“Ah, music! A magic beyond all we do here!” – Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Enigmatic and brilliant headmaster Albus Dumbledore sums up music perfectly. With all the magic in the world scientific and otherwise, (“I’m saying believe in magic you Muggle” – Howard Wolowitz :p ) music is still beyond the realm of human understanding. There have been numerous studies to find the exact explanation behind mankind’s fascination for music that have come to different conclusions like chemicals being released that affect different parts of our brain. This is all well and good but it seems incomplete. Music taps into something much more primal in humans. Good music can hit you in a way nothing else in the universe can.
It’s like being on a rollercoaster, you might know what’s going to happen but it’s enjoyable every single time, plus you can find something more to appreciate every time. And that feeling when you’re on top of the hill, just before you come barreling down to the earth is indescribable. Writing about it really doesn’t do it justice, but I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about. When you hear the familiar starting notes of your special song, you are reduced to the equivalent of a 5 year old given a lollipop, bursting with enthusiasm and giddy with happiness.
After opening a dozen research tabs (most of which were filled with pointless scientific jibber jabber) I finally found something useful. So apparently, music bypasses the “logical brain” and taking a shortcut to the primitive limbic circuits that control our emotions, the mental processing of sound could prompt a rush of adrenalin – a gut reaction – that prepares us to get out of there anyway. This is what it means to be lost in the music – we are completely in the realm of emotions. Each one of us knows the feeling, when we are literally floating away in a protective bubble that blocks out everything else.
Another point they had, which I totally agree with, is that we associate songs with past experiences. This is a well known phenomenon known as the “Darling they’re playing our song” theory. I don’t want to bore you with the science, I’m sure you know what they mean.
But even while reading this, as much as it makes sense, I get the feeling that all these psychologists and scientists seem to overthink things. Why not just enjoy the music and let it be? ( Sorry I just had to do that 😀 )
Another thing about music is that, there is a song to match your mood at any time. Be it the heart pumping hard rock of Bon Jovi and Jimi Hendrix or the iconic ethereal music of Pink Floyd. Listening to the right music and the right time can be just the shot in the arm that you need.
Also from rock and roll to classical music, from instrumental flutes and violins to rap, and from bollywood item numbers ( 😐 ) to punk rock, there is something for everyone. Like I had written about television earlier, everyone has a preference and a fondness to certain kinds of music.
A little side note, music is also a powerful way to send out a message. I probably have to mention John Lennon’s Imagine here. A simple song with a message for the ages. No war, hate nor poverty only peace. It’s a testament to the song and the artist that it is still inspiring people more than 40 years after it’s release. Another personal favourite is We are One from the Lion King (sorry Pitbull 🙂 ) which is one of the earliest songs I remember from watching reruns of the movie as a kid.
Music has been a part of human life since time immemorial, it has been used to for everything from war cries to education to entertainment. Civilisations have fallen, cities ravaged and destroyed but music has endured. It speaks to one in ways that can’t be properly explained. Writing or reading about it just isn’t good enough. Music has to be experienced. So it’s probably fitting that I end with song lyrics itself, from Aerosmith’s Dream On :
Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Dream On Dream On Dream On
Dream until your dream comes true