I agree with the comment made in class: “Music is whatever you want it to be.” Music can symbolize a moral, or a way of life. It can be played for certain ceremonies, or occasions. It can be intended, and interpreted in many different ways. We all internalize music differently, and this makes it a dynamic and amazing creation. I don’t think the human race can survive without it.
I have always listened to music to enhance my own feelings. This can be for personal reflection, or entertainment. There are certain types of music that feel like “home.” The lyrics and the melody connect to my personality and make me feel something. Other times, I listen to music that is fun, but not of “substance”—like the difference between rich literature and a gossip magazine. Substance verses entertainment.
Its purpose is to relay a feeling, a message, or a theme of our culture. Since culture inspires us, we translate that into our creations. Even if a piece is written to entertain, our humor is still influenced by what our culture finds humorous. If we are inspired by another culture’s music, we are still biased to how we view music, and therefore Americanize that piece. A chant from a Tibetan monk is soothing, spiritual, and calming. Though, I don’t understand the culture in depth, and therefore cannot begin to understand what that chant means to him.
Music is an eye into our soul, but our own prejudices and conditioning can often times deafen our ears to the true meaning behind music, as well.
Part of Music Appreciation is understanding our own definition of music and its role in our lives. In your opinion, what is music? What role does it play in your everday life? What is music’s purpose in your life, in our society, in our culture?