Book Title: The Bible and Music
Book Description: James F. McGrath’s The Bible and Music offers what no previous textbook on the subject has before. It provides an overview of the intersection of the Bible and music, from ancient Israelite music and the musical notation in ancient Hebrew manuscripts to the reception of the Bible in classical, rock, hip hop, country, and other genres, alongside embedded videos allowing readers to listen as they read. This textbook does all that and more and, as an open textbook, it costs nothing.
The Bible and Music by Dr. James F. McGrath provides an introduction and overview of the various ways that music and the Bible have been and continue to be connected. Part 1 focuses on history, presenting what we know about how music in the Ancient Near East sounded, how markings in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible have been interpreted as musical symbols, how chanting of biblical texts has featured liturgically in synagogues and churches, the impact of the Protestant Reformation, and musical developments in North America as enslaved Africans encountered biblical texts and stories. Part 2 focuses on specific texts in Jewish and Christian scripture and looks at how they have been interpreted through the process of setting them to music, including the soundtracks of cinematic depictions of biblical narrative and allusions to the Bible in popular music. Part 3 focuses on composers from the Middle Ages all the way down to the present day. Throughout the book, musical examples are not merely mentioned but embedded so that reading and listening may be seamlessly combined. The book does not presume prior knowledge of either music or the Bible, and additional links within the text provide definitions and further explanations for those who need or desire them.
The Bible and Music by James F. McGrath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Sacred and religious music