a column to charge musical and holistic thinking
an exploratory writing by Cayla Ross
What fragment of music has stuck to you recently? Is there a TikTok snippet living in your head rent-free? Does the Stanley Steamers jingle incessantly swim through the restful parts of your day? Music sticks with us, whether we like it or not. But...why?
Music has always been powerful. Like matter, music cannot be created or destroyed. It has always existed; through the ringing of the planets themselves, the harmony of the universe, the cries of birds, and the hushing wind. And though you may think you have created music through the pull of a violin’s bow, you have simply set in motion frequencies out of a resting vibration already present within the fiber and string. The music was already there, living, it just needed a vehicle for us to hear it fully. In that, we can understand why music seduces us: We are music, waiting to be discovered, searching for our master’s hand.
And if we are music, what are we becoming as we listen or let it pass through? I am often sat wondering just how much of our lives are impacted by what we consume audibly; with what we feed our minds and, thus, fuel our resulting words. So much of our health is fixated on what we eat, what we take in through our mouths and put out with our profile pictures. It is time to worry less about what we put into our mouths and more about what comes out of them. If we feed our thoughts with frequencies that clash against our own; music that seeks out our insecurities, our false images, or our self-indulgent tendencies, then the music that we make will draw that same crowd, find bitter harmony, and set more fortune-searching trap artists in trending audio.
In early music, musicians were considered next to sorcerers because of this great influence. There were even certain intervals banned due to their “evil sounding nature” (Burns). It is no wonder then, that we turn down our radio to better see the address of our encroaching destination; music has power. When we are looking to calm our anxieties or focus our thinking, we play music that harvests those rhythmic thoughts- cue your local yoga studio’s bansuri music and essential oil getup. What we consume matters, and what we contribute should be that which we wish to consume.
As we mature, this notion becomes more explicit. This is why we often see later adults enrolling in music lessons or exploring the greater records of their adolescence; we recognize our need for discovery and find ourselves enthralled by the idea of our music finally being heard.
If nothing else, let this be a charge to evaluate the quality of what you are consuming and contributing in your search for the music that is you.
Feed your soul, feed your craft.
Burns, Janet. “A Brief History of the Devil's Tritone.” Mental Floss, 29 Mar. 2016, https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/77321/brief-history-devils-tritone.