Love of Music: The Universal Language

No matter what your personal experience is, music serves as a universal language.  You may not have an expertise in music but you can still identify with the melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyrics.  Music brings people together as a community and nation.  It connect and motivates us.  As one our Find Your Voice Music Therapy client’s stated, “Music is the key to well being.  It’s a great language that can be transferred from one group to another.  Even if they don’t know the language they know music.”

Anthony Storr, in his book Music and the Mind, stresses that in all societies there is a primary function of music, which is to bring people together in community.  People sing and dance together in every culture, and one can imagine them having done so around the first fires years and years ago.  We go to concerts, church, music festivals, kitchen parties to re-experience music as a social or spiritual activity.  Music and its power to move people in synchrony, provide an avenue for creative expression, produce a sense of collectivity and community, has greatly impacted our cultures.

Within research on music and the mind findings show that music affects deep emotional centres in the brain.  Livingstone and Thompson’s musical origins theory states that music is conceived by it’s ability, and motivation, to attune to and influence the affective states of other humans.  Music can influence mood states and sharing these affective experiences can enhance social bonds.  All musical experiences involve a core affective dimension and it’s this dimension that allows music to function flexibly over a wide range of contexts such as rituals, funerals, religious ceremonies, and social gatherings.  All cultures have deeply defined musical aspects of their social ceremonies, rituals and traditions becoming an important aspect of their lifestyle.

What songs connect you deeply to your self identity or to meaningful people in your life?  When you think about this music was feelings or memories arise?  We would be honoured to hear how the “gift of song” is impacting your life!

In song,
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Find Your Voice Music Therapy
Certified Music Therapist and Registered Counselling Therapist
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101