Music. It is all around us, constantly influencing our lives in both positive and negative ways. It is found in religion and tradition, along with in academics and society. Music also has major effects on our emotions, and consequently, our emotions help to dictate what music we listen to.
Music can have a huge benefit academically. Evidence has been shown that students who take a music class in school have higher grades and better quality to their work. Other studies have shown that it can also help to improve memory and build confidence in students.
It also makes an excellent tool for memorization. Songs like “Ring Around the Rosies” and “London Bridge is Falling Down” have been used for years to teach children history in a fun and simple way.
Music has a large influence on our emotions. It has been an excellent tool for years, used to help convey what words cannot. Musicians use it to help share their feelings with listeners, or to try to make their listeners feel a particular emotion.
Music is universal. A study was conducted where a group of people who had never been exposed to western music were shown western music, and a group of westerners was shown theirs. They were then told to compare the emotion in the music to a picture of a face. Both groups chose the sad face most when the music was sad, and the happy face when the music was happy. This shows that music can truly convey emotion better than words, even crossing language gaps.
Music has a major influence on emotions, but even more so on society. Throughout the history of civilization, a direct correlation can be found between the development of music and civilization. For example, in times when society progressed slowly, it can also be seen that the music did not change much. On the other hand, in a society like ours, that constantly changes, so does the music, styles coming and going in as little as a decade.
Music and society don’t just go hand in hand, they also help change each other. What music is popular is dictated by what society says is acceptable. On the other hand, music also influences society at the same time.
Music not only influences society, but on occasion, politics. Singers sometimes use satire in their music to address the issues they see in politics. Around the time of the American Civil War, the issue of freedom and slavery became a major issue. Songs like “Strange Fruit” were written around that time, bringing light to the issue. “Yankee Doodle” is another example, as it originally was a song written by the Americans and the British, making fun of each other.
Music was not always for fun, though. One of the first things music was used in was in religion. Music conveys strong emotions very well, making it an excellent medium for worship. One fairly well-known use of music in worship is in things like gospel music.
One other major thing music is used in is in the preservation of tradition. Music is a major part of most cultures and is deeply rooted in many traditions. It is used in the passing down of traditions, and sometimes even the carrying out of them.
Music is something that unites people, or pulls them apart. It is a part of the very bond of what holds society together, having been there since the very beginnings of civilization, and likely being there until the end.