“Music is the shorthand of emotion”, Leo Tolstoy
Even little babies respond to music, wiggling their toes, their body language showing how happy they are with the music. There is something in music that goes straight to the core of humans. Research has also shown the good effect music has on animals and even plants.
Music industry today is a multi-billion business like apparels and food industry…clearly showing that like the other two, music is indispensable for humans. Music aficionados will spend as much on music as they will on food and clothing. Hi-Fi nuts are known to spend fortunes on extreme music system in an attempt to recreate even the tiniest nuances of music perfectly.
Just like food, there is so much variety in music. There is Indian classical and western classical—very serious and complicated. It needs knowledge to appreciate the finer points of classic music. It works at a different level. One may have to be trained from childhood to know this. However, not everyone has to listen to classical music. Simple folk music, the sound of drums as an accompaniment to a single instrument, is enough to set blood racing and foot tapping. Music that goes to your core makes you want to dance. It gives you good feelings all over that your body wants to express through motion. Look all around and we see people, especially youth of today, plugged into their mobiles, listening to their favorite music. Food, you can have three times a day. Music, you must have all the time. It makes you feel more alive, refreshed and re-energized.
E.Y. Harburg said, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
He said it all. Listen to good song and you feel full, delighted, carried away. If one is feeling lonely, desperate, sad or simply down, good music recharges our mind. It makes one feel revitalized. Music can be inspirational and creative, giving people the power and creative push they need. People listen to music while working. Why? It makes them feel good and hours pass. Good music also improves efficiency at work and at the end of the day, you don't feel tired and washed out.
It is simple soul speak. Music and songs have timelessness and endure. Music elevates. Music is for memories. Good music is linked to memories—sad, happy, memorable, laughter, love and all emotions. Emotions are best expressed in the form of music or paintings. Words do not do justice to feelings and thoughts. Music does sublimely.
Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. -- John Erskine
There is something about music and your favorite music that you can listen to the same piece again and again for years and years. You never get tired of it. One can get tired of reading the same book or watching the same movie but music—never.
Hindi film music songs are so popular today, even 50 to 60 years after they were first created.
Jazz music of the 1940s and 1950s is still popular. Why? It is simple soul speak.
Music, emotions, dance, expressions…these words are closely intermingled. Music and dance can combine to let a person express his innermost feelings that words cannot. Music fuels dance and rhythmic movement. Or, when one is sitting quietly at night and listening to chamber music, it can take your soul out to space and unite you with the cosmos. Music has that power; it can calm you, infuse you with spirituality, give divine bliss or shake you out of lethargy and get you dancing. When you dance to music, it is your soul that dances.
At times one may have wondered why cultures evolved so differently across the world. Today however, one is thankful that Japan and China have different culture reflected in their music, western culture and its music, and Indian culture and its music. The music of each has a different flavor and a taste and like the cuisines of those countries, reflects the thoughts, lifestyles and feelings with dashes of history and lifestyles.
Very few parents have had the fortune to study music formally or have gone to the trouble of listening to a vast canvas of music encompassing Indian classical, western classical, Jazz, Hindustani instrumental vocal, rock N roll, blues, Japanese and Chinese music. However, if one does get the chance, and with internet here, it is not difficult, it is worthwhile making the effort to listen to the music of different countries.
The Andean music can give you feelings of being transported to those heights and vast empty spaces. The Santoor of Kashmir can give you rich mental imagery of water playfully gurgling and cascading and the rain shimmering down in a fascinating interplay with light. The violins notes can pierce you right to the soul. Drums and heavy bass from rock N roll can really give you a punch where it matters.
Music was also essential in times gone by to infuse warriors with courage and spur them on in battle. Religious fervour can go into a frenzy of spiritual devotion given the power of hymns and rhythmic chants.
Almost all living beings like music to some extent. There are very few human beings who do not enjoy music. Those blessed with a musical intelligence will not only love music but create music and humanity should be thankful to these geniuses who provide food for the soul from a granary that never exhausts but is always renewed.
Music has shown its curative powers too and patients are known to recover fast when they listen to the right music. Music cuts across cultural and language barriers and appeals to the innate soul in human beings. It has united people in a common bond and there are instances of powerful music pieces that electrify and set you alive, no matter what language it is in or to what cultural background it belongs. The soul understands music.
We stand with our feet on the earth, our physical being anchored to a solid foundation. Our soul needs music to stand on. For the soul, music is more than earth, it is light, water, energy and space.