hitched for it; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. 2 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD, 3 and distributed to all Israel, both men and women, to each a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. 4 Moreover he appointed certain of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. 5 Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechari'ah, Je-i'el, Shemi'ramoth, Jehi'el, attithi'ah, Eli'ab, Benai'ah, O'bed-e'dom, and Je-i'el, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals, 6 and Benai'ah and Jaha'ziel the priests were to blow trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God. 7 Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brethren. 8 O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! 11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually! 12 Remember the wonderful works that he has done, the wonders he wrought, the judgments he uttered, 13 O offspring of Abraham his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! 14 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 15 He is mindful of his covenant for ever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, 16 the covenant which he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, 17 which he confirmed as a statute to Jacob, as an everlasting covenant to Israel, 18 saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance." 19 When they were few in number, and of little account, and sojourners in it, 20 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, 21 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, 22 saying, "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!" 23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. 24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Honor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. 28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, scribe to the LORD glory and strength! 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come before him! Worship the LORD in holy array; 30 tremble before him, all the earth; yea, the world stands firm, never to be moved. 31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!" 32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it, let the field exult, and everything in it! 33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. 34 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! 35 Say also: "Deliver us, O God of our salvation, and gather and save us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. 36 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!" Then all the people said "Amen!" and praised the LORD. 37 So David left Asaph and his brethren there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister continually before the ark as each day required, 38 and also O'bed-e'dom and his sixty-eight brethren; while O'bed-e'dom, the son of Jedu'thun, and Hosah were to be gatekeepers. 39 And he left Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon, 40 to offer burnt offerings to the LORD upon the altar of burnt offering continually morning and evening, according to all that is written in the law of the LORD which he commanded Israel. 41 With them were Heman and Jedu'thun, and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures for ever. 42 Heman and Jedu'thun had trumpets and cymbals for the music and instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jedu'thun were appointed to the gate. 43 Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household.
After David had appointed the Levites and their directors in the establishment of the Musical Directorate of the nation, he then blessed his own household.
The Temple system was established so that prophecy was done according to music in the lyre and with harps and cymbals.
1 David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service certain of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jedu'thun, who should prophesy with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethani'ah, and Ashare'lah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. 3 Of Jedu'thun, the sons of Jedu'thun: Gedali'ah, Zeri, Jeshai'ah, Shim'e-i, Hashabi'ah, and Mattithi'ah, six, under the direction of their father Jedu'thun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. 4 Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukki'ah, Mattani'ah, Uz'ziel, Shebu'el, and Jer'imoth, Hanani'ah, Hana'ni, Eli'athah, Giddal'ti, and Romam'ti-e'zer, Joshbekash'ah, Mallo'thi, Hothir, Maha'zi-oth. 5 All these were the sons of Heman the king's seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him; for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. 6 They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jedu'thun, and Heman were under the order of the king. 7 The number of them along with their brethren, who were trained in singing to the LORD, all who were skilful, was two hundred and eighty-eight. 8 And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.
The execution of these duties was decided by lot, as it was with the priesthood.
David established a number of precedents within the Psalms, as they were written in the Holy Spirit.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
1 Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together! 3 My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. 5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me, 6 men who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?
The lyre was used for prophecy and the solution of the problems of the nation through its prophets in music.
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. 1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to thy name, O Most High; 2 to declare thy steadfast love in the morning, and thy faithfulness by night, 3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 4 For thou, O LORD, hast made me glad by thy work; at the works of thy hands I sing for joy.
Thus we see from Psalm 92 that it was established especially for the Sabbath and to be sung on that day with musical instruments.
From Psalm 150, we see that the entire musical structure in song and instruments and dance was to be done in praise to the Lord.
1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his exceeding greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!
This system was transferred intact into the Temple proper after it was constructed in the days of Solomon.
1 Thus all the work that Solomon did for the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated, and stored the silver, the gold, and all the vessels in the treasuries of the house of God. 2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel, in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. 3 And all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the feast, which is in the seventh month. 4 And all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. 5 And they brought up the ark, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. 6 And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. 7 So the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. 9 And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside; and they are there to this day. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tables which Moses put there at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11 Now when the priests came out of the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to their divisions; 12 and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jedu'thun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with a hundred and twenty priests who were trumpeters; 13 and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever," the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.
When this rejoicing with music and thanksgiving was undertaken, the cloud of the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple during that worship.
Then, at the closure, God sent fire down from Heaven and consumed the sacrifices and the burnt offerings.
1 When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD's house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the earth on the pavement, and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever." 4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the LORD. 5 King Solomon offered as a sacrifice twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the LORD which King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD -- for his steadfast love endures for ever -- whenever David offered praises by their ministry; opposite them the priests sounded trumpets; and all Israel stood. 7 And Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD; for there he offered the burnt offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the cereal offering and the fat. 8 At that time Solomon held the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt. 9 And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly; for they had kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that the LORD had shown to David and to Solomon and to Israel his people. 11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king's house; all that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished.
