Musical Magic: Exploring its Impact on our Lives

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.Plato

Music is an important part and parcel of human life. Almost everyone at any age of life listens to music. Yet, the categories of music may vary. According to the statistics given by Neilson Music 360 almost 93% of the world’s population listens to music. People prefer different places and times to listen to music, either during studying, sleeping, traveling, or exercising. According to the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) report, 66% of people listen to music while traveling and 19% listen to music while going to sleep.

Before proceeding to describe the importance of music, we must also understand what is the music. Music is the combination of different instrumental sounds and vocals in harmony and rhythm with each other to beautify the expression of emotions. As Sun Tzu said, “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.”

Since the history of music dates back to unknown times, its bond with human traits is deeper than anything else_ as one could relate to self. Nonetheless, clapping or smacking sticks or stones together are considered ancient musical instruments but as time passed, the rhythmic sounds inspired them to manufacture more instruments to produce melodies and the development went on. Above all, the Trumpet and Flute are considered the oldest musical instruments. Furthermore, other common musical instruments are violin, guitar, drums, piano, clarinet, djembe, etc. Musicology also explains several music genres that started in the 16th century like Opera, Jazz, the Baroque period, Blues, and the classical and romantic age, etc. It is a true saying by Roy Ayers that “the true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers”.

Music has a considerable influence on the lifestyle and mindsets of people. It not only brings social cohesion but also spices up every gathering or event. Music also brings people closer to each other. It plays a crucial role in a healthy lifestyle. Harvard University conducted research and found that music is helpful in many brain and heart-related problems such as anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. As it relaxes the person by relieving tension and helps people to express themselves effectively. According to the scientific journal Brain, stroke patients who listened to music while on their medication and therapy recovered better and earlier than compared to patients who listened to audiobooks and listened to nothing whatsoever.  Likewise, Martin Luther King once said, “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

 Above all, music also boosts creativity and helps in living a happy life by being strong and courageous. It has a strong connection with the memory and mood of human beings. As it is an important tool in psychology to treat the patient to relax their mind, releasing dopamine in the blood. It increases the blood flow to the limbic brain, which helps to regulate mood. In addition, memory, thoughts, and feelings also maintain a healthy bond with music. In short, music is an influential therapy for the brain while treating psychological problems. 

Besides the psychological and health benefits, music is also considered an indispensable tool in promoting cultural diversity and religious harmony. As it is considered the most effective tool of communication. Music, vocals, and movement and expression through the body on different chords are taken as an ancient form of storytelling and fables. Music not only helps to relate oneself to one’s body but also assists with understanding unsaid words and feelings. It creates a connection between the mental and physical capabilities of the body. Above that, music has been used in history to communicate the message of peace, harmony, and cooperation for existence, such as the advent of Islam in the subcontinent was made possible initially with the help of music. Muslim Sufism spread the message of religion in their form of music such as Qawallis using different instruments such as Tabla, Dumbak, flute, etc. It increased the acceptance and tolerance in society and different ethnicities began to adopt it as part of their cultural identity in the subcontinent.

Music has the whole world in it, and one write-up would be highly insufficient. Nonetheless, the basic features have been explained accordingly. To sum up, some energies can be felt and heard only by the ears of the soul. Music is one of them. It is the voice of the soul which can be heard with a peaceful state of mind and can be felt by the rhythm of the heart. If one listens to music but not feeling it, it became purposeless. But once felt with heart and soul, the whole universe can then be discovered in it, floating on the beats and following the same rhythm in harmony. The energies of nature merge with the energies of the Soul, for music is the voice of the soul.

Urooj Muqadas
Urooj Muqadas
The author is a columnist based in Islamabad.