I don’t usually wax poetic as I am not that kind of writer, my mind just doesn’t go that direction and I would not know or understand a poem if it came up and bit my head off, but I just had this rush of thoughts that I wanted to share. They are inspired by reading a couple of other blogs whose authors wrote what I consider to be profound and excellent articles on the subject from their perspective. So I’ll give mine.
What is music to me? In a nutshell, music is life. We need music, whether we realize it or not. Believe it or not, when we really listen to music (any type of music), we not only hear it, but feel it as well. Many experience whether often or sporadic that time when we hear a certain song that just moves us. Not just moves us to dance, I’m talking about moving our souls or our essence. You know, that song you hear once and can’t get out of your head, or some emotion you feel upon hearing a certain song or some memory it brings back to you. It can be happy, sad, pleasant, and almost the whole range of feelings. Music can make you laugh, cry, think, sing, have fondness, dance, remind you to call a friend, inspire you to create or just dream.
Music is the great communicator and if historical memory serves, the first form of communication according to anthropological, archaeological and historic evidence. Music goes back to the beginning of time, all the way back to when the first caveman hit the first log with a stick or uttered the first “ugh”.
Music is not just human-made, but found in nature. The birds (no, not those Byrds, although they are a delightful listen too), real birds. They communicate by music. Have you ever just listened to a variety of birds? So many different notes and patterns, it is an actual language too. Spoken languages are the same. There are different pitches and rhythmic patterns in languages, just as there are in music. This is why it is a little easier to learn another language with music. (Of course, to retain that knowledge formal lessons and practice are required), but music makes it easier to recognize patterns in the language. For example, I personally learned the one hit wonder Nina’s “99 Luft Balloons (99 Red Balloons) in German by listening to it many times and going section by section in the pattern of the music. (I got to the point that I could recite the entire thing, but did not keep with practice, so I can’t recall it anymore now).
So really, whether we realize it or not, our world is made of music in a sense. Think about it, from the birds singing to our language to the ring tones on our cell phones, everything has a music element to it. Believe it or not, there are people (although very rare) who don’t like music. That’s always been a mystery to me, how someone can not like music while being in a world surrounded by it, but to each their own.
I personally believe in the ability of music to not only communicate, but through that communication, aid in emotional healing, which in turn can help in physical healing too.
As I’ve stated in previous articles (which are located to the right if your curious), that music is one of the most powerful forces known. It’s an energy, if you will indulge me that description. Remember I mentioned that music can inspire you to dream? Music has the ability to let you journey in your mind, if you will. I’ve put on music, closed my eyes and just let it take me where it wanted to go or played a movie in my mind or just painted pictures. It doesn’t matter if there are lyrics or not either. I’ve sat down to listen to a classical piece and it gave me pictures of horses frolicking in pastures just by the pattern of the music.
Music also has the ability to unite and create meaningful dialog, we have seen evidence of that throughout recent history. I believe if more people really listened to music, any type they like, that there would be less violence and greater communication and we humans would have a greater sense of true community, not based on or in some political cause or making of leaders, but true common threads with room for enjoyment. I believe this because just on the surface, if engaged in listening to music, there is not a feeling of need or time to do anything else so to speak. In fact, music was part of the reason that the Berlin wall came down! Yes, many music artists were calling for that for a number of years and even did concerts to aid that event to happen eventually. Some bid name artists involved in that effort were David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen to name only two, there were others. It was not strictly politics that influenced the event, music had a role to play in it because music brings folks together and inspires positive change. That was just one example.
Another one of the beautiful aspects about music and it’s powers and abilities is that music never forces itself upon anyone. I’m not talking about hard rock with wailing guitars or any genre in particular. I’m talking about the native nature of music itself. Music is never forceful. Music is generous, music is cordial, music opens the door for you so to speak, music’s nature is gentle and inviting.
So I encourage everyone to embrace their music and let it be an intricate part of your life.