Admitting that this discussion is absolutely opinion, let’s begin. Music’s purpose is to express and modulate emotion. Music’s primary use is mood control. We sing lullabies to soothe babies – which works very well when language fails. Here in LA, as well as other traffic-congested cities, we rely heavily on the local radio stations to uplift our spirits and dissipate our stress as we stop-and-go along the freeway. In trendy hotels, you bet there is a soundtrack rolling so that every person who walks through the lobby feels like the movie star they are in their mind. And obviously, yet simultaneously subtle, a well-written underscore of a movie no doubt focuses and then guides a person’s emotions with much greater effect than the acting, lighting, and direction alone. Commercials grab you with a catchy beat, while stores play music to keep you happily shopping. And one I find very interesting – in large sport and event venues, while filled with thousands upon thousands of people, music is streamed to keep the masses at a happy hum until the main event is underway.
Through the years, music has also served cultures as a medium to tell stories which should be passed down through their generations. Before written language, stories were essential for the preservation of information – and the best way to remember a story?? Sing it! Even now, when we want to remember a phone number (for some reason your cell phone isn’t around to hold it), don’t we often unconsciously sing it?
A funny aside, my son, whom I’d played classical music to while in my belly, at the age of 4 months was very in tune with music. I remember more than once, holding him while listening to a song I’d just sung, and if the song was sad, he would begin to cry!! With uptempos, he was fine, but those sad songs got him every time. It surprised me at first – but with music being a language beyond words, it makes perfect sense to me now.
Taking this audio discussion to an even deeper level, for years I used an audio meditation program, which through music and sound, actually altered the state of one’s brain waves, inducing very deep levels of meditation in a short amount of time. I know it sounds like a crock, I was skeptical too, until I personally experienced the palpable positive benefits of consistently using this audio program. After using this program for some time, I had no doubt that the use of audio/music therapy is going to be a fast expanding career field.
There are so many multiple uses for music, and there is always music around us. I would like to know your thoughts. What is your favorite use for music?