McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

MUSIC, MIND, BODY AND SOUL

INTRODUCTION
Nothing has more intrigued humankind than sounds. Sounds are anything perceived by the human ear. It is believed that the universe started with a sacred sound called "OM" or "Aum". In that sense, sound is the fundamental platform on which everything exists. Right from time memorial, humans have been experimenting with sound and developing devices that can emulate that sound. The humans started to study nature and the various sounds associated with it. Bamboo flutes, Lyras, Mouth Organs and Drums could be considered the oldest forms of sound producing instruments. Even the human body was used as an instrument. For example, singing or even whistling could be considered as the earliest forms of synthesisers because they use the lips or vocal tract. However, it could also be argued that these were naturally within each and every individual on the day of birth. So, it is always been the essence or the "soul" of a person. Music consists of sounds that are arranged in interesting patterns. That is possibly the safest definition of music because "good", "pleasing", "ordered", "discordant", "bad" music in the ultimate sense can mean one thing to one person and can be a totally different experience to another person. It is subjective. There are philosophical aesthetics associated with music. Otherwise, from where do all these soul searching, artist worshipping, genre distinctions, criticisms, etc. come from? Sound gives an atmosphere or a mood to the music and music exists within that sound to create a more tangible experience. In a way, music and sound are sort of two sides of the same coin. But even such a thought doesn't stretch completely to give an authentic answer. Perhaps, in short, if an analogy is drawn here, sound can be compared to the soul and the body to the music. Soul is always believed to be "out there" and can exist without the body but a body needs soul to exist.

 

 

MUSICAL HISTORY AND WIDER PERCEPTIONS OF TIME AND SPACE
The line between what is considered musical and amusical has blurred in the past century or so. In other words, music and noise are quite interchangeable now. As time progressed, several developments took place. The environment changed with the invention of machines and it influenced the sounds around a group of people. Industrial revolution and Electric Revolution are two prime historical events in terms of a paradigm shift in how the machine-based sounds played a huge role in the development of sound. Steam engines, typewriter, boring machine are some of the sounds that has influenced musicians even to this day. One interesting example of this is the chugging sound played on a harmonica in blues or bluegrass music. The method to store, package and distribute sound was discovered. For example, telephone enabled two long distance parties to communicate with each other, then phonograph recorded and stored sound. Radio, on the other hand was described  in a figurative manner by Schafer (1977): Modern life has become ventriloquised…Never before had sound disappeared across the space to reappear again at a distance…The radio was the first sound wall enlcosing the individual with the familiar and excluding the enemy (Schafer, 1977:91-93). The advent of synthesisers and electronic equipment changed the way we experience music or sounds and they have made the musical world richer.

Related Links
To Top