How Music Helps Us Define Culture


What strikes me as significant is, that when I hear or think of the term music, I do not think solely of melody, or lyrics. What first appears is the image of an artist and the emotion I have associated with that song; what follows, is the melody, the notes and the sound of instruments. Music to me is another way of communication, and visualization. It is a way to express, straightforwardly or symbolically an individual’s feelings or ideas. It is a tool that encourages relation, familiarity, connectivity and similarity between people from all over the world. Our favorite songs are that that make us feel good, and what better way to acknowledge a friendship than to share the same values and perspectives through song.

When we can relate to a song, we are expressing ourselves through the lyrics, the melody and the overall composure. Celine Dion’s “I am your lady” is absolutely powerful in the sense that it evokes, in people, nostalgic feelings of love, faith, and devotion. Played throughout millions of weddings throughout the years, this song speaks for the ‘bride to be’. Celine Dion’s powerful voice, influences the listener to listen, deeply and devotedly. And just as the song plays, her audience is sucked into the words that describe the very relatable or desirable first feelings of love and marriage.

Music reminds us of a predisposed gift in the human psyche; imagination. The ability to depict scenarios and moments that make us happy through sound, is what makes music a true therapy. When we hear a voice, that makes us happy, or brings us great joy we exclaim “your voice is music to my ears.” A bad day can be resolved by listening to my favorite song. A good day can be made better by discovering a new song that I like. A good song that is relatable makes people smile from memory, or even by humor. Music’s power to compel can be extremely influential in a person’s life and it is not rare to see people who have shaped their entire lives around the values that they share with their favorite artists.

Love is probably the most influential topic of music. I think that it is because of it’s intrigue. Humans are put on earth and we have these feelings, for other humans, that are difficult to explain or describe. Many aren’t sure how to love or why they do love but music is a therapy that puts your feelings into words, and expresses them with pleasing sounds. As the instruments cater to that specific feeling, you are compelled to further delve into the emotion. I am convinced that if it weren’t for Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” or Ziggy Marley’s “Love is My Religion”, I would not know how to love.

Categories: cultural anthropology, culture, People, travelTags: , , ,

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