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Archive for November, 2013

My music will go on forever. Maybe it’s a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever. – Bob Marley

When one embarks on the journey in search of a definition of “music” they will encounter a myriad of opinions and issues. The simplest definition may be that music is “organized sound”. However, one does not have to be a musician or a philosopher of music to understand that music is more than this. There is a reason that most pieces of music dear to us are pieces composed in the dark clouds of hate and despair or from the sunny hills of love and euphoria. Music is a living expression of our human condition.

There are those musicians who create solely out of the motive to entertain and receive the rewards of that enterprise, who compose on the plateau (to keep with the analogy). These do entertain us and may have our attention for a moment, but they do very little for us beyond that. The music most humans run back to is the music that, though it is from us, is always bigger than us; and whether it is helping us cope with oppression or loss or giving us a channel to release joy and beauty, it reminds us of what it is to be human.

As expressed in our music, as well as all kinds of art, we desire a better world. Even our darkest expressions show this, for they are usually masterminded out of the frustration from wanting. We all hear echoes of justice and beauty and hope for them to become the norm though we live in a world where these are often times perverted if not missing. To be a human is not only to express our selves and our world, but to hope for the light when in a dark place. Music can be an expression of this hope. It is one of the gifts we have in which we see that when this hope is expressed, it becomes more than mere hope, it can become a spark for a movement to change and restore.

In a society gorging itself on shallow entertainment and despairing because it is still hungry, I believe musicians, as well as all artists, have a responsibility to again express the human condition and offer hope. As enjoyable as what we are fed from the plateau is, it is only in the shadows or on the hills where we find real sustenance. As survivalists know, we can only live off of the lean meat for a short time till we are poisoned by lack of fat. Could it be that our culture is beginning to suffer from lack of real “music”? Could it also be that our society is therefore in desperate need of a new movement, a revolution against the mundane and the meaningless?

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