"Music captures attention, triggers a range of emotions, alters or regulates mood, increases work output, heightens arousal, induces states of higher functioning, reduces inhibitions and encourages rhythmic movement." That is according to The National Library of Medicine.
With World Poetry Day celebrated on Monday (21st March) it's both useful and mindful to appreciate just how powerful words and music combined can create a state of art which can be interpreted in multiple ways, largely acting as an intimate form of expression for listeners and readers across cultures to enjoy.
The basic rhythm of life starts with a heartbeat and this beat can act like a metronome or a drum to move onwards, whether in traditional battle, tribal chant, in poetry, or classical and even electronic composition - the idea starts with the bass, the beat, that lifeline. That then is dressed in armour, or melodies, symphonies, even high-hats and then maybe spoken word, or rap, or a choir, or a solo vocalist ...the soundscape designed can present a story to be heard for hundreds if not thousands, maybe millions of years later.
Hieroglyphics, The Lord's Prayer, The Qaran, Pythagoras's Theory, Magna Carta... these are all accumulations of philosophy, art, religion but all in all collective forms of media, communicating a message throughout the ages. The days of feathered pen and parchment are pretty much gone, as are papyrus and stone circles. Each of these mediums and practices were common moons ago.
The way we communicate today from the sounds of an orchestra, a live band, or multiple DJ line up at a festival, the way we have evolved remains innate with the beat - the one of time - the clock that ticks, just like the till, the tap of a card, the monthly pay cheque, the swipe of the screen as you unlock the pin on your phone, the moving calendar, changing seasons, the planets in orbit - and let's not forget the beat of the heart that sets the pace, the direction and the tone.
When the heart and the soul scream out with sound this often, when channelled in the right way, can form intricate works of art. From Beethoven, Vivaldi and Bach's greatest symphonies to Drake, Eminem and Nicki Minaj's commercial successes no matter how explicit or profound the content, the message and result resonates with masses... To repeat "Music captures attention, triggers a range of emotions, alters or regulates mood, increases work output, heightens arousal, induces states of higher functioning, reduces inhibitions and encourages rhythmic movement." To add to this the same excerpt states "Music has ergo-genic effect as well, it increases exercise performance, delays fatigue and increases performance and endurance, power and strength." ... in what was meant to be a blog post on 'music and exercise' (we'll save that for another day) it turns out that the simplicities of rhythm in today's world - and has been for millennia - demonstrates the power is dictated by that beat of the drum.