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The Politics of Music

Music is both an art and a science, but no one has ever discovered why we make “make music” and how it started. There are a lot of theories, so take your choice.

One perception is that music is not a perception at all; but is merely a sort of “natural drug” that puts us into a “Twilight Zone” where, as the TV series stated “you enter a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind”.

The specific nature of music itself is arbitrary, but influenced by culture; which is why one culture’s music is often different than another culture’s music; but anyone in any culture can individually decide what music they accept and what music they reject as a personal as well as a cultural choice.

Music is an extension of speech, without really needing speech itself to make the connection. Music has its own highly regulated forms of expression; and like spoken words, they can trigger different emotions.

Politicians have always known that linking political rhetoric with music adds and enhances recognition and impact. Who can hear “Happy Days Are Here Again” and not think of FDR or the Horst-Wessel-Lied with Hitler and his Storm Troopers?

Music is not just an intellectual and political tool, but a physical exercise as well. Could we ever have created dance or sing without some form of music? Its element of rhythm and Music is far more “addictive” than speech: otherwise why would most people prefer to attend a concert than a lecture?

Music in itself is a language that needs no words, because music is the only “language” that anyone can understand without understanding or saying a word. Music ignores language, and thus breaks down barriers.