Music - The Powerful Vibe
Most of us can easily identify a favorite song, whether from our childhood, or something current. When I was younger, there was a rousing rendition of a song about Strawberry Shortcake that I still remember (don’t ask) and now, my all-time favorite song is “Payphone,” by Maroon 5. It’s not exactly an inspirational song, nor can I remember the last time I even used a payphone, but nevertheless, every time I hear it, I feel empowered. It cheers me up. I sing along. I actually have seven different versions of the song.
Music is used everywhere to illicit some kind of emotion—we hear it in the grocery stores and doctors offices, in commercials, in movies, and in television. The range of just exactly what the 8-note scale can do is astounding, and you can get almost anyone to tell you about their favorite music.
Shockingly, there are some people out there that are just not interested in music. While this seems somewhat impossible, a recent study done at the University of Barcelona found out that it is actually true.
With regard to people who don't care about music, the neuroscientist Josep Marco-Palleres states, "Music isn’t rewarding for them, even though other kids of rewards, like money, are. It just doesn’t affect them,” he told theverge.com.
Wait—what? How is that possible? It’s unknown, Marco-Palleres says, just why music isn’t of any interest or reward to them, but other things like cold, hard cash are. “Music doesn't give us access to biologically relevant advantages the way food or money does,” he said. "The emotions are the key point in this reward."
Music is the Language of the Ages
And emotionally rewarding it is. Music, I mean. Music can speak volumes (no pun intended) about the world and personal issues in a way that just plain speaking cannot. Music evokes the substance of our emotions and returns it to us sometimes better, sometimes worse, but often completely justified.
Technically music is not vital to living the same way that money is. But that, to me, is what makes it all the more powerful. What else are we so deeply passionate about, other than music, that has the same ephemeral qualities?
Love. And music is full of love. Love isn't necessary for the continuation of the species and yet, we place the highest value on it. It's invisible. It's ineffable. You can't hold it—just like music. Music exists seemingly outside of space and has origins in a pre-history we may never fully understand, yet it's as alive today as it's ever been. It is unique among the arts in that it is without a doubt the most abstract of them all. Music causes you to reach into the fabric of reality to assemble your own meaning from a set of personal reference points that are both totally unique to you while also totally universal.
Music isn’t mindless entertainment. Music breathes right along with us. It chases after our heartbeats and enriches our senses to makes us feel even more alive. We go to where the music we are listening to is and live inside of it for a while. That's why we listen to so many different kinds of music. We want to go to all different kinds of places.
Music may not be money. But to me, it is vital to my emotional well being and something to be treasured just as much. For those that see no value in music, or have no interest, I can only wonder how they stay in a world that is so ineffably silent.
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