The Amish love life and live rich, rewarding lives. But their behavior is subject to the rules set out in the Ordnung. What does this have to say about music, dance, and song? Do the Amish people listen to music, and if so, what kind do they prefer?
There is a shroud of mystery surrounding this topic, mostly due to the well-known ban on secular vices. But music, and the enjoyment of it, has many forms. So you can fully understand the Amish attitude to musical activities, we created this short guide to the Amish and music.
What this article covers:
Can the Amish Listen to Music?
Do Amish people listen to music? Is it allowed within the confines of the strict Amish lifestyle and culture? Yes, the Amish may listen to music, but it has to be music that is uplifting, and culturally appropriate.
This means that sacred music like church hymns, and even country or classical music, is acceptable. Keep in mind, the Amish don’t have radios or television. They’re allowed to listen to live music though, and many Amish attend outdoor music concerts in the countryside.
You may even have seen some of them at an outdoor country music concert, enjoying picnic lunches from one of their distinctive Amish Baskets. These handmade vintage picnic baskets are perfect for your outdoor picnics too, so be sure to order yours today.
Do the Amish Play Music?
The Amish place great importance on work, their family and household duties, and church attendance. However, they do allow time just for fun! Every second Sunday is a day for family bonding, socializing with friends, and enjoying hobbies.
What do the Amish do on Sundays off? They’re free to engage in leisure activities if they so choose. Amish people are very hardworking. They grow their own crops, make their own furniture and clothes. And they do all of that without electricity!
It’s important to have a period of rest for the body and mind. The Amish know this and encourage Amish games, artistic endeavors, and sports for this well-deserved break. But what about the playing of music? Is it allowed as one of the Amish leisure activities?
Do the Amish Play Musical Instruments?
The Amish don’t play musical instruments, and the reasons behind that are far more straightforward than you might think.
There can be no doubt that musical ability is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. And this universal trait has a very long history, indeed.
Unfortunately, musical talent isn’t equal among the members of any group. As is the case with most abilities, some have more musical talent than others. Therein lies the danger for the Amish, as this could lead to boastfulness and pride.
They appreciate the talent that goes into playing musical instruments, and many Amish enjoy listening to folk music. However, they don’t play musical instruments themselves.
Do the Amish Sing?
For almost as long as there has been music, people have been motivated to sing in accompaniment to it. Of course, as a devoutly religious society, the Amish are well acquainted with singing. They love hymns and religious choruses as much as any other religious group.
Singing, like the playing of musical instruments, is something that is greatly enhanced by innate talent. And the Amish respect that talent. They love to sing, as evidenced by their group singing of hymns. The important distinction is that they don’t do so for the gratification of their egos.
Whether or not they goof around singing and dancing in front of the mirror at home is debatable, but it’s not likely. The Amish can use mirrors, but never for vanity. It’s seen as a functional item, only.
Are the Amish Allowed to Dance?
Music can certainly lift spirits. Folk music is an important part of keeping culture and lore alive, and hymns are one of the most beautiful expressions of spirituality and faith. Dancing, however, is a different matter.
Although the many different forms of dance in the world all have their unique beauty, many ultra-orthodox religious groups shy away from dance. You’re probably curious about ceremonies where dancing is traditionally involved, like wedding receptions. Do Amish people dance at weddings?
Another event that many of you may associate with listening to music and dancing, is birthdays. Especially milestone birthday parties. Do the Amish celebrate birthdays? Yes, they do. Amish people aren’t all that different from the rest of society as you may think.
There are Amish weddings and birthdays. Amish adoption isn’t unheard of, either. They work, they have hobbies, and they even play sports. But they seek to avoid secular distractions, vanity, and pride in all that they do. And they do so by avoiding most secular forms of musical enjoyment and dancing.
The Amish people have many rules and traditions, and these are often misunderstood. But this is what has kept their culture alive for centuries.
Despite their avoidance of musical instrument playing, radios, and dancing, the Amish love singing. And they do so to the glory of God, only. This is the theme that runs through every Amish activity, from the family room to the farm.
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