Music inspires, motivates, and changes moods in an instant. The power of music to connect with events and bring people together (or break them apart) is phenomenal. Think about your favorite song. When you hear it, what does it remind you of? There’s a story behind it. Your story. No matter what the artist thought when they wrote the song, to you it’s a vivid connection to something deeper and personal.
Music is as old as mankind. There are numerous examples of music and instruments from antiquity. Ancient Greeks used music in festivals, funerals, weddings and when reciting epic poems. archaeological evidence suggests music permeated ancient cultures. It’s an old, artistic form that seems to never lose its significance.
Musical tastes change over time, but its significance never does. In ancient civilizations, it was one of the highest forms of culture. The same could be argued today. The ability to craft beautiful sounds from instruments or by voice is a skill to be envied. Arranging sounds to create a desired mood or emotional connection is an art.
From rap to classical to world music, all of it is created by an individual (or group) willing to express themselves to a greater audience. Baring one’s soul in the form of a dirge or ballad can be traumatic for the artist and the listener. But it can also form a connection between them. It’s this element of closeness that draws listeners into the world of the artist. For a brief moment the listener gains insight into a world beyond their own, or have their worldview reinforced by the musician.
Music is an important art form. It defines us. It shapes us. It informs our social view and sometimes gets us to act. When a crisis arises, music is one of the first places people find refuge in. Musicians are quick to act when something goes wrong. Think about “We Are the World” or more recently the terrorist attacks in Paris. Musicians were some of the first to respond to the situations bringing people together.
No matter your personal taste, music means something to you. We don’t all agree what the message is, but there is one to be heard. Sometimes it’s nothing more than party sounds. Other times it’s deep and emotional. The connection between sound and listener can be a powerful motivator and has been for centuries.