Music and Peace

I’ve unfortunately missed one or two of my Bloggers For Peace monthly articles, but here I am back on the wagon, and I’m sorry for missing a couple…

Now, everyone listens to music.

It might be hip hop, dance, rap, R’n’B, rock, pop, world, or just some dude whacking a rhythm out on a bucket. But everyone listens to it.

How many more people have heard Frank Sinatra warbling away, than switch on BBC Parliament or some other Politics channel? How many people have watched Britney Spears doin’ her thing on MTV? 

Music makes us feel good. So why wouldn’t we want to listen to it? Our brain is flooded with dopamine when we listen to a good song – that’s the same chemical that’s released when eating, during sex or when…well, taking certain illegal substances. 

Pretty amazing, right? But no one knows why. The same chemical response does not occur in animals. They hear music, shrug, and go on with their lives. The whole goose bumps and shivers down the spine thing? Over their heads. 

My completely unscientific shot in the dark of a guess is that its something to do with how important communication has become in humans. We’ve evolved past the whole grunting, gesturing stage to come up with a whole multitude of ways to share ideas. Music? Just another one of them.

It communicates emotions and thoughts that would otherwise go unheard, or misunderstood. Pitch and tone and tempo and a whole array of other things go together to make something so expressive and so moving, that it becomes a universal language.

Similar to maths, I guess. But way better. 

So music seems like the most obvious tool to use in promoting peace.

Enough of the PR campaigns, the guilt tripping adverts, the protests and the petitions. We’re saturated with them every day, I think we’ve built up a thick skin – there’s so little peace in the world we’re more or less resigned to that fact.

But one song? One song can allow a single person’s idea to be heard by millions. Billions, even. It’s true that a single voice can be louder than that of a crowd – but me? I think that voice has to be singing.

For one example, before I sign out, listen to John Lennon’s Imagine if you haven’t already heard it. Years after his death, it’s still played out around the world and the message it carries is no less relevant. 

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one…

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