In the Old Testament there are many references to musical instruments and each one performs its own specific function. Especially in the Psalms we come across quite a few musical instruments. What is very obvious is the vast amount of references to musical instruments in Psalm 150. In the entire Psalms the most references are made to musical instruments in Psalm 150. The question of this study is: What role did the musical instruments play in the composition of the Psalms? The many references to musical instruments in the Psalms are compared to the other references made to them in the rest of the Old Testament. The psalms in which the musical instruments are mentioned, are discussed and sheds light on how the musical instruments are dispersed in the Psalms’ composition. Recent studies on the composition of the Psalms are also discussed. Every musical instrument that occurs in the Psalms is discussed and with the help of iconographic illustrations it is shown how the musical instruments might have looked. A literary analysis of Psalm 150 helps to argue that this psalm is the final doxology and grand finalé of the Psalms. The studies about the musical instruments’ role in the Psalms shows that the musical instruments build up to a crescendo in the Psalms. The Psalms end with a tremendous grand finalé in Psalm 150. The Psalms is regarded in this study as a great musical composition (a symphony) and the entire symphony orchestra is spread throughout the whole of Psalms. At the end of Psalms the whole symphony orchestra plays together and every one and everything that is created by God is called upon to praise and worship the Lord.
Dissertation (MA (Ancient Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2005.