English is now a common language around the world, but for thousands of years ago, people from different areas of the world have made contact without sharing much or any common language. Some researchers believe that early forms of human language actually developed from communication through music, and certainly music continues to fulfill many functions in different cultures today. Here we discuss the process of communicating through music in the past and in this day and age.
What makes music an effective means of communication is not just the symbol, but also the emotion behind it. Imagine watching a love story without any background music. I’m sure most of you will leave the theater feeling confused as to whether you’d be happy or sad over how the ending came about. Music does this so effectively but we rarely notice it.
Being a means to convey symbols, music is also one of the few ways in which people can connect with each other without using language. In fact, there has yet to be a culture discovered which lacks music. Making music is seen historically to be as fundamental as the characteristically human activities as drawing and painting. It is also one way in which cultures can not only identify themselves but also communicate with each other to find common ground.
Singing, rhymes, musical games and playing instruments are also great ways for parents and carers to communicate with babies. Musical activities make communication fun and enjoyable, and there is growing evidence that they assist with early language development and emotional well-being. In this case, it only goes to show that music should be part of every child’s development. It’s not a privilege but a must!
In the past, music was exclusively used in celebrations, gatherings, events, and rituals. These days, music is now part of the commercial world. In fact, we place great importance on today’s musical stars, so much so that they can reflect or attempt to change public opinion. Musical performances today have also conveyed political protests which otherwise would not have been overtly allowed to happen in the first place.
All these instances just goes to show how effective communicating through music is. What’s the point in all of this? If you want to convey a message with more effect or with more persuasion, why not try it with music? Or if you want to express your love to your loved ones, why not play a ballad yourself?