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A culture of noise: The transcendent power of music

A culture of noise: The transcendent power of music- John Williams conducts

Sonic-Shield is happy to reprint this column :A culture of noise: The transcendent power of music . No matter your culture, age, gender, and most importantly, no matter what type of music you like, we have never met anyone who does not like SOME type of music. Do you play, sing, perform or just listen? Music is great for so many things, we thought you would enjoy the perspective of this author. 

One more thing- A culture of noise: The transcendent power of music closes with this line: So, here’s to the singular enchantment that is music. Cheers! We loved it and hope you will too!

A culture of noise: The transcendent power of music- John Williams conducts

By Ron Weber – HP Opinion Maker Columnist

To assert that contemporary culture has created more types of noise than any other in human history is probably the biggest understatement since Noah said, “It looks like rain.” There are ‘noise’ manifestations that attack not only our ears but our eyes, intellect and emotions as well. I’ve never seen so many bullies with this cause or that cause, or some other hurt feelings that leads one to self-righteously feel that the ends justify the means. Sorry all of you messiahs, no matter how you slice it, one man’s zealot is another man’s bully.

Thanks to smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, tweets, selfies, and the entire landscape of other social media options, we are nagged from all sides by otherwise well-meaning friends and associates who believe we might actually care that they’re about to stop at Panera’s for lunch, or that they’re all but distraught because their favorite flick didn’t win the academy award for Best Picture. And these little missives pop-up at any time due to the fact that, for some reason that escapes me, people can’t seem to turn the infernal devices off! Most of it is vacuous, inane noise.

We have 24/7 news radio stations and 24/7 news television outlets, and we actually turn these things on for fear we’ll miss some repetitive balderdash that they’ve already been looping and repeating for a day-and-a-half. I’m guilty, too. And in a presidential election year, the bombastic and too often boring bellowing of the buffoons, bimbos and bureaucrats who want to fleece me of my vote won’t stop until November. But I don’t really believe in political jokes. I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

Enter music! I’m not sure what possessed me the other week, but while working in the yard I consciously refused any and all devices and did not turn on the all-news radio station that I would normally listen to while working. I turned to music instead. It was wonderful! At the end of an arduous afternoon I actually felt more relaxed than tired. I began pondering this wonderfully human and ethereal creation we call music. It can be a mood changer. It can be a mood creator. It can be a life saver.

I have read that scientific research is confirming the amazing power of music. Science is backing up our own intuition and experience by verifying that music really can kill pain, reduce stress, better our brains and the academic performance of students. It basically can change how we experience life. I sensed this when I was younger; I didn’t need the science. You remember. You did, too. We just knew it; we felt it. We didn’t know everything, but we knew the philosopher Nietzsche was right when he proclaimed, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

No matter the genre of music you might prefer, for it makes no difference, or whether a particular tune is upbeat or simply easy and warm, the profound influence can be varied and tangible to our reality. Music can elevate our happiness, our solitude, our vigor, our excitement and powers of reflection and determination. Conversely, it can reduce tension, fatigue, depression, anger and confusion.

Music transcends all of the noise and helps you get in touch with you. But if we’ve shut it out over the years, we have to open up and let it in. We all make room for the things that fulfill our lives: spouse, children, profession, hobbies, etc. So every once in a while, we have to leave all the electronic chatting devices on the dresser and let the sweet breeze of music renew us.

Way before I qualified for induction into the Amalgamated Order of Geezers and Geezerettes, I personally recall how, as a young man getting a start in life, the hit rock tune “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive became my anthem of sorts for challenging each new day. It was upbeat, hard charging and full of energy. It was a pep talk and it inspired my youthful vigor. Now, second only to my wife’s caress, I’ve grown to enjoy the classical piece “Clair de lune” by Debussy for a bit of rest and solitude.

Whether we are aware of it or not, deep in what some might call our souls, or others might call our collective consciousness, there is an inexplicable human element that identifies us and can be amplified over time through music. It brings us connectivity to the family of man. Whether it’s rock ‘n’ roll, pop, country, big band, show tunes, classical, easy listening, even non-violent rap, honor what music provides. So, here’s to the singular enchantment that is music. Cheers!