The Beat Goes On
Q: What’s the significance of music in our lives and in our culture?
Music is a vibration. All energy vibrates. Humans use music to change their emotional states, and to fill in vibrational holes in their energy fields to feel better. Each musical note has a certain vibrational expression which is the equivalent of a specific emotion. Depending upon what you lack or are unable to express within your own vibrational field, you will choose to listen to vibrational sounds such as music to fill yourself up so you feel more whole, or where you feel able to release something that you need an outside trigger to get you to release. It can act as a spiritual soothing agent. Again each various type of music holds a general vibrational expression that draws specific types of people to it. This is why there are very few people who can truly cross over and appreciate all forms of music. Most people have a specific type of sound that they resonate to, and that comprises the bulk of the music they’ll choose to listen to.
Q: Why has there been this so-called rock and roll generation?
Let me finish another thought. When you are more connected to the All That Is, it’s very common to hear music in your head all the time, but it’s a very celestial kind of music, a music of the spheres, so to speak. There is a sound when you travel out into the universe. It is the sound of the “Om” mantra. It is a hum. Depending upon what rate of speed you travel out into the universe, you will hear different sounds.
The rock and roll generation acquired a certain beat that had more to do with a freeing of bodily expression, of triggering sexual and intense raw emotional feelings. It was a reaction to the previous generations where these feelings were more muted and repressed. It was part of the urge to break free of a kind of emotional repression.
Q: Is that why young people continue to listen to more music than older people?
Yes. Many young people use music to express their feelings, because they are not yet adept at expressing feelings. It gives permission to feelings. It creates a sense of inclusivity in a club of young people who share feelings through a particular song or a certain musical group. Each generation creates it’s own musical sound. But so much of music, even rock and roll, has become homogenized by digitalizers and synthesizers. It has become so formulaic: this beat equals a hit song and that beat doesn’t. More than ever, children are being even more manipulated by music and the media in general.
One of the nice things about introducing simple songs, rhythms, and music early to young children is this gives them a means to begin expressing their voices. It’s not so much that the words of the song are important, because they’re not, but it teaches them to use their voice in different ways, to be expressive and to be heard. It helps to begin teaching them simple instruments, such as the recorder, at an early age so they can begin experimenting with sounds of the universe in a very uncomplicated basic way. If all children were introduced to music in such straightforward ways early on, there would not be the attraction to rock and roll, and other music forms used as a stand in for their own self-expression. They wouldn’t need it. In fact, the more one becomes whole emotionally and spiritually, the less draw there is to have music do that work for you. That doesn’t mean that you would lose your love of music, but you would use music differently in your life, and you would be drawn to a different kind of music than most people are drawn to.
Q: Why is the sound of Irish music so popular right now?
For the same reason that magic is so popular right now. There is a spiritual quality to Irish music that people resonate to. It’s very much in touch with the earth and the sky and the sea. It’s very elemental. It is mostly comprised of simple music that we were speaking of earlier. Most of it is not highly synthesized. It doesn’t rely on volume. It has a certain rhythm and melody, that for most people, is uplifting and melancholic at the same time. Uplifting because it is spiritual. Melancholic because it’s a reminder to people how disconnected they are most of the time from this spiritual feeling.
But, in actuality, it is not that Irish music has gained such great strides in universal popularity, as it is that you’ve started to resonate to it because it’s touching a certain spiritual need you have now. So you’re more apt to pick it out when you hear it. It’s the same thing as not noticing, for example, silver Honda Accords, until you decide to buy one, and then you start seeing them everywhere.
As your emotional and spiritual self evolves, you will find that your musical choices will also evolve. Your taste will change, you will be drawn to new sounds, and will lose interest in old standbys. This is no different than how our friendships shift and evolve over the years to meet new needs. We are still talking about vibrational rates, and selecting or being drawn to the ones that affect us harmoniously.
Music is a language that all people understand. For many people, the draw to it is that it provides a visceral experience requiring no explanation. It is accessible to everyone. But, each musical style also emanates a specific vibrational rate, which will draw to it those people who most closely match that vibrational rate. Another way of explaining this would be to say that each style of music offers it’s own colloquial speech that some people understand and enjoy more naturally than others.
To illustrate the universality of music, you could take any musical piece and ask a few hundred people to describe what effect it’s having on them. There would be a general consensus among a very high percentage of them as to how it makes them feel. Subtle variations in descriptions could occur due to each person’s mood at the start. Nevertheless, nearly everyone would share general descriptive terms to describe it.
For instance, if we were to say to you, Play me some music that would indicate a scene of approaching horror or terror in a movie, you could pick it out of a soundtrack and say that this is where something bad is going to happen. If we were to tell you to pick out the place in the soundtrack where someone is about to fall in love, you could pick it out. No matter what event we could list, you could pick out the music to go along with that.
Some of this has been trained into you by watching so many movies. But some of it is because certain sounds represent certain emotions. You’ll notice that Irish music primarily uses higher octaves, very little bass, mostly fairly quick rhythms. This creates a certain feeling of liveliness and energizes people spiritually, where they feel happy and they want to tap their feet. Yes, there are Irish lament songs, but in general the popularity of the bulk of Irish music is that it’s nature-based music. Many indigenous cultures also offer wonderful examples of nature based music. Have some fun and try listening to a few for yourself.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to go out and listen to the real music of the earth: go out and listen to the birds, the wind rustling through the leaves, the sound of footsteps falling on soft grass, and the waves washing up on the shore. There’s music all around you, all of the time. Remember to stop occasionally and listen. It’s free.