I like to think that when God created the universe, it was to a
sweepingly beautiful aria sung by his favorite angel. I believe that
the Almighty would have been partial to listening to Thelonious Monk
whilst breathing life into his creations. But, of course, He hadn’t
created Monk yet. I have often mused about whether God likes his beat
down low. Mayhap. I know some of his creatures do.
Some experts have claimed that exposing babies to classical music makes
them smarter, and while that claim is disputed in some quarters, the
music does appear to affect how their brains develop, perhaps due to
its nuanced complexity and textured rhythm. Music has been present
since time immemorial, it is in our DNA, and that is why music
resonates within our very souls. Music can inspire, uplift, intoxicate
and lull, so it’s possible that it may make us smarter, too. Why not
consider the possibility?
Historically, our ancestors used music, specifically drums, to
communicate with each other. We continue to use music as a
communication apparatus today, although not all the messages we’re
sending are loving or informational, let alone inspirational. There is
no denying the power of music in both majesty and transformational
properties, but some ‘musicians’ are using the art form as a blunt
force object. One thing we should not use music for is to verbally
bludgeon one other. That misuse of a divine resource is criminal.
Music upends the mundane background and adds a punch of color to life.
A song can evoke memories of a first kiss, a sad parting, or a really
bad decision to take a joyride in the family car without permission.
Music can make the heart leap within the chest, quicken the pulse, halt
the breath. As our forbears used drums and call-and-response to
fortify, uplift, spirit away, warn and deliver each other from harm, so
too, should music today trumpet and remind of us our greatness. We are
a mighty people; let’s choose to be intellectual, let’s choose to be
the best. You control who you are no matter what the music says.