The Power of Music

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The Power of Music

Music is the expression of emotion through the medium of sound. From the very first moment a human heard a songbird and endeavored to recreate that beauty, or beat on a hollow log and found the rhythm compelling, music has become the most powerful freedom given by God. Music, in itself, is a characteristic common and unique to all cultures throughout the world. Every culture in history includes music as an important part of everyday life. Music, as a part of culture, will most often have more roles to play than a source of auditory pleasure. According to anthropologist, Raymond Firth, "They have work to do, to serve as funeral dirges, as accompaniments to dancing, or to serenade a lover."(p171) However, the music's form, style, texture, and system of harmony, is a s varied as the personalities found on any given New York City subway train. From simple folk songs, to religious chants; from Carnegie Hall, to the Red Light District in New Orleans; the range and diversity of human music is almost incomprehensible.

It has been said that the best way to learn about a people, about its culture, is to observe and listen to it's art and music. Music is the most powerful of all the arts because it stimulates, manipulates and dissipates our moods through the emotions. Music, in our culture, functions in many ways; it can make work more enjoyable, create a fraternity among men, encourage a spirit of worship, and be an expression of emotion.

Music can make hard work seem easier, or rather, make it tolerable. In the days of slavery in the united states, the birth of the blues, singing while working in the fields was a good way to make the day go by. "Singing about your sadness unburdens your soul."(King and Ri...

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...nd; "music exalts life, enhances life, and gives it is both personal and beyond the remains a fixed point of reference in an unpredictable world. Music is a source of reconciliation, exhilaration, and hope that never fails" (p 188).


Firth, Raymond. Elements of Social Organization.

London: Watts.1961. p171.

King and Ritz. "Blues All Around Me". Essence magazine.

Nov. 96. Vol.27. Issue 7. p110-201.

Menuhin, Yehudi. Theme and Variations.

New York. Stein & Day. 1972. p9

O' Shaughnessy, Arthur William Edgar. "We Are the Melody Makers"

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations; Oxford University Press. 1979.

Storr, Anthony. Music and the Mind.

New York. The Free Press. 1992. p188

Wilson, Edward O. Sociobiology.

Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press. 1975. p564.
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