Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato.
Few quotes on the profound role played by music in the existence, development and enjoyment of mankind can match this one from the revered philosopher.
Through all the ages of human civilisation, the tapestry of life has been inextricably and gloriously intertwined with music. Styles have evolved, sophistication levels have varied, and genres have developed to become synonymous with specific places and regions in the world. Cultures and religions, philosophies and value systems, all have music as a common thread that defines them and distinguishes them.
Many participants in the world of literature may argue that poetry is the most sophisticated form of written communication with its widely varied formats, high levels of symbolism, potently evocative imagery and mystery-in-message to challenge many on occasion.
Devotees to music could counter that their art form embodies all of those features but incorporates movement and sound of incomparable beauty, range and variety. It arouses the extremes of emotions from overflowing joy and triumph to the depths of grief and loss, from heights of passion to the relaxed states of meditative music.
Every participant in the music experience will have preferences of genre, style, period relevance and musical instruments. Some would contend that the concert band including a wide range of instruments represents the pinnacle of sophistication in music. Others prefer the robust sounds of military or jazz bands and brass instruments.
Rhythmic beats and the arousing sounds of drums and other percussion instruments can stir any soul. There are also supporters of popular music of a specific era, or the soft melodies of individual wind or string instruments. The piano and its many cousins arguably occupy a majestic pedestal. Singing and voice styles have their devotees.
Can any human activity compete with the range and all-encompassing appeal, entertainment value and sophistication of music? Can sport, work, hobbies or sightseeing and travels measure up?
Further views may convince:
- Music is the universal language of mankind. – Aldous Huxley
- Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.– Ludwig von Beethoven
- If music be the food of love, play on. – William Shakespeare
In the words of ABBA:
Thank you for the music . . . and giving it to me.