Updated: Jul 15, 2022
The use of music in ritual is nothing new and is a phenomenon you see in religious practice in many different cultures throughout history. Modern paganism is no exception and most people will have come across seasonal songs, chants to raise energy or even devotional music dedicated to specific deities.
What I find fascinating is the idea of using music specifically for magical purposes, invocations and spellcraft. Music has the power to bypass our conscious mind, a great pre-requisite for magic to work! It transcends words, carries emotional responses, and can range from the primal to the subtle, making it incredibly versatile.
To give an example for something less obvious than good old drumming: try transcribing a deity name into a musical chord. You could develop your own way of associating the letters of the alphabet with musical notes and use that as a basis to translate the name into notes. Alternatively maybe use the correspondences described in this interesting blogpost (which also touches on the Pythagorean concept of the “music of the spheres” … but I leave that rabbit hole for another day!).
Using this system for the god Apollo for instance I landed on a beautifully evocative note sequence. Researching old lyre music (as you do…) led to further interesting discoveries and ultimately I ended up with a transcription of an ancient ode to Apollo incorporating my own chosen notes which has now become a very powerful and personal invocation to him.