A Purpose of Music
Music is great. (Talk about stating the obvious).
I’m one of those people that listens to almost every genre in the book. However, I’ve had a very interesting transition over the last couple years.
Ever since I can remember (going back almost over a decade now) I only listened to upbeat hip-hop, rap, pop, rock, or EDM music.
And I always thought that people who listened to classical, instrumental, or generally slow music, were outdated. To me, they were part of a dying breed.
Surprisingly, today, most of what I listen to is part of the relatively slow, sonically simple, and overall more relaxing category of music.
This got me thinking — how and why have I done a complete 180 in my music preferences.
To this question, I found my answer through pondering the purpose of music.
Of course, we all listen to music to be entertained. We enjoy it, we derive pleasure from it — its not that complicated.
This is true, no doubt. Most of my music listening has been due to this very reason.
However, in this scenario, what we’re essentially doing is escaping from reality. As we do when we indulge in any entertainment really.
Let me be clear, this is not inherently bad. I do this all the time, as well. In fact, I would go as far as saying as this behaviour is necessary, in moderation.
Nonetheless, point is, when we allow our minds to get lost in the entertainment, we sacrifice our ability to think. More specifically, the activity of compounding thought gets put in the backseat while pleasure takes the front.
In other words, we become passive beings, giving free reign to the content we consume to mould our subconscious.
Now, some might claim that this description of music is too mechanistic. Or, it undermines music and/or misses the whole point.
And I see where they're coming from. But I argue, when you have music that supplements the highest order of thought, when music becomes the tool that catalyses and feeds the activities of your mind, the purpose of music transcends our traditional perception of it.
Music no longer simply serves as another cog in the vast arena of entertainment, enabling compulsive escapism. Now, not only does it promote the opportunity for a better reality, but also its utility becomes versatile — music, now, is no one trick pony.
And this is exactly why I found myself listening to piano solos, mellow electronic tracks, and a whole host of calming music that the mainstream would regard as boring/repetitive.
Building on this, it could be possible that this same idea applies to other forms of art. However, since I have neither personally tried nor experienced it, I will avoid elaborating on this and make waterless claims.
But, the following I can attest: As soon as you realize the importance of being in control of your mind, only then will you see the truth in what I speak.
Music offers a lot more than mere entertainment, should you choose to let it.