The Power of Music

I was reading an article about music and I felt it worth sharing.
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We think of music as entertainment, or an accompaniment to entertainment. However, the classical Master Beethoven, for example, was justly famous for being able to evoke specific emotions in his listeners, and wrote pieces that we still listen to today to evoke joy, sadness, loss and return. His piano sonata Les Adieux couldn't be clearer if he had written a short story: two lovers part, they experience their loneliness, but are joyfully reunited in the last movement. The ability of music to evoke emotions is its first and most obvious power, and we shall return to it again.

Some types of music can relax us. After a stressful work day, classical music, certain types of jazz, or our favorite ballad singer can physically relax our bodies and distract our minds from the cares of the day - at least for a while. On the other hand, loud, fast music with a strong beat can exhilarate (or bother) us. In fact, sometimes we may prefer one kind of music or artist, and at other times that's the last thing we want to listen to.

So we have all experienced music's physical and mental effects on us at one time or another. In fact, the mental effect is so strong at times, a few lines from a song can keep running through our minds despite our efforts to ignore them or make them stop.

There are other ways music affects us emotionally. One way can be most clearly demonstrated by movie music. Movie Music signals us when something scary, threatening or ominous is about to happen. If you close your eyes in an action, horror or thriller movie, you can pretty much tell what's happening on the screen by the music alone. The same is true for a romance. Film composers such as John Williams get paid big money for their ability to shift your emotions from moment to moment. Movie theme music - such as Williams' Star Wars theme - can make us practically march out of the theater, our shoulders thrown back, determined to vanquish our own foes. (And sometimes we just hope one will show up right then so we can spring into action.) Our self-confidence has been affected, and it is as much due to the movie music as the movie story and visuals.

Music has also always had a sacred purpose. Most of our modern religious music is but a faint echo of other powers music has had in the dim past, although some of this ancient power has recently come to light, which is one of the purposes of this site.

Used in certain ways, one of the principal powers of music can be to induce altered states of consciousness (ASC's). These can be anything from a very relaxed state, to a much deeper state, where non-ordinary realities can be experienced. There are many ways to enter such states - meditation and psychotropic plants are but two - but music has always been one of the primary entrance points to these inner states. Nothing is required but the music and the listener. Not all music can do this, but some, such as that on Memories of Home, is capable of inducing them.

Music and sound also have the power to heal body, mind and spirit.

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