Asking why music is important might initially seem like an odd question. It obviously just is. But we think we can find a better answer – or answers – than that. The importance of music is due to many factors. Not only that, on an individual level, music is important to each of us for very different reasons. A certain song may take you back to a beautiful moment in your life and therefore be very meaningful to you. In a more global sense, music means something important to almost everyone, and every culture, on Earth.
1. It’s a universal language
As a human race we currently speak just shy of a whopping 7000 living languages between ourselves. Inevitably, this means that many people only understand what a small portion of the global population are saying. This isn’t true of music. Music truly is a universal language. Bars of Chopin or Tchaikovsky can have as profound an effect upon the ears of anyone, no matter where they’re from. Music can transcend verbal communication. Nessun Dorma may be sung in Italian, but even if ‘Ciao’ is the limit of your Italian, we defy your heart not to swell when you hear it.
2. It is everywhere
Music is practically inescapable. Especially in the modern world, when songs are mainlined into every shop, waiting room and café you come by. This signifies the importance of music in our culture; it’s something we feel we can’t be without. People know that music can lift our spirits and brighten our mood. Therefore, it’s something they want in their homes and places of business.
Equally, the radio, television and cinema are all purveyors of music to extreme extents. No one understands the power of music better than those in the entertainment industry, therefore they never miss an opportunity to use it.
3. It helps us through our lives
The right piece of music can dramatically alter your mood, emotional state and outlook on life. It really is that powerful. What the ‘right piece of music’ for you is, is subjective. That’s something you have to find out for yourself. That journey of discovery though is one of the joys of the musical world we live in. There really is music available to suit everyone and anyone. This further highlights the importance of music: the reliance and faith we place in it to support us through low times and elevate our highs.
4. It brings people together
Music is a unifying force in many senses. The most awkward of family events can be salvaged by a dancefloor and a good DJ. A revolutionary movement can be inspired, maintained and identified by music. Music can be tribal, and a welcoming embrace to all. It can be what a couple who go on to love each other for life first bond over. It can provide a great pub debate topic. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry simply because we are all willing to pay that much. Nothing quite underlines the importance of music more than realising how many things, big and small, that music is important to.
5. It’s a form of expression through art
As a society, or just as people, we yearn to express ourselves. Art, in all it’s guises, is often the form our expression takes. Music is one of these art forms and is as expressive as any other. It is also one of the most accessible art forms. Music can be created with your voice, your hands, sticks and stones and, indeed, a 16-piece band. We need to express ourselves, to tell people how we are feeling, and to connect with one another. It’s what makes us alive. That’s the importance of music. So, yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.
The true measure of the importance of music, for our money, is in its unique significance to you. Is music something you feel you could live without? If not, then we think that just about sums it up.
Also published on Medium.