When you hear the word 'music' you automatically know what it means but if you're asked to define it, I don't know about you but I was actually stuck for words... until of course, I asked the finest of, well, Wikipedia - which stated eloquently, that "Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies."
How beautifully romantic! In essence though, this really is true.
The use of music transcends cultural boundaries across the world, connecting many. With it's meditative effects and powerful form to communicate, it is arguably one of the purest forms of connection known to man. That said, animals too. Bird's singing, crickets cricketing (and by the way, in case you didn't know, these nocturnal creatures hear via their legs), elephants trumpeting and dolphins even have phonic lips to enable them to whistle. The sound of a lion roar, a whale singing, chicken clucking are often used to communicate excitement, fear or happiness ...but in the case of a bee buzzing, it's the sound of wind caused by their vibrations of wing flaps per minute - quite electric when you digest that. The Schumann Resonance, if you aren't familiar with it, is the natural heartbeat of Mother Earth at 7.83H (432Hz), also known as earth's electromagnetic frequency. This is a relaxed, dreamy state and natural resting state for our brains, as well as earth, to regenerate and heal.
If you noticed during the first lockdown when the world came to a resting place, nature took its stance and became more present. The sky was clearer, the sun shone brighter, the birds sounded beautiful and there was far less pollution. Mother Earth seemed peaceful and nature was blooming. Pre- and post- lockdown, you would have seen and heard more traffic on the roads and in the air. Multiple wavelengths out of nature's natural frequency, including the use of phones, 5G and radiation from other man made elements provoke imbalance. Often mental stress can lead to physical stress which is why it's so important to maintain this awareness. The meditative effects of music are powerful enough to lift you from one thought or state into another completely different place - in the mind. But not only does this effect change your mind, it resets your heartbeat and changes your brain chemistry. Evidence in nature is the sound of rain, waves lapping up against the shore, thunder booming and snow crunching underneath your feet.
Music (if I'm not misunderstood) when it's produced by an artist or composer, comes from the heart, an inbuilt and intuitive process which designs a piece of work we call 'art' - and for very good reason. Naturally, the design can vary from cultural, personal and even territorial places, and this defines the genre. It is from here we match or mismatch our own senses to agree or disagree with the state.
"There is no other stimulus on earth that simultaneously engages our brains as widely as music does," says Brian Harris, certified neurologic music therapist at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Read here to see how music therapy can assist stroke survivors recover their speech.
In all honesty, that said, my personal definition for music is "mindblowing".