Mangalore, Apr 27 , 2010
Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. Who doesn’t enjoy good music? It has in it enthralling and stupendous power which can automatically make anyone tap their feet.
The feelings aroused by music are gripping - often irresistible - and seem to emerge from nowhere. They colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. It is a heart-lifter, mood chiller and emotional healer. It can stir our emotions, trigger our memories and even give way to some wild dance floor moves.
As I was keenly observing the activities of my 6-month-old nephew, I was surprised to watch his reaction to music. It’s such a pleasure to watch his movements and excitement when the music is on. That made me wonder at the immense power of music. It can make even the babies react. They spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo.
Music is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general. It can be considered as a universal language. It is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.
Music is one of the best ways to express one’s love towards dear ones, country or anything else. It may have more impact than spoken or written words.
The undeniable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. It can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Good music touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt.
Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music - which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say ‘I can connect with this song. It reflects my emotions.’
The great majority of radio stations exist to play music, and there is hardly a minute on TV - other than news shows - that doesn't have theme music, background music or commercial music. Our Indian movies wouldn’t have been so popular without the support of music. The music directors, singers and musicians have a key role to play in the entertainment industry.
We have all experienced music's physical and mental effects on us at one time or the other. In fact, the mental effect is so strong at times; a few lines from a song can keep running through our minds despite our efforts to ignore them.
Some types of music can relax us. After a stressful work day, classical music, certain types of jazz or our favorite ballad song can physically relax our bodies. Even in banks or offices light music is played which are of great benefit to the employees.
Apart from providing entertainment and appealing to emotions, music has a great healing power. It can heal body, mind and spirit. Music as a healing therapy took off during World War II. Doctors noticed that wounded and shell-shocked soldiers had better rehabilitation rates when they were exposed to music.
Evidence shows that listening to appropriate music lowers BP, stabilizes heart rate, relieves one of depression, reduces pre-treatment anxiety, enhances concentration and creativity, lessens the need for sedatives and painkillers (during and after surgery), reduces nausea after chemotherapy, manages pain and also improves stability of people with Parkinson’s disease. The sound of music can alter the heart and respiration rate as well as brain and general well being.
Music therapy can thus help the medical fraternity in treating patients better. It is not necessary, however, to stick to only pure classical ragas. Film music, which is very popular in India, also gives wide choices of known tunes, based on appropriate ragas, for most ailments. In addition, bhajans, light music, ghazals and so on may also be judiciously chosen to create the right mood and effect.
Be it parties, functions, school programmes or weddings, music has place everywhere. Music has touched the human soul across all boundaries of time, space, and genre.
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