Music is an art that is shared by almost everyone in the world. It is literally a universal language and the use of sound to communicate and express emotion is prevalent in almost every species. A world without music would be a very cold world, indeed.
We all know that music is good for us. What do you do to make a film more interesting? You add music. How do you get people to remember your product? You add music. How do you tell someone you love them? You put on some romantic music and stutter out the words.
Music is awesome.
But you might not be aware of just how awesome music can be. It is an incredible art form that crosses boundaries and brings people together. It can influence your mood and trigger your memory.
Music Helps You Share Ideas
One of the main reasons that music is so popular is that it is a way to share ideas. Like all art forms, music allows people to share their ideas without necessarily relying on words and language. Though the meaning may not always be completely clear, music is great for sparking conversation. And there are few topics as controversial as what constitutes good music!
Music is also extremely shareable. We all love listening to the same music as our friends and most music promotion relies on word of mouth recommendations. We want to get in on the musical zeitgeist of our time. When you look back on our childhood, you probably remember what you were singing along to or dancing around your bedroom to most.
But music is also fundamental to spreading political ideas and how political candidates present themselves is often characterized by the playlist they select. You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of music they listen to. This is probably why it is so painful when politicians pretend to like a particular genre of music that they so clearly have never listen to in their life. We judge them because there is an authenticity in musical preference that simply can’t be replicated.
Music Brings People Together
There is nothing like a music concert to bring people together. It’s no surprise that music festivals are some of the most popular events around the world – we all love to dance, sing and enjoy all kinds of music and every single culture in the world has their own styles. Music doesn’t differentiate – it doesn’t care about your socioeconomic background, your gender, politics or race. If you love the same music as someone else, you probably don’t care about these things either.
If you want to make new friends, music is one of the best ways to bond. Whether you love to go and see live music or you enjoy making your own, music eases social tensions and makes it easier for people to get along. Joining a band or an orchestra is also great for forming social bonds because you have to work together to create the sound you want.
When you share something like music, you will find that you become more tolerant of other people. Musicians are good at disagreeing amicably, for one thing. We are all aware and proud of having different tastes, which is perhaps why musicians are so good at talking to each other without falling out! Or perhaps why string players tend to hang out with other string players and the brass stick together!
Music Expresses Difficult Emotions
If sharing ideas is hard enough, trying to express an emotion using language is almost impossible. Language doesn’t come close to expressing something so complex as emotion – even its poets do a little bit better than most of us. Because emotions are intangible, sometimes, they need something more than the structures enforced by the language.
We all know that when we need a boost, a bouncy beat and a happy melody make all the difference. We also know that when films want to evoke a particular mood, they will use a particular style of music – this is why John Willams and Andre Desplat get the big bucks, they are master mood manipulators!
Music is incredibly human. That’s why we love it and recognize the emotions held within the music. Interestingly, it seems that music makes us more aware of our emotions and can impact the way we view the emotions of other people. For example, listening to happy music while looking at smiling faces makes the people in the pictures seem happier. Likewise, sad music makes us perceive sad faces to be even more miserable.
Music Outlasts Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's can rob you of your memories and your personality but it cannot rob you of your music. People with alzheimer's can often remember and sing along to music, particularly the songs from their childhood. This is an incredible discovery because it shows just how fundamental music is to our expression. Even when we have lost language, we can still hum along to our favorite tunes.
Music is great for all dementia patients as it can soothe anxiety and calm them down when they aren’t sure what is going on. Happy music can cheer anyone up and soft gentle music is relaxing, no matter who you are. Music also evokes a sense of place which can be invaluable to someone who is often confused about where they are.
There is no doubt that music is good for the soul. Singing and dancing to music are the most human things we can do and it’s almost impossible to resist tapping your foot to a funky beat. Music stays with us throughout our lives and brings us together. It’s a social glue that helps us to express those things that language simply can’t from complex ideas to emotions.
So listen to music, seek it out wherever you go and try listening to new genres. Open your mind to music and learn from it. Learn to play it! Sing in the shower! Embrace the sounds that are so good for your soul.