Other Religions Angels and Miracles How Angels Communicate Through Music Share Flipboard Email Print Julian Kumar / Getty Images Angels and Miracles An Introduction To Angels All About Miracles Prayer and Meditation Religious Texts Famous Archangels By Whitney Hopler Religion Expert B.A., Comparative Religion, George Mason University Whitney Hopler has written on faith topics since 1994. She is communications director for the Center for Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. our editorial process Whitney Hopler Updated August 27, 2018 Angels communicate in a variety of ways as they interact with God and human beings. Some of those ways include using telepathy or music, speaking, writing, and praying. Thomas Carlyle once said: "Music is well said to be the speech of angels." Indeed, the images of angels in popular culture often show them making music in some way: either playing instruments like harps and trumpets, or singing. Angels seem to love making music, and religious texts show angels exuberantly creating music either to praise God or to announce important messages to people. Playing Harps The popular image of angels playing harps in heaven may have originated from the Bible’s description of a vision of heaven in Revelation chapter 5. It describes “four living creatures” (which many scholars believe are angels) who, along with 24 elders, each hold a harp and a golden bowl full of incense to represent people’s prayers as they praise Jesus Christ “because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). Revelation 5:11 then describes “the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” joining the song of praise. Playing Trumpets In popular culture, angels are also often shown playing trumpets. Ancient people often used trumpets to draw people’s attention to important announcements, and since angels are God’s messengers, trumpets have come to be associated with angels. Religious texts contain several references to trumpet-playing angels. The Bible’s vision of heaven in Revelation chapters 8 and 9 describes a group of seven angels playing trumpets as they stand before God. After each angel takes a turn to blow a trumpet, something dramatic happens to illustrate the battle between good and evil on Earth. The Hadith, a collection of the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s traditions, names archangel Raphael (who is called “Israfel” or “Israfil” in Arabic) as the angel who will blow a horn to announce that Judgment Day is coming. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that when Jesus Christ returns to Earth, his return will be heralded “with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God[…]" Angels Singing Singing seems to be a popular pastime for angels -- especially when it comes to praising God through song. Islamic tradition says that the archangel Raphael is a master of music who sings praises to God in heaven in more than 1,000 different languages. Jewish tradition says that angels constantly sing songs of praise to God, singing in shifts so that angelic songs of praise go to God at all times of each day and night. The Midrash, the classic collection of Jewish teachings on the Torah, mentions that when Moses spent time studying with God over a 40-day period, Moses could tell what time of day it was by when the angels changed singing shifts. In 1 Nephi 1:8 of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi sees a vision of heaven with “God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.” The author of Hindu laws named Manu said that angels sing to celebrate every instance where people treat women with respect: "Where women are respected, there the gods reside, the heavens open up and angels sing paeans of praise." Many famous Christmas carols, such as "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," have been written about the Bible’s account of a multitude of angels appearing in the sky over Bethlehem to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. Luke chapter 2 reports that a single angel first appeared to announce Christ’s birth, and then says in verses 13 and 14: "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.'" Although the Bible uses the word "saying" rather than "singing" to describe how the angels praised God, many Christians believe that the verse implies singing. Directing Concerts Angels may also direct the musical performances in heaven. Before his rebellion and fall from heaven, the archangel Lucifer was traditionally known as the director of heavenly music. But the Torah and the Bible say in Isaiah chapter 14 that Lucifer (known as Satan after his fall) has been “laid low” (verse 8) and that “All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps[...]” (verse 11). Now the archangel Sandalphon is traditionally known as heaven’s musical director, as well as the patron angel of music for people on Earth.