“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” Hunter S. Thompson
No other phenomenon keeps the soul rejuvenated more than music. There are many things that keep our lives exciting, but music is among the few that can keep us engaged every single day of the year without getting us tired. Music does not require much effort to listen to and unlike other hobbies, music has the least risks. It is also the most universally consumed commodity right after air, food and shelter. There is no single culture on this earth that does not have its own form of music. This is so because music has many functions in society. It has many applicability in religious, social and political spheres of life. Music is therefore a mirror to society.
Music for Entertainment
The first function of music is entertainment. Where do we go to when we just want to let go of stressful lives for a while? We all seek solace in music. Regardless of the genre we listen to, music has a way of keeping our bodies gyrating with energy. Sometimes we have no control over them. We just find ourselves nodding our heads, stamping our feet or jumping up and dancing to the rhythm. We are transported to a musical world, where we are all united regardless of where we come from and just party from dusk till dawn. Ooh! And there are no hangovers either.
Music for Love
Love makes the world go round, but nothing spices love more than soft and soothing sound playing in the background. Look at all the people around the world, what do they have in common? They all listen to love music. It makes them think about their partners and makes them love them more. This genre revolves around issues of relationships, such as cheating, breakups and most importantly celebrating love. When it comes to the ugly side of relationships, such as boredom, cheating and loss of passion, love music encourages the affected individuals not to give up. They should look for partners, who will cherish them more. Love can be rekindled over and over again thanks to music.
Music for the Depressed
Depression comes in many ways, maybe through loss of a loved one, being different in society, going through tough times, or heartbroken from a failed relationship. There is music for these kinds of people. Although most of it falls in the religious category, there are secular varieties ready to do their magic. Music helps the soul heal. It talks to you and lets you know it understands. Through music, you realize that somebody else went through the same ordeal and pulled through it successfully. So, never give up. All these things are meant to happen for a reason and you should therefore salvage yourself from your misery, keep your head up and let time do its magic. In the end, time heals everything.
Music for Inspiration
Many motivational speakers will tell you that the best way to start your day is by listening to one of your favorite songs to pump your energy juices up. Check out these two scenarios. The first person is woken up by an alarm, sluggishly walks to the bathroom and brushes his teeth with his eyes half closed. The warm bath and the aroma of coffee do not rejuvenate his spirits and he spends all his time on the road cursing at the heavy traffic.
Then we have this other person, who wakes up five minutes before the alarm goes off. Turns on one of his favorite tracks and is basically dancing in the shower. The heavy traffic does not bother him as he is bumping to his favorite playlist. Who is likely to have a better day? It is obviously the second person. That is the power of music. We all go through phases where we lose confidence in our abilities. Inspiration music is created for that purpose: to remind us that we are wonderfully made and if we set our minds to whatever we want, we can do it. Inspiration music is therefore the go to music when we go for a run, or when we hit the gym or when we do anything that requires a bit of resilience on our part.
Music as Societal Commentary
As previously stated, music mirrors what goes on in society at a particular time. For instance, if everything is peaceful the music will be more fun and loving. If however there is political instability, then the music is likely to be more militant. Music highlights whatever goes on around us. It celebrates our heroes, while making fun of our enemies. It condemns social evils and praises virtues. It gives us direction when we feel stuck and gives us hope when nothing seems to work. It keeps us unified and patriotic to our great nation, as we sing our national anthem.
Music as a Therapy Tool
Music is being adopted in the field of medicine as a therapy tool. Music is very effective in calming patients with anxieties and stress related problems. It is therefore used in treatment of high blood pressure and autism. Studies show that patients suffering from high blood pressure showed signs of improvement when they consistently listened to music than their counterparts who did not. It is also used to rectify speech impairment in autistic children.
Music as a Torture Weapon
Known as “acoustic bombardment” a term coined by Suzanne G. Cusick, music as a torture weapon has been used by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan to coerce enemy troops into submission. Music is blared so loud to the point that it is unbearable, which subsequently forces the enemy troops to surrender from their hideouts. It is one of the most preferred interrogation methods in Guantanamo Bay.
Music is used in all facets of human life that it is impossible to exhaust all its functions in one article. It infiltrates into our emotions and controls how we behave. Corporations know the power that music wields over people and they subsequently use music and musicians to advertise their commodities. Although we tend to underestimate music, it is not possible for humans to survive without music. It has been there since humans existed and it will continue being there as long as humans continue living on this earth.
- The Power of Music To Reduce Stress | Psych Central
- The power of music – UK Essays
- The Power of Music | Teen Opinion Essay | Teen Ink