Music

There are a number of passages in the Bahá’í Writings in praise of music. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for example, asserts that “music, sung or played, is spiritual food for soul and heart.”

Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 201

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.

Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Para. 51

We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may he lifted up unto the realm on high . . .

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 38

A fine voice when joined to beautiful music causes a great effect, for both are desirable and pleasing. All these have in themselves an organization, and are constructed on natural law. Therefore they correspond to the order of existence like something which would fit into a mold. A true voice fits into the mold of nature. When it is so this affects the nerves, and they affect the heart and spirit. In the world of existence physical things have a connection with spiritual realities. One of these things is the voice, which connects itself with the spirit; and the spirit can be uplifted by this means -- for though it is a physical thing, it is one of the material, natural organizations -- therefore, it is effective.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Music, pp. 78-79

All these feelings can be caused by voice and music, for through the nerves it moves and stirs the spirit. Even over animals, music has an effect. For example: When they wish to take a camel over a desert road, they attach to him some bells, or they play upon a flute, and this sound prevents him from realizing the fatigue of the journey; his nerves are affected, but he does not have an increase of thought, he feels nothing but physical sensation.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Music, pp. 79-81

Although sounds are but vibrations in the air which affect the ear's auditory nerve, and these vibrations are but chance phenomena carried along through the air, even so, see how they move the heart. A wondrous melody is wings for the spirit, and maketh the soul to tremble for joy.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 147