We can all agree that music has a massive impact on our lives because it’s everywhere we go. It has the power to alter our mood and change the whole feel of a room at any moment. Today I will try to look at just why is it that this sound is so important to us? Imagine that moment when your favorite song comes on the radio, or a piece of music is played you love so much that you remember exactly where you were the first time you heard it. That’s one of the things that makes music special for me and I know it does you as well.
Truthfully it’s a fact of life that we don’t all love every kind of music. It’s that specific taste that sets each of us apart, so much so that many of us would even go as far as saying we couldn’t live without our music of choice. I started playing music at the young age of five, learning everything I could about country guitar and its players during that time. I know at the exact I heard a five-string banjo for the first-time bluegrass was going to be my music of choice. Something inside of us longs to hear or produce that magical sound that stimulates our very soul.
Now over the years my love for all styles of music has matured and grown. I can enjoy great classical music event right down to a good country square dance. The wonderful thing about music is as musicians we appreciate and admire all musicians and their individual styles. Unlike other pleasures in life, music has no immediate value, but with so many different genres it can reach out and move so many different people in all kinds of ways.
One of the strongest statements I heard is there is no barrier in music because music is a medium through which anyone can speak. There are no language or age barriers because it is a universal language. Several years ago, I had the honor of hearing a singer with a marvelous voice sing a spiritual number in a local music store in the German tongue. Even though I couldn’t understand not one word of his performance the tone of the music moved me to the point that I fully understood every word. Point proven that music is a universal language.
Through tones and vibrations our minds receive messages from music that we process as good and bad. Each of us has developed our own music taste with this individual but natural sorting process. For example, I have never understood or liked some of the so-called hard rock or rap music. Something about the tone and the way it’s performed has no effect or appeal on me at all. But I love the sound of what is called today vintage rock or southern rock. I grew up listening to it all my life and that brings me to another point I wish to make. Even though I can’t find any material to back me up on this statement I feel we often choose our musical preferences on what we heard the most growing up. If you were raised around a big city or exposed to hard rock or rap music more than likely you will lean toward that style of music the rest of your life. Not saying we can’t or won’t change our taste later in life but more than likely the tones we heard even in the womb before our birth steered us in our musical direction of today.
Have you ever noticed regardless of the genre, when the right chords are combined most of us will get goose bumps or a chill up our spine? The scientific term for this reaction is “frissons”. We can also get these by just looking at a piece of art work or watching a movie but are more common in the sounds produced by music. Why do so many people get the chills when the music is just right? Researchers tell us that because music stimulates an ancient reward pathway in the brain, it encourages dopamine to flood the front of the brain. This is a part of the forebrain's reaction caused by an activation of things like addiction, reward, and motivation. Certain music has always had that effect on me as I know it has you. Music can be a lifelong friend, our companion in life's travels. It can motivate us like nothing else can and is a huge part of our everyday lives.
No one really knows and we may never know the true answer to that question, “What Makes Music So Special”. I do know that music moves each of us in our own unique way. It can bring on happy feelings along with sad ones and we should all learn to appreciate all the different styles and the musicians who make this possible.
Taking Local Music To The World.