The Origin of Music
Monday, July 8, 2019 by Jose Quesada | Music in the Bible
"Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. " (Genesis 4:19-21, NKJV)
This entry is the first in a series of posts entitled Music in the Bible. In the series, we explain the origin of music according to the book of Genesis, the godly uses music according to various books in the Bible, and the future of music according to the book of Revelation.
The book of Genesis describes God as the creator of everything that exists on earth. As believers, it is natural to assume that God also created music or at least the ability to create music. Research in musicology provides vast information about the history of music over the past 2000 years, but do we know anything about the origin of music? The answer is found in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 4:21 mentions the name of the first musician: Jubal, the father of all those who play the harp and flute. Jubal was a descendant of Cain (son of Adam and Eve) as described in the following genealogy:
- Adam was the father of Cain (Genesis 4:1)
- Cain was the father of Enoch (Genesis 4:17)
- Enoch was the father of Irad (Genesis 4:18)
- Irad was the father of Mehujael (Genesis 4:18)
- Mehujael was the father of Methushael. (Genesis 4:18)
- Methushael was the father of Lamech (Genesis 4: 18)
- Lamech was the father of Jubal (Genesis 4:21)
We don't know when Jubal lived. The Bible does not provide a timeline of the descendants of Cain, but it does provide a timeline of the descendants of Seth (brother of Cain) in Genesis 5. By matching both genealogies and using the timeline from Answers in Genesis, we can estimate the life of Jubal sometime around 3300 BC. Jubal probably lived in the City of Enoch (Genesis 4:17) in the Land of Nod on the east of Eden (Genesis 4:16). Unfortunately, we do not know the current location of the Garden of Eden.
From Jeremiah 1:5, we learn that God forms people in the womb, thus we can safely affirm that God created the first musician; however, there is a problem for future research. The lineage of Cain was cursed by God (Genesis 4:11) and ultimately vanished from earth by the flood (Genesis 7:23). Nevertheless, the ability to make music was either preserved or restored after the flood as it was used by Leban (Genesis 31:27) and other post-flood people.
The Zion Piano Studio is a Christ-centered piano academy, founded and directed by Dr. José Pablo Quesada and Dr. Won Yong Lee, with main operations in the city of Benbrook, Texas. We offer private lessons in piano, music theory, and music history. Lessons are combined with performances and other events organized by the Fort Worth Music Teachers Association. We support the City of Benbrook through local organizations and our own ministry. We foster Christianity worldwide through Christ Church Fort Worth, Jews for Jesus, the Daystar Television Network, and the Assemblies of God World Missions.
Disclaimer: The teachers of the Zion Piano Studio are not pastors nor theologians. They are just witnesses of the work of the Holy Spirit in
their lives and their salvation and transformation in Jesus Christ the Son of God.