When Solomon had made an end and the sacrifices were consumed, and the Glory of God was made evident, then the Lord appeared to Solomon. He consecrated the Temple and its procedures and said that when the people repented and humbled themselves before him, then he would hear and forgive them and heal the land of its sin. Quite clearly the use of musical instruments and songs of praise were integral to the Temple system blessed by God.
12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there for ever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you walk before me, as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, `There shall not fail you a man to rule Israel.' 19 "But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will pluck you up from the land which I have given you; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 And at this house, which is exalted, every one passing by will be astonished, and say, `Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?" 22 Then they will say, `Because they forsook the LORD the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore he has brought all this evil upon them'"
We see that Solomon placed the same system among the Levites with the prophets under Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet, and the cymbals, harps and lyres were used for that purpose. The priests stood with the trumpets as the call of authority. This was taken up in Hezekiah’s Restoration and was central to the Temple system.
Jeremiah reminds us of the disgrace of Judah. Along with this disgrace was the cessation of music in joy and praise.
1 Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us; behold, and see our disgrace! 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens. 3 We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. 4 We must pay for the water we drink, the wood we get must be bought.5 With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest. 6 We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough. 7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities. 8 Slaves rule over us;there is none to deliver us from their hand. 9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness. 10 Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine. 11 Women are ravished in Zion, virgins in the towns of Judah. 12 Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders. 13 Young men are compelled to grind at the mill; and boys stagger under loads of wood. 14 The old men have quit the city gate, the young men their music. 15 The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! 17 For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, 18 for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it. 19 But thou, O LORD, dost reign for ever; thy throne endures to all generations. 20 Why dost thou forget us for ever, why dost thou so long forsake us? 21 Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old! 22 Or hast thou utterly rejected us? Art thou exceedingly angry with us?
It continued during captivity, as we see from Daniel. The use of music was also used in worship of foreign gods and so also with men who sought to become gods.
1 King Nebuchadnez'zar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 Then King Nebuchadnez'zar sent to assemble the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnez'zar had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, were assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnez'zar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnez'zar had set up. 4 And the herald proclaimed aloud, "You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnez'zar has set up; 6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace." 7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image which King Nebuchadnez'zar had set up. 8 Therefore at that time certain Chalde'ans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnez'zar, "O king, live for ever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. These men, O king, pay no heed to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up." 13 Then Nebuchadnez'zar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego be brought. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnez'zar said to them, "Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well and good; but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace; and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?" 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego answered the king, "O Nebuchadnez'zar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up." 19 Then Nebuchadnez'zar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
We must discern the true use of music in worship and not be trapped by idols and false worship.
When the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord began also. Music was thus intended to be central to the offering of sacrifice to the Lord.
25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king's seer and of Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was from the LORD through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezeki'ah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 When the offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 And Hezeki'ah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshiped.
Thus music and song is central to worship and to a Restoration.
12 And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadi'ah the Levites, of the sons of Merar'i, and Zechari'ah and Meshul'lam, of the sons of the Ko'hathites, to have oversight. The Levites, all who were skilful with instruments of music, 13 were over the burden bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service; and some of the Levites were scribes, and officials, and gatekeepers. 14 While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the LORD, Hilki'ah the priest found the book of the law of the LORD given through Moses.
The musicians of the Levites also were such that they had oversight of other labourers, and, when they performed faithfully, the Lord restored the Law of God and the Spirit of Prophecy to the servants of God.
The Law of God was thus central also to the restoration of the nation. When Ezra restored the nation, even from the laying of the foundation of the Temple, the ministry came forward in their vestments with trumpets and other musical instruments according to the system as laid down by David, as we see especially within the Psalms. This was done from the sequence of the Feasts.
1 When the seventh month came, and the sons of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. 2 Then arose Jeshua the son of Jo'zadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el with his kinsmen, and they built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings upon it, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3 They set the altar in its place, for fear was upon them because of the peoples of the lands, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the LORD, burnt offerings morning and evening. 4 And they kept the feast of booths, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the ordinance, as each day required, 5 and after that the continual burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the appointed feasts of the LORD, and the offerings of every one who made a freewill offering to the LORD. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. 7 So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sido'nians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant which they had from Cyrus king of Persia. 8 Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el and Jeshua the son of Jo'zadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their brethren, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of the LORD. 9 And Jeshua with his sons and his kinsmen, and Kad'mi-el and his sons, the sons of Judah, together took the oversight of the workmen in the house of God, along with the sons of Hen'adad and the Levites, their sons and kinsmen. 10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the directions of David king of Israel; 11 and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever toward Israel." And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy; 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard afar.
So, in the dedication of the walls of the Holy City under Nehemiah the same system was also undertaken, and it was used to purify the people and the city and its walls and gates.
27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the circuit round Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netoph'athites; 29 also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Az'maveth; for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people and the gates and the wall.
We see that music is a central part of the worship in God’s system, and it can be used for good or bad. In the Last Days, Amos 8:3 describes its use in worship as howling. Much worship today is being turned into howling, with people improperly dressed entering the house of worship and wailing in noise that is not befitting the worship of God. James 5:1 ff. says that in those days the rich shall howl also for the improper use of their blessings and wealth.