The Politics of Music

We all know what Music “is”, we hear it all the time, and we know how it’s created. We recognize different forms and styles of music. Music is more an art than a science, and even people who “make music” don’t really know how it started, though there are a lot of theories. Take your choice.

A popular hypothesis is that music not actually a perception of anything at all; but is merely a sort of natural drug that not only alters our state of mind and our perceptions,  also defines one’s culture. The specific nature of music itself is basically arbitrary, also influenced by culture. Which is why in one culture the music is often different than another culture’s music, but within that culture any individual can decide what music they accept and what music they reject as a personal a well as a cultural choice.

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

The links between speech and music is obvious. 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 link it of FDR or the Horst-Wessel-Lied with Hitler and his Storm Troopers?

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

Because music is the only “language” that anyone can understand without understanding or saying a word.

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