Do you ever wonder why music is such an integral part of not only our society, but across the world? Music serves a purpose for humanity and is sometimes the only force that truly keeps us human. It’s an expression of emotion when words cannot explain what goes on in our heads and our souls.
Music has evolved in different ways all over the world, but the fact is, it has become a staple and a representation for every single culture. There appears to be a biological component with music—our ability, no matter what culture, to create rhythm and melody—it ingrained in our fabric.
Music is a social experience. Whether you are listening to another person’s stories and feelings and connecting with it, or going to a show with other people—music unites us in unprecedented ways. Humans in a general sense are social beings and one reason why music is so integral to most societies is that it facilitates connection between us all.
The ironic thing is that even though music is something that is a shared commonality between us all, each individual takes something different out of music. The personal significance for each listener reflects the basic idea of humanity—we have commonalities that thread its way between us all and yet we are still so different and unique from one another.
The incredible nature of music is that it can never stop expanding, reflecting the multifaceted nature of humanity. Music exists as an ever-growing, dynamic organism. As people change, so does music in both composition and theme.
But as a culture, we must not lose sight of the real brilliance of music. The United States is a commercialized country. Branding and the music industry are inextricably linked, for better or for worse, and the artists who can sell more are the ones with the most promotion. All of this is not necessarily bad, but it can lead to a culture that prioritizes the conventional over the extraordinary.
It’s important to maintain music that has sincere emotion in it, because that’s its core purpose. Aspects of raw feeling, reliability and honesty in music are paramount because that’s where the soul is felt. Music reflects and affects our greater society’s psyche, so whatever kind of music we prioritize and make mainstream in-turn reflects who we are as people and what we stand for.
Ultimately, music will survive on and thrive because it’s a necessity for the soul. It’s medicine that cannot necessarily be quantified in how greatly it impacts listeners, but most people around the world have a bond with music that cannot be broken.
There is a documentary entitled “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory,” that showcases the power of music and how it chronicles people’s lives. The documentary follows Dan Cohen, a social worker and founder of Music and Memory (a non-profit organization), as he visits nursing homes to play the favorite songs of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Some could not speak, move or recognize their surroundings, but when their favorite songs played, their eyes lit up, their bodies started moving and they started singing and communicating in ways never before witnessed by the nursing staff. It was a true testament to the power of music.
Music awakens the soul, spirit and mind. It’s medicine that will continue to evolve along with us, for it’s a reflection, and necessity, of humanity. It’s important to not lose sight as to why such a force is so integral to humanity.