Updated: Mar 21
Are you a music aficionado? With such an immense variety of sound, music expresses some of the world's most magnificent beauty. Can you guess what the first music instrument created was? It may not come to you as a surprise, but the bone flute is the correct answer, followed by animal skins stretched over trees stumped to make drums. Decades ago, before television, music was the leading form of entertainment for various groups as they would gather. Back then, there wasn't much emphasis on whether a musician was "good enough" to play for others.
As humankind and the world evolves, styles of music are also changing. Nevertheless, great masters have managed to create timeless songs or albums that never "go out of style". Music has a magical power to connect humanity; whenever we come together, music is there to enhance our experiences - whether one is studying, or a parent rocking their infant to sleep, in church, at weddings, or playing your "motivational song list" when cleaning your house or running - the list is endless. Music is the beating heart of many moments and evokes a broad range of emotions within us. Perhaps, many of us remember moments by hearing a song we've listened to at a previous time. We could, therefore, state that music updates moments in our memory. This fact has been baked-up by researchers as various studies have shown that music engages with a part of the brain that involves paying attention. Perhaps, studies from Age UK confirm music has unlocked memories for people affected by dementia.
Many stories are told through music, and when we add images or lyrics to complement it, it becomes its own language. Suddenly, people from various cultures who speak different languages can communicate by dancing or listening to music.
English is my second language, and when I started learning English at the end of primary school, I also began paying attention to song lyrics and learned the pronunciation of certain words by doing so. This proves we learn a lot through music and lyrics. Musical training is also greatly beneficial, as it increases coordination, communication and requires a level of collaboration, especially if one is part of a band. Even when one practices playing an instrument alone, many musicians are often eager to share their passion and skills with others. For this reason, it could be claimed that music eases and encourages social development in both children and adults.
Through music, we understand ourselves and others better, by our emotional and physical response to its words and sound. Film Directors, for example, use music to tell us how to feel throughout a scene. For me, music often transports me into writing poetry. Back in high school I loved the way writing lyrics helped me express my emotions and what I wanted to say, and still do today.
I often listen to instrumental music when writing poetry; it inspires me to write from the core of my soul and helps me into the right mood to pour my heart out. It intensifies my emotions and helps my mind to focus better.
The pouring rain tapping on my bedroom's window also creates a unique sound; pure nature is transforming into music. It is authentic and beautiful. Many health instructors use natural sounds, along with instrumental or classical music, to create high-quality and inspiring meditation or yoga sessions. You will often hear the sound of waves, waterfalls, the rain, the wind, birds and more to create the perfect harmony. I sometimes even fall asleep while listening to this type of music, and many pieces of research have proved music aids insomnia; a fact I can confirm.
Perhaps, what is fascinating about music is that it's a prescription for our mental health and has been for decades. Researches from the NAMM Foundation claim that some musicians used to play in hospitals after World War 2 for veterans who positively responded to this treatment. Music has positive impacts on our brain, including emotional effects on both the listener and performer. Instrumental and calm music has soothing effects on the brain, triggering a release of chemicals in the brain that distract the body from pain and help it to relax (Daniel Lavitin).
In contrast, upbeat songs will boost someone's mood, perhaps, you can relate to this fact? Music therapy is practised by many healthcare professionals around the world and has helped people reduce depression, anxiety, trauma (to name a few). According to Daniel Lavitin author of Your Brain on Music, by observing people with brain damage for a long period of time, researchers have seen patients who have lost the ability to read a newspaper but can still read music or people who can still play the piano but lack the motor coordination to button their jacket or jumper.
My challenge for you today is to listen to a song that brings a sense of happiness within you and send it to a friend. Today, I am dedicating the song Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles to you. Let’s keep the waves and vibrations of music going from one corner of the world to the other and inspire others through the power of music.