At the school I teach at, they recently asked the students and faculty to write a paragraph with the prompt of, “what does music means to you?” Here are my expanded thoughts on my answer.
To me, Music explores the most mysterious of the five senses. As a species, we’ve chosen to use our aural sense as the main source of communication. What we taste, what we smell and what we feel is the same to all of us, and we can all have different opinions of what we enjoy for these senses, but not to the same extent as to what we hear. Our visual sense supplements our aural sense in communicating and at one point in our history our visual sense probably was the main form of communication, but now most languages are accompanied by vocalizations of sound. We’ve placed meanings on certain sounds which is where language comes from, but with music we still have a vast array of possibilities for the interpretation of what we are hearing. Music has the ability to inspire different reactions from the same source. A piece or song might bring a sense of joy to one person and yet the same piece might remind someone else of a sadder time. This wide range of possible affects fascinates me, because we can never know how the listening experience will affect us, and I love exploring that mysterious unknown.