“Mr. preacher: Does the Bible authorize clapping as accompaniment or an aid to singing in worship, like a song book or a pitch pipe?”
A pitch pipe helps to obtain the pitch to start the song. The song book helps with words and music. The worshiper is doing nothing but singing. When he starts clapping, he is no longer just singing; he is singing AND clapping. Clapping is not an aid; it is an addition, just as an instrument is. It does not aid the “teaching” and the “admonition” of the words in a song (Eph 5:19: Col3:16). We must discern the difference between an “aid” and an “addition.” This is crucial. Clapping is not an expedient; it is an innovation like whistling or playing an instrument. Singing is intended to convey “understanding” (I Cor 4:15). Clapping is a form of percussion similar to the music we produce on a drum; one is “live skin” (clap) and the other is “dead skin” (drum) as Dr. Earl Edwards at FHU
correctly observes. Many scholars concur:Everett Ferguson, M.C. Kurfees, Jack Lewis, Hugo McCord, J.H. Thayer, W.E. Vine, N.B. Hardeman, Justin Martyr, Theodoret of Cyrrhus (c.393-458). See hundreds of studies on Google such as “Clapping as an Accompaniment to Singing in Worship” by Wayne Jackson.
Ask for my booklet on the subject.