The Joys and Magic of Music
What is the one single existing thing today that can bring
people, regardless of race, creed, gender or religion together
as one? Just recently, for the first time in history, a Zulu
Rock concert was performed before a mixed, sell out crowd in
Music is known to transcend bounds that politics can't even get
close to. How important is music in our lives? What control do
we have over the one thing that seems to invade our lives
wherever we go, regardless of our economic status in life?
Music was first born because of primitive man's need to
communicate with a higher being than himself. This was
accomplished first by hand-clapping, foot-stomping or simply
swaying their bodies to and fro, by shouting, grunting,
shreiking and crying.
We still look upon music as one of the most satisfying ways to
express our emotions and feelsing. The whole story of music from
pre-historic times to the present day is a record of human
feeling expressed in rhythm and melody.
In addition to worshipping, man began to use music to hunt, and
to cure the sick. No major event occurred, be it a birth,
betrothal, marriage or death without the occasion being marked
with musical ceremonies.
>From the time of a baby's conception, it begins to absorb sound.
It's mothers heartbeat for example, conversations and daily
sounds. Some of our earliest memories are of the songs learned
Many of these were about historical events, Silent Night, Holy
Night takes us back many years in time. Music was used to
educate long before formal schools existed. Primitive children
learned about their ancestors thru songs and tribal chants. In
music their ancient mores and religions were preserved. Tribal
chieftains and medicine men eventually were replaced by
professional teachers who instructed the young.
As a source of entertainment, which is the prime function
nowadays, music serves us as nothing else can. When we are
tired, weary or discouraged, it can sooth, relax, make one feel
refreshed and renewed. It can furnish us with imaginary
excursions to places that we cannot get to physically.
Doctors have long realized the therapeutic value of music for
the mind. Dr. Emmet Dent, for many superintendant of Manhattan
State Hospital, said, "Music is responsible for cures among the
insane, and improvements of patients seemingly in a hopeless
condition are a little short of marvelous".
Unfortunately, when we are forced to listen to someone else's
music, it is no longer a pleasurable experience. This is an
invasion of our rights. Businesses now use it to lure us inside
of their establishment, attempting to make us feel comfortable
with people that we know nothing about. Doctors use it to keep
us from getting impatient while waiting.
In modern factories and offices, music is used to minimize
boredom and fatigue. It is "scientifically" controlled to fit
the mood of the day and the nature of work.
We have become so accustomed to living with music that many of
us feel psychologically insecure when we are left to ourselves,
with our own thoughts. To what effect is the music that is heard
so prominently today? It is known that soft music calms while
loud blaring music excites and stimulates the senses.
Undoubtedly the music heard throughout our daily lives influence
Hence, we hear of riots at rock concerts. On the other hand,
picture a mother rocking a baby to sleep with a lullabye. Music
is an important, vital force in our lives.
The additional leisure which machines have brought us has
increased our boredom, as most os us are ill-prepared to
entertain ourselves. But in our search for entertainment, let us
take care that we do not spend a large portion of our day
hearing songs about the anxiety and problems of the world as
being reflected in the eratic character of the popular songs and
harsh, biting music.