Psalms of Music: Worship in Ancient Israel through Song




McGowan, Joel

Access rights

Worldwide access

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis will explore the use of music in the psalms in the context of the Second Temple in Ancient Israel. Though scholars do not know much about this topic, there are several areas in which research has been done. According to some scholars, the psalms were intended for a cultic, religious context in which the congregation was united in singing praise to Yahweh. In order to better understand the use of the psalms, one must analyze the specific aspects of Hebrew music that betray a cultic context. In particular, this thesis will focus on the history of psalm scholarship, with attention given to Hermann Gunkel and Sigmund Mowinckel, the rise of Temple Singers in Israelite history, the use of superscriptions to indicate musical direction, and the musical influences on Hebrew music from surrounding cultures, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Arabians.



Introduction to Psalm Scholarship, Temple Singers, Music Terminology and Superscriptions, Cultural Influences on Hebrew Music