How Music Sets the Tone

by | Sep 12, 2020

As I write this, I am on the way home from a visit to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY—a Christian attraction by the folks at Answers in Genesis.

If you have never been, I highly recommend a visit.

One of the most noticeable things to me while I was there was how the music they played set the tone throughout the entire attraction.

What do I mean?

Well, essentially, they have speakers strewn throughout the property—each playing the same Arabian-esque tune on repeat—the entire day.

I get the sense that this feature of the attraction is usually met with one of three responses:

  1. Annoyance. It would not surprise at all that some would take notice of the music, and then take notice of it again….and again, and again, and start to become annoyed by it. Why can’t they just play something different, for crying out loud?
  2. Appreciation. Others, by contrast, will notice the music with the same heightened awareness. And they will actually appreciate why this has been done, and possibly even enjoy it and/or be thankful for it.
  3. Apathy. Others will remain consciously oblivious to it. Someone might ask them, “What about that music?!” And they might say, “Eh, it was okay I guess…didn’t really notice.”

So what is going on here? Who cares about this?

My only point is this: The music was intentionally designed to set the tone of the attraction.

If one sat down to think about it, a list of adjectives might emerge that would help describe and/or make sense of the “vibe” given off by the music. Here are just five of many “vibes” I got from the music today:

  1. Ancient
  2. Inspiring
  3. Adventurous
  4. Daring
  5. Eastern

Probably this already helps you picture the music in “your mind’s eye.”

What’s interesting is that even those who fall into the “apathetic” group from above were affected by the music, even if they didn’t know it.

Subconsciously, the music had an effect on them! It “set the tone” for their visit and helped placed them within the context desired by those who designed the attraction.

Music has this kind of power. This is why music can be used in mind control situations to help put audiences in a trance so that illusionists can use it to their advantage.

It should go without saying, then, that being a part of the music during worship is a tremendous responsibility.

We are setting the tone—for the annoyed, the appreciative, and the apathetic.

In fact, it’s so important that we devote the entire 4th “secret” inside of Worship By Numbers to working together with other members of the band to help create the atmosphere and set the tone for the worship experience.

Here’s the link to get started (for free) today:

Steve Schramm

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