23 October 2020
Why is music important? Whenever somebody asks me this question, I’m instantly reminded me of this video of Mick Jagger and David Bowie dancing to no music.
It’s obviously a bit of an OTT example, but I think it illustrates the point quite well — imagine any number of scenarios with no music, or the wrong music, and you have your answer. It’s that sort of negative space kind of situation, like how you never notice your shadow, but if one day it wasn’t there, it’d be a sign that something was a bit awry.
Nothing placed this in the spotlight more than lockdown. Imagine having to endure the last few months without music to get you through, not just in its raw listening form, but in the films and shows and video games we’ve all been relying on heavily to keep the cabin fever at bay.
Call us biased, but as a global community of music lovers, we don’t just see music as important. We see it as everything.
“Music is important because it's an expression of the human soul and it's undying essence. It's a connection to what we are beyond the limits of our flesh, it's a reminder of what lies deep inside our hearts and a beautiful way to awaken the beauty that's sometimes dormant inside us. Music is important because it's a portal to other planes of existence, it's a bridge to what makes us really human, a bridge to the undying part of ourselves which we came to manifest in this physical experience.
Music is important because it reminds us that life is not just about surviving, it's about bliss.”
“Years ago, I read a quote about music. I’m not sure if it was part of an article or critical review, or if it was an actual quote from a classical composer or maybe Shakespeare. I don’t think it was about the importance of music itself, but what stayed with me was a simple simile: “music is like water.”
And music, before I was 7 years old, gave me the fluidity to express myself through the way I could move my body.
On the cusp of teen spirit, it allowed steamy infatuations with sounds.
In my adolescence, music crystallized with my rebellious attitude and its lyrics helped me drown in melodramatic love affairs, before reviving me.
In my 20s, music was a motion down a rippling river or up. One song reminded me of rape; another reminded me that I’m alive.
And in my 30s, through the death of my mother, I found that music can be nostalgic, present and future at once.
So, with this in mind, music is indeed like water. And if the human body is composed of 60% water, then music is life.”
“Music is affirmation of humanity's full potential. How could one ever deny music? It is both scientifically and emotionally riveting. It can happen live right in front of you, or be documented and enjoyed after the fact. It can be taught or played by others. Music stands without any question of it's authenticity. No proof necessary. It's there, in many forms, forever and always.
As a musician and music lover, it means everything to me to be a part of the music world. It's my contribution to the universe. It's my nourishment. It's what keeps me from feeling like I'm just floating aimlessly in the void. When I hear John Coltrane play the saxophone or Zigaboo Modeliste play the drums, it is the most honest thing I've ever heard. When I create, perform, or listen to music myself, I'm cozy with euphoria. There is so much to be had in music. For five scary seconds, imagine if music did not exist...that is a grim world. Whether you're creating it, or digging on what has been created, music is beyond important...music is indispensable.”
“It’s rather cliche to say Music is life. Music is, quite literally, the air we breathe listen to. Sound waves that permeate our eardrums.
But enough science. Music is art. But really, to explain the importance of Music is to explain Life.
When’s the last time you got a chill? Bet it wasn’t from the weather. How do you calm a fussy baby? It’s not through conflict resolution training. Ever tried pre-gaming in silence, whether you’re Lebron James before game 7 or James Lebron from accounting before a night out with the crew? Good luck bringing home a trophy.
Life is sensory. Music is the nerve center.
Crosby, Stills & Nash, Run DMC and Michael Jackson in elementary school. Beastie Boys and Too Short in junior high. NWA and Metallica in high school. Snoop Doggy Dogg, Alice In Chains and Wu-Tang Clan in college. Mase for my first post-college job. DMX for my first real office job. 2Pac for my first cross-country move. Dr. Dre, Lionel Richie and Luther Vandross while dating my future wife. Coltrane and Outkast for the birth of my first son.
Life is rhythmic. Music is the metronome.
Music is the introduction, the magnet, the wingman, the archive. Like a cliche, Music is universal and basic. Music is also original, fresh, and pioneering. Like life, Music is bigger than a definition, unfathomable yet attainable. Omnipresent yet tangible.
“It's important to me because it's what I love most in life (other than my family of course). I have had a love affair with music since the moment my parents touched that needle down on the first record they ever played me. Music is a pure form of self expression and can transcend all the bs life has to throw at us. There are so many styles and talented artists that there is something for everyone, I'd wager a guess that music is the only art form that everyone on the planet has some sort of love for or at least an emotional and spiritual connection to from some time in their life. Lastly music made out of joy and for pure love of the game is honest, other musicians and fans know when it's being faked and when its revealing what's really going on.”
“Why is music important to me, it’s a great question, why do I invest so much of my spare time listening to music, finding new music and rediscovering old music, spending so many hours of the day coming up with new ways to share it all, I could spend that time reading, learning a new skill or in many more productive ways, well maybe I should but that’s not what is important to me, music is and I’m afraid I can’t tell you why, just that it’s as essential to me as eating, but just like the food I eat, I can’t eat the same food day in day out, I need something new continually to nourish me musically and yes sometimes I go back to the favourites or classic and if I find something tasty it needs to be shared or recommended, who doesn’t tell their friends when they find a great new restaurant, well it’s like that with everything I find, my compulsion to share all the new artists or songs I find is just me saying, I like this you might to, but luckily for the world I don’t post my plate of food on Instagram.”
"Music is important to me because I can’t imagine life without it, as Nietzsche said “without music, life would be a mistake.” But why? Why does this thing that isn’t essential for life in the way that food and water or sleep and sex are, find itself in every culture in every society and every civilization that has ever lived?
I’d posit that it comes from a very simple explanation, and that is - music has the power to make us feel good with no negative side effects. I don’t need to understand the how of that or even the why, all I need to know is that it’s true, not just for me but apparently for you too.
From our ancestor’s struggles to hunt enough food to modern day stressors of racism, poverty and pandemics - having something that makes you feel good - without bloating your stomach, eroding your liver or destroying your veins - has immense value."
Image credit: Mohammad Metri on Unsplash