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Is Music Essential to Our Souls?

By Edited Jul 22, 2016 4 14

In every culture a mother coos a lullaby to her babies. This is her way of communicating to her child in a non-verbal way. To sooth and reassure her child that all is right in the world and they are free to relax and sleep.

Is this why we, as people, learn to appreciate and need music in our lives? A remembrance of this age old form of mother-love being hummed into our ears as infants?

Do you search for a club that is featuring a Blues Band when your soul needs the balm that the Blues create? Do you search your CD /record collection for your favorite Jazz Recording when frazzled nerves seek the complex instrumentation that, defies to be defined, but, will definitely ease the soul?

Music overtakes our emotions and completes us.

You may have read that there seems no necessity for music in the survival or reproduction of our species. Look to the Animal Kingdom. Song and dance are prevalent in mating rituals.

It is hard to pinpoint when humans began making music; but scientific data bears witness to the quintessential human trait of making music to at least 35,000 years ago. A collection of pre-historic flutes, made of ivory and bird bones date back to this time.

Cave paintings, from when man co-existed with the sub-human form of man, the Neanderthals, give reference to music. Flutes, again made from bone, have been excavated from that time.

Cave stalagmites and stalactites were thought to have been "played" as charms to sooth the savage beast in man. Cave Art during the Stone Age suggests that Caves were carved in places that were thought to have the best acoustical abilities.

Ancient recordings of written music has been dated back 4,000 years to the ancient city of Ur, (coastal city, Sumer, on the Euphrates River in Southern Iraq) and 5,000 year old figurines with musical instruments have been found in Iran.

One may suspect Music has existed for Millennium. Angels and Saints have been depicted with harps and musical instruments.

Greek and Roman mythology name the Olympian Deity, Apollo, as the God of music and the arts.

We know the Native Americans used the skin drums, both to communicate with other tribes or their own, perhaps hunting far away, and to celebrate their daily life achievements. As well, music was used by the Medicine Men and North American Shamans who heal at the soul level.

The African Slaves, brought in bondage to North America, brought with them their gift of African music with which they sang or called back and forth in the fields to make their existence more easily borne and to communicate with each other in a non-English way that the master or overseer could not understand. The roots of the Blues Music were born.

Gospel Music took form as organized music to roar, soar and resonate to the rafters of churches singing praise to the Lord and as an avenue which through to connect with the spirit of God.

Music is most essential to our souls. It helps societies to cope with stresses and to celebrate the goodness in their lives, i.e.,The Dirges, played in funeral processions on the way to burial sites and, The Happy Birthday Song, sang on one's birthday before blowing out the candles.

Music is used to ease, to excite, to console, to bond, to worship, to teach and gives a voice to our soul.

Humans are universally drawn to Music which may well have been the preface in the evolution of the spoken word.

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Comments

Jan 18, 2011 9:32pm
AJWalton
Wonderful article. Based on what I've read, we are certainly wired to respond to music (and rhythm in particular). My two favorite recordings: Soul Station by Hank Mobley, and Moanin' by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers!
Jan 19, 2011 4:39pm
Venetia
Thank you AJ....! Much needed critique and I am thrilled to hear from you!! Hey, cool musical choices too!!!(chillin' on Miles Davis right now) Sorry can't share my favorite recordings back at you. In love w/ too many. MAYBE Holliday, Satch, Coltrane, Dylan, The Band, Last Waltz project (no particular order) Thank you again.
Peace today,
Jan 19, 2011 10:23pm
dadbintheadmin
Your article has a very nice flow and is perfect for writing about music. I look forward to more of your articles. And I wholeheartedly agree that music is definitely essential to our souls...what is life without music?
Jan 19, 2011 11:34pm
aguy
This question is easy - YES!

Have you ready the book: "This Is Your Brain On Music" by the McGill University neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin?
Jan 20, 2011 10:16am
Venetia
Thank you Dadbintheadmin!!! I am honored you commented and I agree....WHAT is life w/o music.
Jan 20, 2011 10:19am
Venetia
Hi aguy - thank you so much for noting my article!!! Yes, I agree. (Music is a passion of mine) No, I have not read the book "This Is Your Brain On Music" - obviously, I must. Thanks again.
Jan 26, 2011 10:07am
eileen
You sure have a way with words, and it is so true we all need the sounds of music in our lives.
Although there is one thing when I hate music...that is when they put it as a sound in the background on TV no matter whether commercials or when people are talking even. It is really annoying or at least to me. But otherwise love music of all sorts. thanks again for sharing this
Jan 26, 2011 3:10pm
Venetia
eileen, that can be a tad annoying.....(kinda tend to tune out commercials in general) Thank you so much for the comment! Appreciated! Enjoy your journeys!
Jan 30, 2011 9:43am
CrystalNici
Another fantastic article Venetia and I have to say I am in complete agreement with you. I prefer a more Country or Folk tune to soothe my inner rumblings, but certainly life would be a much more rugged country without music to soothe the bumps!
Jan 31, 2011 10:10pm
Venetia
Thank you so much CrystalNici.....I really appreciate your input and agree with you completely)!
Feb 4, 2011 12:36pm
Introspective
Hello Venetia; your article brings to mind the quote "Music is the poetry of the air." Very nice, thank you!
Feb 4, 2011 10:21pm
Venetia
Oh, what a beautiful quote! "Music is the poetry of the air" Love it! and thank you!
Mar 8, 2011 5:40pm
footloose
I love this article - presently learning about the way of the heart (connecting science and spiritual)and practicing chanting for sensing (not feeling or emoting, but sensing), so this article was meant for me to read today!
Mar 9, 2011 7:23pm
Venetia
Oh, thank you so much. I am honored to hear from you. Enjoy your journey into the body and soul connection!
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