23 Jun, 16

Christopher Sutton

What kind of impact does music have in our world?

Everyone takes a part in the magic of this expression whether they want to admit it or not, and the individuals that choose to be more inclined will absorb these sounds into their bodies and minds to stimulate particular emotions and provide tonic to their well-beings.

Short answer: Music is life.

Biologically speaking, every living and nonliving thing is made up of vibrations and any and all matter are essentially tuning forks for the signals that are constantly being manipulated and analyzed by thought patterns. Music in particular, while not as essential as oxygen and water to survival, is our way of processing and controlling the sounds we hear in nature to express intelligence. Everyone takes a part in the magic of this expression whether they want to admit it or not, and the individuals that choose to be more inclined will absorb these sounds into their bodies and minds to stimulate particular emotions and provide tonic to their well-beings. Whether it be by conjuring the ominous melancholies of Norwegian Black Metal on a home stereo, feeding off of the incendiary mischievousness of gangsta rap on a street corner, or by draping ourselves in the ecstatic bliss of sunny disco at an open air festival, human beings are constantly and consistently bonding into tribes and creating tiny universes consciously and subconsciously.

Socially speaking, music is what defines us as individuals. Perpetual congregations come together through the celebration of these vibrations by attaching aesthetic principles or dress codes to denote each one’s idealistic stance. A suggestive choice of clothing, hairstyle, or choice of decor not only reveals a person’s musical preferences, but one could argue reveals his or her personality makeup as a whole. For example, someone that enjoys spending time listening to Zen meditation drones all day under a tree probably makes different lifestyle and style choices than a person who likes to blast Slipknot out of their vehicle while careening wildly down the highway.

Geopolitically speaking, it cannot be denied that most of modern history has been defined and influenced by music. Revolutionary movements all over the world have been propelled and instigated by the rhythm of drums and the cries of genius buried within the struggle. The American civil rights movement in the 1960's would have lacked a certain level of fervor and identity without the borrowed hymns from the sacred black churches echoing the pain and spirituality of the past. Similarly in England a decade later, the pressure cooker of a suffocatingly conservative government forced poor and disenfranchised street youths, encouraged by their American counterparts and sickened by the over bloated condescension perpetuated by the bourgeoisie, to explode onto the global canvas in a flurry of ideas, fashion, and most importantly create a style of music called Punk Rock to interpret their uprising. Other stereotypical subcultures throughout the 20th and 21st centuries like The Beats, Hippies, Bikers, Mods, B-Boys, and Rockers are all accompanied by song-poems riddled with implied ethics and accompanied by unspoken social rulebooks interpreted by recorded oracles. Furthermore, it is also apparent that every ETHNICITY on earth carries centuries-old traditions of musical styles that vindicate their heritage also. An extra beat of the drum, a deviation in time, or even that distinctive instrument made from a material native only to that particular region continues to define and illuminate the makeup of who we are as people while perpetually teaching lessons passed on from ancestors. Thus, the impact of music to human culture is omniscient and absolute in a molecular, societal, and ideological way.

Music, simply put, is life.

Music, simply put, is life.

How do we ensure that voices will get heard?

The most obvious way for artists to ensure proper transmission of their ideas is for the individual artists to perform live in concert, which I believe is the essence of why human beings make music. For those who won't or can't perform we are fortunate to live in world where resources like YouTube, CASH Music, Bandcamp, and the like provide relatively free, or cheap avenues to display their ideas to the world at large that frankly did not exist before now. Technology is finally in the hands of the common people, and while corporations will always have monetary influence as far as marketing and surplus, these giants have little control over game-changing grassroots movements or the amount of music anyone can project into cyberspace. Social media is now the voice of the people and there are few industries that match their influence on cultural change and opinion. Most of the relevant ideas will run through those channels at least for the foreseeable time being. Now more than ever modern creatives can be heard as loud or as clear as they can possibly be, while the question of whether or not this luxury will be ensured in the future will ultimately and undoubtedly lie solely in their hands.

By Christopher Sutton, distributed under a Creative Commons CC-BY license.

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