The Musical Magic

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

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-Plato

Surveys and statistics tell us that people resort to music all the time-be it in pain, loneliness, happiness celebration. As Dumbledore rightfully puts in “Ah, music-A magic beyond all we do here!” . Music is magic indeed- it has the ability to heal one’s soul and catapult one’s mood from angry, irritated to that of serene and poise. It can affect a man emotionally, where words and phrases give out. It is a force, an energy, which unites people on a common front. No matter how different people are around the world, this is one thing that everybody agrees on.Music teaches us to love,to forgive,to control our anger and many other important lessons in life.

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Medical research shows it is one of the few things that is capable of involving the entire brain. It can have surprising effects not only for improving memory or regulating moods but also for helping learn a new language, providing insight to a new culture, focusing attention, so on and so forth. So many advantages, but of course too loud or too jarring is often noise and not melody. Music is the therapy for pain, not just for the broken heart but also for deadly conditions osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and so on- one of the reasons why it is played in hospitals while post operations or as complement of anesthesia whilst one. It is known to release endorphins which can fight pain.

But enough with the medicinal value let us look into all the other advantages that music has endowed us with. It is a form of expression in many instances where words have been insufficient; it is the outburst of one’s soul, as put in very aptly by Delius. Since the beginning of time, it has been used as a cultural identity, being played in social gatherings or celebrations, providing a mean to proclaim one’s history, beliefs and ethnicity. Even today, this practice continues as can be seen in marriages, festivals, etc. Not only this, every country has its own anthem which symbolizes its ethics, heritage and culture- they are recognized by it. Identity of music is today often associated to singers, bands and the genre and type of music they associate themselves to. Rock and Roll perhaps refers to those who are young and would want to enjoy their coming years, Rap is often related to the revolting fellows who have been oppressed by the current norms and are breaking out free, Jazz and Classical probably calls out more to those connoisseurs who have understood the art of music and would like to explore more. Different genre, different probable purposes, but ultimately boiling down to same call by our personalities to stand out and be confident of it.

 

Sometimes music is also seen as a means to connect with the divine- as can be seen in carols, bhajans and devotional songs in every religion in this world. People pray, meditate and interact with the supernatural in the form of melody. It has been considered by many that music was a direct gift to mankind by God in the form of nature to provide solicitude during times of distress, thus people fall back to it to express their gratitude and invocation to the supernatural.

 

Some people might argue that music is a distraction. True, it does distract, but it depends on us how we put that to good use. Just as a knife may be sharp, but it depends on the user whether he cuts vegetables with it or uses it to hurt somebody, in the same way, this distraction may be put to good use. It is because of this music has been used in medical purposes as discussed above- it tends to alleviate pain with this same distraction. Athletes may listen to music while working out- it helps them get in tempo, not concentrate on one’s exertion and ups ones effort. Besides, it also makes one want to move, which is pretext enough to make someone move his muscles.

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”
―George Eliot

But then why did humans invent music in the first place? Researchers argue it was predominantly to attract mates. I disagree. Nature has been music itself, since the time of prehistoric man. It just took us time to actually sit and listen and realize its potential. The rhythm of the rustling leaves, the chirping of various birds, the sound of water, the pattering of rain, the calls of animals and insects around us have been music themselves. Thunder-the rumbling of clouds against one another, the clawing of hooves of animals, the blowing of wind, the waves lashing against the banks have all been music People gradually learnt to categorize if sounds were high or low, quiet or loud, fast or slow, soft or sharp, and so on. Experimenting gave rise to singing and making musical instruments. Eventually cultures developed their own type of music which was propagated around the world.  It is till today that music is inspired by such natural musical beats. One cannot deny the presence of music in every sphere of one’s being- even life depends on a rhythm.

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