The role that music plays in our lives is more than significant. Music shapes cultural movements and unites people within generations. Due to biological or evolutionary reasons, people have assigned certain meaning to music and continue using it as a powerful instrument of influence and a tool for learning and development. The fact that people are drawn to music is worth exploring, and there has been some research on the topic.
Some theories suggest that, over the process of evolution, people have developed communication. Speech serves as its main instrument. However, many researchers believe that speech is something secondary to sounds and their sequences and combinations. Music here serves as a bridge between primitive cries, which can be observed as a communication means among animals, and human speech. Just like speech, music follows certain rules, has a structure, and is, somewhat, a language on its own.
The most fascinating characteristic of music is that it brings certain capacities of humans in close coordination with each other. There is more to music than just sound. It is also melody and rhythm, and often words. Thus, when people listen to music, they move along with it (motoric reaction), experience images, and feel emotions. Moreover, there is a significant social component in it.
It has been proved that music is related to creativity, and not only among artists. The lives of a number of geniuses, including Albert Einstein and Frank Lloyd Wright, confirm this. A number of innovators were involved with music in some way. For example, a physicist of Russian descent, Leo Theremin, apart from inventing sound alarm systems and a number of tools used in espionage, is best known for his invention of a theremin, a musical instrument that uses a magnetic field and which people can play without touching it. Great inventors, mathematicians, and physical theorists were drawn to music either seeking inspiration in it or being fascinated by the musical code.
A famous anthropologist Oliver Sacks called humans ‘musical species’, which implies that music can affect numerous aspects of human lives. Thus, through listening to music, people can manipulate their own emotions and psychological well-being, as well as become depressed after listening to certain pieces of music. It has been also found that clinical patients with untreatable conditions can improve their quality of life significantly, due to their engagement with music. Sacks himself studied patients with Alzheimer’s disease, their response to music and their feeling of ‘triumph’ as they found comfort in it.
Due to the impact that music can have on people’s lives, it can be used in various areas. Thus, as it was already mentioned before, music helps therapists and psychiatrists calm patients and empower them. Teachers use music as an educational tool which allows children and students to memorize the materials more effectively and in a certain context. Organizational managers can use music to inspire creativity in employees, so that they can be more spontaneous in finding solutions to a range of problems. There are innumerous applications of music that people can come up with. However, it should be remembered that music can serve both good purposes and be an instrument of mass manipulation.
- Benzon W. Beethoven’s Anvil: Music In Mind And Culture. Basic Books, 2001.
- Levitin DJ. This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. Dutton Adult, 2006.
- Sacks O. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition. Vintage, 2008.
- Jordania J. Who Asked the First Question? The Origins of Human Choral Singing, Intelligence, Language and Speech. Logos, 2006.
- Wallin NL, Merker B, Brown S. The Origins of Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.
- Hagen EH, Bryant GA. “Music and dance as a coalition signaling system.” Human Nature, 14 (1), 2003.
- Brown S. “The ‘Musilanguage’ Model of Music Evolution.” The Origins of Music. The MIT Press, 1999.
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“If music be the food of love, play on.” –William Shakespeare
Music is one of the mildest features of life today without which, there is hardly any scope to survive well. In turbulent times nowadays when violence and extremism have crept into the human lives in almost every single sphere of lives, fine arts like music can calm down and sober the situation to an extent.
In fact, if one has the heart to listen carefully, then music is spread throughout nature and all around us. The natural music that has been depleted to a large extent by urbanization and has rather been replaced by too much of annoying noise all over still persists silently beyond the chaos. As soon as the chaos die down, the music of nature can be heard and felt, especially in the morning and night time that helps the humans to rejuvenate and start fighting for a new day once again. This reminds of the fact that music indeed is necessary nowadays although quite unknowingly it has taken a significant position in the modern lives.
How can music make lives better?
In the most basic form, music is one of the fine arts, which means that it is created out of innovation, technical and imaginative skills through various types of musical instruments that can be broadly divided into string instruments, percussion instruments, and air instruments. Each of these emits a different type of pleasant music that is very soothing to hear and pleasing for the ears as well. However, apart from the entertaining aspects, music also has a major role to play in several other ways in the lives of the people today. The prominence of music in the recent times cannot even be envisaged. However, here are some points that can summarize a few factors related to the importance of music in life:
- As Greek philosopher Plato has put it, ‘Music for the realization of soul’, makes it an essential part of education as well. This is because it is believed that music has a direct connection own self and therefore, it helps an individual to relax and reflect upon the various facets of characteristics related to self. This not only helps the person to understand the gray areas and improve upon the same but also aid in the process of overall mental and personality development because the brain cells find a path to express through music.
- Music is also a very powerful medicine and in the real sense of the term. It has got a wonderful healing power owing to the melody that it carries along with it and this aid in the process of mending the morose mood of a person. Not only that, music will immediately make one feel refreshed who had otherwise been drained out of exhaustion and fatigue. Mental illnesses nowadays are being given special musical therapy in order to cure the patients because studies and researches have revealed that music eases the muscles of the body as well as the brain that assists in the normal functioning as a whole. Diseases like insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks, etc. have been found to be getting moderated and even cured due to the application of music therapy. This is the reason that music therapy has become pretty widespread today even in the medical science department. Just as a child feels safest and soundest in the mother’s lap, the patients too, have quite a similar feeling altogether when music plays.
- The most vital aspect of music is the emotional enhancement that it provides for any human being who listens to it. There are various forms of music and in different languages spread across the length and breadth of the globe. No matter what variations there are in the patterns of the different forms of music today, all of these have emotionally helped the individuals in all kinds of situations. The soft music has aided in bringing down the negativity inside the mind and out whereas some jazz and rock music have shaped a person’s mind in some different manner. Music is there for hard as well as good times and there is no way one can stay aloof from the same. In fact, the language and cultural barriers meltdown with music and this help in breaking the boundaries of the countries. Intermingling between nations becomes easier and international peace and harmony also tends to get restored.
Also read:Importance of Love in our life
What music does to our lives, cannot be put down in words in a complete way because words are too short to express the same. However, it can be stated that music is the magical power that keeps the mankind intact still today.