Asaph Tunes is a service of St Shenouda Monastery which aims to encourage young Christian Orthodox artists to write, compose and sing new songs using contemporary music. Asaph Tunes’ role is to encourage and present the work of these artists to the best quality and to provide it in the most common media available such as iTunes, SoundCloud and various other internet radio stations.
The name “Asaph” comes from one of the very little known characters in the bible, yet he holds a very prominent position. He wrote 12 of the 151 psalms (psalms: 50, 73-83 Septuagint) in the Orthodox bible that are generally attributed to King David, which means that he wrote more chapters in the bible than many other prominent figures such as Peter, James, Jude, Jonah, Amos, Micah, Joel, Malachi, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Nahum, Haggai, or Obadiah.
The book of first Chronicles tells us that Asaph was one of the people who were appointed by King David to be chief musicians to the temple. Later on we are told that he was one of the chief musicians who were entrusted in performing at the dedication of Solomon’s temple.
Music is an integral part of our make up as human beings. Music has always been found to inspire many different emotions in the human soul that nothing else could. This is not a twenty first century find but it has been right from the beginning of creation. We read in the book of Genesis hidden among a long list of names of the sons of Adam and Eve, and only four generations removed from them a character who’s name is Jubal, the bible says about him that “he was the father of all those who play the harp and flute.” Genesis 4:21. Later on we know that David not only wrote psalms that were and are still used for worship but he also assigned musicians and chief musician who’s primary role is to play music in the temple worship.
The Orthodox Church has always embraced music in its worship; some of the music that is used in the Orthodox Church worship have stood the test of time and have until today taken the worshippers into a spiritual realm that prepared them for receiving the Holy Eucharist.
Historically, music was not restricted to church worship alone but there are many saints who have offered the church a great library of songs and poems that taught Christians their orthodox faith against the many heresies. A perfect example of this in the Coptic Church is the mid-night psalmody especially the Theotokia (praises to saint Mary) which very accurately spells out the Orthodox Church’s theology of St Mary. Other contemporary examples are the many poems of the late Pope Shenouda III.
It is for this reason that Asaph Tunes, aims to encourage young Orthodox Christian artists to write, compose and sing new songs using contemporary music. A very important aspect of a song is its educational value that it offers to listeners. In other words the lyrics must present a substantial theological teaching about the Orthodox Church teaching and theology. Asaph Tunes’ role is to encourage and present the work of those artists to the best quality and provide it in the most common media available such as iTunes and sound cloud and various other internet radios stations.
So we hope you enjoy this sacrifice of praise offered by these young artists and that you would give constructive feedback on their music.