Music And God: Common Grounds Essay, Research Paper
Music was born in order for people to express their inner most emotion of which language could try to, but not fully describe. In having this ability to express raw emotion, I believe music is a form of language.
“Speech expresses passion only by means of the ideas to which the feelings are linked, as if by reflection. Musical sound and gesture reach the heart directly without any deviation.
. Music cannot be metalingual, because a song cannot say specifically what the language in music is. I believe that this shows that music has mostly an emotive function rather than a connotative one. A song can move a listener to be sad, but the sadness wasnt demanded from the song. The listener infers his or her own feelings from the song. For example, the song cannot say “Feel sad now!” but can imply that sadness is being felt.
It is not possible by the listener to express in words what music means. The listener can say what the music means to him or her, or how certain techniques were used but cannot know what the music is saying exactly or what the meaning of the music is. It is also very difficult to write about emotions that are not described by conventional words. For example, when I write music, I am trying to convey a feeling that I cannot describe. I can only ascribe these feelings to other more “familiar” things. Such as a dream in which nothing seems to correlate, but the feeling that everything there belongs. It is only possibly to relate music by imitation, and symbols that express emotional life.
Music is directed toward the pure soul of an individual and contains vagueness only the listener can interpret.
A lightning bolt streaks down from the heavens and a few seconds later, thunder shock waves of sound resonate the air. These sound waves stimulate and vibrate ones eardrums to such amplitude that the listener can feel nature’s power. This power can be overwhelming, causing fear in some while invigorating others. Regardless of the reaction, the individual has a sonorous experience in which his or her intrinsic soul is captivated. This experience can be imitated through music and is one of the main reasons why music evolved.
Music, on the other hand, while being heard, taps directly into one’s instincts and gives a more primal sonorous experience that cannot be described in words. Music can bring memories as well, but those memories were made due to a prior sonorous experience related to the music.
It is culture that defines the music and language that foreign stimuli imitate. Thus, when a listener hears sounds, it is culture that tries to bring order out of those sounds and classifies them as either noises, or music. Even though it is culture that defines what is music, it is solely up to the individual listener to derive his or her meaning from those sounds. This is why it is difficult to find the OElink between the sounds of music and the social and cultural affects.
Words without music not only lack an aesthetic value, but feel more banal in today s western culture and are thus seen as weaker than the medium of music. Music is seen as the aggressive tumultuous sea on which words float helplessly along.
Music can also have an arbitrary meaning, but this depends on the listener and is therefore weaker in a social context. I believe, that music can have an immanent meaning when certain patterns of motion and rest, and of tension and release are played. These are general aspects of music, which have similarities with the human mind. The human mind can thus derive a general immanent meaning without words from the music.
As I see it music speaks largly to the emotional side of a person.True. But that emotional expression is something beyond the notes, and rhythms> and even the dynamics. I feel that you can take the same music(notes, rythmns, dynamics) and “speak” different things through them by changing more > subtle elements of the music itself. We need to recognize that music and music notation are really two different things. Just as thoughts and words are two different things. To carry the analogy further, consider this flow: thoughts-words-writing emotions-music-music notation. Words are an imperfect way of expressing our thoughts. Writing is an imperfectway of expressing words (you lose intonation, inflections, etc.). I’m sureanyone who has used email will agree how easy it is to miscommunicate your thoughts through email, because all the reader has is your writing. Conversely, music is an imperfect way of expressing emotions (a good musician,by definition, expresses his emotions well through music). Notation is animperfect way of expressing music. So I will agree with you partly here–the music absolutely DOES express emotion. But what happens is you lose some (not all) of that emotion as itgets passed on from the writer’s soul, to the paper, to your guitar. In fact,you can even lose it all in the process, just as easily as a simple omission ofone word can completely reverse a thought (she loves me, she loves me not…). You, the musician, have to reconstruct the details yourself, and now the MUSICyou make is partly a reflection of yourself, and partly the writer. Actors doexactly the same thing–they take a script and reconstruct the feelings theythink are behind the words. A musician who is a believer and is playing a love song and is expressing his love for God would sound different then a musician playing the same song expressing love for another person. **Just my opinion**That is absolutely true, and I have witnessed it. And it’s a major reason whyI don’t believe in paying unsaved musicians to lead our worship service. The professional musician may make technically good music, but God’s simply not in it. I don’t know that you could take a soundtrack done by unbelievers and use that> to worship God. I just don’t know about that. I have also heard about a worship song being taken by secular musicians and turned into a love song, but don’t know if this is true.Well, you CAN… But you have to change the music. I feel that music itself is colorless(neither good nor evil) and that the heart of the musician gives the music its color.Is it? We know God created music. He created the birds, the sunset, the trees, the clouds, sex (shhhhhh!!!!!), and He created music. Music is basically a beautiful thing. It’s when our sinful nature comes in and misusesit that we have problems. Just to close with a relevant Secular Song from the 70’s:I write the songs that make the whole world sing, I write the songs of love and special things, I write the songs that make the young girls cry, I write the songs, I write the songs, I am music…and I write the songs.