“I wrote my first song!” I yelled, as I sprinted up and down the hallways, paper held tightly in my eight year old fist. Of course the song was horrible, and now, being nineteen years old, I can write better ones. However, this epiphany that I was capable of writing lyrics to a tune and then being able to sing it back, was the moment where I discovered that music was my passion. What shocked me about music is that according to The Atlantic, “roughly three to five percent of the world’s population” does not enjoy listening to music, and some even find music to be repugnant (Abhat). Although some people view music as an unnecessary part of life, this is my passion because I want to be able to create and grow in my own music.
While no one can agree on where music comes from or how it was created, we can almost all agree that music is an extraordinary tool that helps us in our daily lives. Pre-historic music, such as the sounds our mouth makes and rhythm and beats we get from banging sticks and stones, originated before Ancient music, which is similar to the type of music we are familiar with today. Archeologists have found bones with holes, assuming they’re flutes, and other handmade instruments as well. The oldest lyrics ever written, as far as we know, are lyrics from 3,400 years ago found in Ugarit, Syria. However, the oldest piece of music is a song called “Seikilos Epitaph” found engraved into a woman’s tombstone. Although there weren’t that many, the lyrics on the stone rhymed, which is a characteristic still used in modern music today. The musical notation for the song was there as well, allowing musicians to discover and play the original melody of the piece. Now, Google defines music as “vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion” (google. com), which is the basic and accurate way to explain to somebody what music is. However, French composer Claude Debussy describes music on a much deeper level as “the space between the notes. It is something to be felt. Although it does not have a concrete and precise definition. . . . All of us know that music is every sound that reaches our ears and our heart says that it is something fabulous. . . . . that is music” (wikiquote. org). This beautiful quote describes how music is not just meant to be heard, it is meant to be felt, which is so incredibly true.
Music has become my passion because it is good for my soul. It makes me empathetic and insightful, and opens up doors in my mind that allows me to be more creative. When I was just three years old I started to sing, and loved it. As I got older, I began to hone a sound for my favorite albums and artists, and I realized that I had a strong connection with music. Whenever I am singing, my mind becomes free, and I feel like my soul is flying. It’s almost as if I can literally feel any emotions or stress escaping my lungs through my neck and out of my mouth into the air, where they disappear into the clouds. Now that I am older and I am songwriting, I pour my feelings into my lyrics, and portray whatever pain, anger, or happiness I’m experiencing through the melody and the dynamics of my song.
Music is such a powerful concept. Sometimes, the way a certain note sounds can bring out different emotions in people. The Psychology Faculty of the BUAP University in Mexico created a study that determined people with anxiety who listen to heavy metal end up more anxious than before, therefore they were being negatively impacted by music. However, our brains can also be positively impacted by music, especially music with slow rhythms and beautiful melodies. Some of the positive effects music has on people is that it regulates stress hormones, brings out past experiences and memories, makes our memory stronger, and it effects our pulse and heartbeat. Research from the University of Florida states that more brain stimulation comes from musical rhythms than anything else, which is most likely why so many people listen to music while studying or doing homework.
Another amazing thing I know about music is that almost everyone can relate to it. Some people enjoy hip-hop, while others enjoy musical soundtracks. I don’t quite understand how music came to be so universal, but I’m glad it is. While friends share their favorite songs with one another, others use music to heal a broken heart. Some people even find themselves through music. For example, my sister discovered musical soundtracks and enjoyed them, igniting a love for musical theatre. Eventually she started doing musical theatre, and now it has become her career goal. I myself love musical soundtracks, but I have a deeper love for Pop/R&B music.
Music has taken over my life, but in a good way. It betters my life by being there when I need it to be. I have listened to music when being sad, I have listened while being happy and I’ve even listened to music when I am angry, which allows me to channel my emotions and express them through a song instead of at someone. When I get a chance to play music at parties, it’s interesting to see what my friends react to, and it makes me happy to see so many different people all enjoying the same song. Music makes me better as a person because it allows me to be expressive and creative. It relives the stress and pressures of life, and takes me away from reality for a little while. Music is not an unnecessary part of life, it helps me process my thoughts and allows me as well as others to emotionally connect with other people. Music makes me better as a person because without it, I don’t know who I would be.