Imagine, please a world without music. A world with no catchy pop songs, no soothing lullabies, no stirring symphonies.
Have I depressed you? Yes, a world without music is quite a dull and unappealing prospect.
Music is such a huge part of our lives. Why?
Because music appeals to virtually the whole range of human emotions.
Because music speaks straight to our heart, it has power.
What reaction do we normally see when music is played?
Depending on the type of song or music, feet will soon start tapping, bodies swaying, fingers snapping, voices humming. An entire audience can be affected!
Music evokes spontaneous reactions from its listeners. The journal Perceptual and Motor Skills expresses it this way:
“Music has the power to create feelings and emotions in a quick and effective manner. What in a book would require many sentences for description . . . , in music can often be conveyed by just one measure or one chord.”
Also, the book Music and the Mind makes this interesting observation:
“There is a closer relation between hearing and emotional arousal than there is between seeing and emotional arousal. . . . Seeing a wounded animal or suffering person who is silent may produce little emotional response in the observer. But once they start to scream, the onlooker is usually powerfully moved.”
Why are we so moved by music? The answer really is quite simple. Music is a beautiful gift from God. As such, we should value it and music should be wholesome and available to all.
Music actually has a very long history.
Archaeological evidence indicates that centuries before our common era peoples around the world had been enjoying music.
All people of the world, including the most isolated tribal groups have music.
What does this tell you?
Of course to be able to enjoy instrumental music in ancient times, you had to play an instrument or listen to someone who could.
Nowadays though, music is ready and available to millions of people at the touch of a button or the click of a mouse. All forms of it can be recorded or downloaded and played on tiny devices that can be slipped into your pocket.
As a young person, I well know the importance of music to many my age. The love of bands is an endless story with many teenagers around the world (*cough cough 1D for example*). Music has even been called 'part of teenage metabolism.'
Music has been used in medicine, due to its numerous health benefits.
The book, Principles and Practice of Stress Management explains why we see music used everywhere: 'Among the reasons for the existence of music in virtually every culture is its ability to draw out and maintain human health and wellbeing.'
Another reference explains that when we sing our entire body resounds and vibrates. In turn, gentle vibrations help tissues relax and dilate, which can help to reduce pain. Music is therapeutic!
Some therapists encourage patients suffering from stress to listen to soothing music, which can improve one's mood. Doesn’t it feel great to listen to a song that you love? How uplifting it can be. Have you ever felt like a song expresses exactly what you are going through, that it revives and comforts you? That is the power of music.
Some hospitals even pipe music into intensive care units. Premature babies as well as surgery patients often respond well to pleasant music. Music can help create a relaxed atmosphere for tense patients and reduce anxiety in pregnant women during labour and delivery.
Let us look at some examples of the way music has been used to influence people.
For centuries, politicians and rulers have used the power of music to sway people's hearts. In what way?
By means of national anthems and patriotic songs. Hitler and the Nazi Party used the national anthem (Deutschland, Deutschland über alles - meaning Germany, Germany, above all else) to lead the masses into submission and prepare crowds to listen to Hitler's mesmerizing speeches.
Today we see the power of music in radio and television advertising.
Many commercials are accompanied by music. They feature popular songs and tunes that you just cannot get out of your head. Why?
Because they know it works. They are aware of the power of music, and the effect it can have on the minds of viewers. With the aid of music, a product's name and slogan can be engraved on the minds of those watching- even children and infants.
It is a good idea to be informed of the potential of music. So what is the harmful impact that music can have on minds?
Links between certain types of music and sex, suicide and antisocial behaviour have been well documented. The truthfulness of this has been seen by some parents who have observed their teenagers becoming gloomy and uncooperative after feeding on a steady diet of heavy metal music and rap. Yes, music can affect our hearts and mind, either for good or for bad.
Music has such a powerful effect!
Next time you enjoy music, remember the power of music and how important it is in our lives. But also you may want to be even more alert to what music you choose- since music can have such an impact on us.
The power of music is real and music is another blessing that makes our lives so much more exciting. Thank you for reading this article!
'If music be the food of love, play on'. - William Shakespeare.
'Where words fail, music speaks.' - Hans Christian Andersen.
'Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.' - Jimi Hendrix.
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