How many of us truly realise the power of music upon us, both emotionally and psychologically?
Not only does music stir our emotions, it also brings back memories of the past and heightens our awareness of our present dreams and desires. Romantic passions are rekindled in the depths of our minds and our hearts swell with the power of music.
Music has always had a sacred purpose too…
It can be used to induce altered states of consciousness in many religious traditions both past and present. Likewise, the negative effects of some music can disturb our psyche and unnerve us. We are a culture addicted to sound. There is rarely peace and silence in our midst.
There is also a strong link between the music we listen to and depression. Certain genres of music incite violence and aggression and sexual immorality.
Whether we are aware of it or not, the music industry is consciously “attacking” us with their popular music and intending to manipulate us. There are formulaic approaches to writing hit songs and this “canned music” manipulates us into buying the latest songs and accompanying merchandise.
Music has become the signature of subcultures trying to express their cause and powerfully express their feelings. Think of the Nkosi’ Sikelel iAfrica and “Give me Hope Johanna”. What powerful images do they conjure up in your mind? These songs were so powerful that they were banned during the apartheid era in South Africa.
Composer Arvo Part was quoted as saying that people do not know how powerful music is for both good and bad. “You can kill people with sound,” he stated. “And if you can kill, maybe there is also sound that is the opposite of killing. And the distance between the two points is very big. And you are free – you can choose.”
How powerful is music in your life? Do you believe that it can be used for both good and bad purposes? And to what extent does it affect your thought processes and attitudes? I look forward to your feedback.
by Elizabeth Kahn
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