Music has been a means of personal, popular and general exertion of the thoughts and feelings of a person or people. We can find drawings and images of people playing with instruments of music as far back as 4000 years ago in Asia.
One thing is sure though the power of music the world over cannot be overemphasized in its unique ability to unite people across age, gender and tribal barriers.
This fact is shown in the wide use of music in religious gatherings. As globalization leads to more people gaining knowledge about different cultures, this influence will naturally rub off on the music produced worldwide.
Some of the importance of music on society include
Stimulation of the fetus in its developmental stage
We start with the development of humans right from conception. Listening to music stimulates the fetus promoting their health. A child who was actively involved in making music at an early stage may have a better-developed self-esteem and enhance his or her social and brain skills.
Music helps in better assimilation
Image by – takelessons
Several studies have proved that listening to classical music while reading can help one in better assimilation of whatever you are reading. Slow, soft and relaxing music, also helps improve your academic performance and give a better memory. It also opens the soul for better meditation.
Influence on our choice of a particular product over another
Advertising agencies year in year out churn out millions of dollars for radio and TV jingles, and also to sign endorsement deals with music superstars. This is due to how a well-composed song can greatly affect the sales of a particular product. How does that ? You may ask. Jingles helps the customers remember names of the products and make the product more recognized by singing it in the genre which is popularly in that community. They also make several mentions of how to use the product making it customer friendly. Knowing this, directly or indirectly the music demand is a major factor in boosting the economy of any given country.
A disadvantage of music is that it’s power and influence over the populace might be taken for granted
We see this occurring mostly among the younger generation. In the 50’s the emergence of rock and roll in the USA was frowned upon by religious organizations, educators and parents as a corruption of the youths. Most of the genres of music that have been of great influence the world over like rock and roll, rock, punk, rap, and afro-hip-hop (from Nigeria) have been seen as containing elements of sexually suggestive and provocative content, violence and hate which has been known to have an adverse effect on youths leading to rebellion and the other social vices. This is a disadvantage of the easily available feature of music. The solution for society might be to encourage individuals who understand the repercussions and promote them as the real role models..
The development of sound recording technology
From having to go to a live show hear the artiste play to a gramophone, to tape recorders, VCD and now we have DVD disks and mp3 formats. This development over the last 100 years cannot be overlooked as an achievement in music development. Musicians work hard yearly, to make it to billboard hot 100, and all worldwide music charts. We have music awards such as the Grammies, MTV video music awards etc. This definitely has made the music industry a force to reckon with. The USA currently has over 13000 radio stations. Over a period of 24 hours, an average American watched 1600 commercial adverts, which are accompanied by jingles.
As a tool for creating awareness of society’s pain points
Music over time has not only been used for entertaining purposes but also as a tool to point out the problems ravaging the Society. This is actually the basis of the origin of rap music. Rap music originated in ghettos of the Bronx and was made even more popular by the likes of NWA, Tupac Shakur, puff daddy, notorious BIG etc. who used it to speak the minds of the black people about the racism faced by the black community and the anger which it led to. Likewise, in apartheid, South Africa, the likes of Brenda, lucky dude and Yvonne Chaka Chaka preached peace and an end to the hatred caused by apartheid. It was also a tool in letting the world know what the people were going through as opposed to using news agencies whose content may not reach as many due to their lack of interest in news reports.
This video derives from the movie “straight outta compton” explaining the story of NWA rap band.
Back to 1988 Protesting police brutality and racial profiling, its lyrics express approval of violence against police. The song provoked the FBI to write to N.W.A’s record company about the lyrics expressing disapproval and arguing that the song misrepresented police. Actually they prohibit the band to play it live.
The above is just a tip of the iceberg of the numerous effects of both the negative and positive that we have encountered through the spread of music in the Society. One cannot even begin to consider how music has been an advantage both in the relieve of pain, the spread of love, the furtherance of religion and so on.
Feature Image – Brigitte M.