Music was integrated into the daily life of ancient Israel. It accompanied activities as diverse as manual labour and royal processionals. At key junctures and in core institutions, musical tones were used to deliver messages, convey emotions, strengthen communal bonds and establish human-divine contact. This book explores the intricate and multifaceted nature of biblical music through a detailed look into four major episodes and genres: the Song of the Sea (Exod. 15), King Saul and David's harp (1 Sam. 16), the use of music in prophecy, and the Book of Psalms. This investigation demonstrates how music helped shape and define the self-identity of ancient Israel.
Jonathan L. Friedmann is cantor of Bet Knesset Bamidbar and Congregation P'nai Tikvah, both in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He is a professor of Jewish music history at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, USA and is the author, editor or compiler of nine other books on music and religion.