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Art and Music of Creation

             Michelangelo's depiction of the Creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as well as Franz Josef Haydn's "The Creation" both serve as artistic enhancers to a better understanding of the Creation story as told in Genesis. They provide a more "hands-on" approach to looking at the biblical story and provide illustrations that make it easier to visualize what went on. In "The Creation," the varying tone and rhythm helped to emphasize the more significant parts of the story. Also the way Michelangelo strategically placed certain scenes and characters in his paintings also help aim the focal point to the more important parts of the biblical context. In general, both Haydn's "The Creation" as well as Michelangelo's paintings, help to illustrate and provoke a better understanding, as well as an appreciation, for the Creation story as told in Genesis.
             Haydn primarily focuses on the use of tone in order to emphasize what he feels is most pertinent to the creation story. He tends to have bolder, harsher tones during the more significant events, such as the creation of Adam and Eve, in order to capture the attention of his listeners. Haydn also uses beat and rhythm to describe the creation; he composed the music so that the rhythm is unbalanced and less harmonic to describe chaos, and as God slowly brings the world to order through Creation, the music slowly becomes more orderly and harmonic. This can be seen very clearly in Part One section one of the piece. In the piece, when God creates the seas as well as the fishes, a more pastoral and romantic tone can be heard. This is Haydn's way of emphasizing the natural element of God's creation; especially in Part Two section eighteen, the sound of the angels striking their harps almost sounds like fish or whales. In general, Haydn uses "The Creation" as his artistic impression of the Creation by using different elevations of tone and rhythm to portray God's act of changing chaos into natural order.

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