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Old 09-14-2017, 11:17 PM   #1
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Denver, CO
Posts: 67
Understanding Acceptable Music

We have made it lawful for you to listen to music and singing. Take heed, however, lest listening thereto should cause you to overstep the bounds of propriety and dignity. Let your joy be the joy born of My Most Great Name, a Name that bringeth rapture to the heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have drawn nigh unto God. We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion. Truly, We are loath to see you numbered with the foolish.
-Kitab-i-Aqdas, section 51

Has there been any further guidance offered on the types of music which are acceptable and good to listen to and to make, and on how to distinguish between uplifting music and music which is wings to self and passion?
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:22 AM   #2
SoerenRekelBludau's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Germany
Posts: 49
No, there hasn't been any guidance on it because the House of Justice considers this a question of personal judgment. What is appropriate even differs from culture to culture.

e.g. I love Heavy Metal and there are many beautiful songs made in different sub-genres. Some others call it "satanic" but put quotes of Bahá'u'lláh into Hip Hop or Rap music. I don't consider rapped quotes appropriate but I understand that my personal feelings cannot and should not be generalized.

Originally Posted by Shoghi Effendi
Music, as one of the arts, is a natural cultural development, and the Guardian does not feel that there should be any cultivation of 'Bahá'í Music' any more than we are trying to develop a Bahá'í school of painting or writing. The believers are free to paint, write and compose as their talents guide them. If music is written incorporating the sacred writings, the friends are free to make use of it, but it should never be considered a requirement at Bahá'í meetings to have such music. The further away the friends keep from any set forms, the better, for they must realize that the Cause is absolutely universal, and what might seem a beautiful addition to their mode of celebrating a Feast, etc., would perhaps fall on the ears of people of another country as unpleasant sounds--and vice versa. As long as they have music for its own sake it is all right, but they should not consider it Bahá'í music. (1946)
Old 09-15-2017, 05:49 AM   #3
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gnat's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,637
Originally Posted by SoerenRekelBludau View Post
Some others call it "satanic" but put quotes of Bahá'u'lláh into Hip Hop or Rap music. I don't consider rapped quotes appropriate but I understand that my personal feelings cannot and should not be generalized.
I absolutely agree. I met some German Bahá'ís and made a comment about rapped prayers, that it's probably something that one has to put up with.

So, I think one has to be patient with the personal interpretations of fellow Bahá'ís. Patience. Patience.

And may God preserve us from guidance on appropriate music!



Old 09-15-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
Senior Member
maryamr's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Blue Planet
Posts: 1,248
I guess for a music to be appropriate does not depend THAT MUCH to the category of the music; whether it is rap or metal or pop or classic etc. it is more about the lyrics. We have all experienced it maybe that if we listen to a song with sad lyrics, we become sad and think of our losses and shortcomings. if we listen to a song with lyrics about, let's say, war, our spirit shows signs of restlessness. people usually do not pay attention to their change of spiritual mood while listening to a music. it is sometimes so subtle that only through time the result can be seen. Bahaullah also says that a music should not make us overstep the boundaries of propriety and dignity. you should first see where that boundary is and then examine the different songs within that boundary/

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