15 March 2011

The Power of Music

Ever wondered why music is such an important aspect of our lives? From kids to adults, east to west, it seems that this form of entertainment never fails to inspire, awe and capture us. Ranging from an array of genres - rock, pop-rock, country, electronic, blues, classical, R&B, soul, rap and hip-hop just to name a few - there is sure to be a type of music that hits your spot.

So just how old is music? Well, the thing is : no one knows for sure. Our ancestors surely did not relax to Alesana ( if you can call that relaxing) nor did they listen to Linkin Park. And I'm pretty damn sure they did not scream to Bieber's name. Back to the topic, whatever it is they did listen to, the point here is they did listen to something. (Don't ask me what music they fancy. I'm not that good in history).

Now going back to the present, the trend of music is not showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, the industry is growing like crazy!! You don't get to hear a music long enough on the radio before a new song kicks it out of the charts! 

And the internet! This once alien technology has invaded the homes, phones, offices, iPhones, iPads,  all those iThings and our minds to become an evermore important tool for artists, songwriters, producers etc. It certainly is not helping me keep up with the overwhelming information that seems impossible to fit in a space that doesn't even exist. Imagine the abundance of data stored in just one laptop, multiply that by about 'How many people in the world have laptops, eh?' and there you have it! (I can't help but to wonder how many gigabytes of data there is in this world...)

Well, like I said, the music industry is crazy... and I can't help but to wonder when the next MySpace artists is going to emerge. 

We've all heard of internet-born artist but now we are seeing the birth of a new kind of artist : yes, they are made famous by the internet but the words that come out isn't really from a type or genre that we are used to. 

Read this:

    At 6.30 p.m on Feb 15, as thousands of people gathered to protest against their ruler at a busy intersection in Manama, the capital of the small island nation of Bahrain, you could just about hear over the general hubbub the anthem of the young people who have shaken regimes from North Africa to the Arabian Gulf. It wasn't a verse from the Quran. It wasn't a traditional tune from the region. It was rap.

The "Rais Lebled" is an echo of the hymn of the Jasmine Revolution that shot down Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia from his 'throne'. The same lines came out of the demonstrators in Cairo who toppled Hosni Mubarak. Now, it had come to Bahrain.

The interesting thing is far from being happy tunes, the lines of this song carried messages of rage and frustration at being oppressed and being kept in poverty. Using music as a vessel to bring over a message that would have otherwise been hard to get through is not a new trend. A lot of artists have used music to make a statement. Michael Jackson's Heal The World featured children living in strife. Other figures had also used music as a means to promote social aspects like environmental issues, cancer, human rights, peace, poverty, HIV/AIDS etc. Some have touched on religion and beliefs.

But what makes this year's message so loud that it rang through from east to west and back is the intensity and passion that goes with it. Never before has a voice shouted this loud. Never before has a voice be heard on this scale. And (correct me if I'm wrong) the rage and anger is spreading like hellfire. Soon, this uncivilized form of uprising will infect and destroy us. One by one we will fall. One by one we will die.

Well, certainly the solution is there, if you know where to look... From my point of view, this unrest is an unnecessary source of commotion. Seriously, do you need to burn down stuff and shoot people just to clarify a point? Hell, no.

I have my own reason to believe why and how this situation started which I will write in my next post. (I just realized I've been astray for some time now. How did I go from music to Bahrain??)

Personally I love music. The ones that carry meaning that is. I truly believe that music should be kept safe from the hazards of war and aggression. Music can relate to people without them really understanding the lyrics. It's like when you listen to a piece in a foreign language - though you may not know exactly what the song's about, you'll still have a vague idea of what it means and it won't stop you from dancing to the beat. That is exactly what is happening all across the Middle East. Someone writes a dangerous piece and those listening dances to the beat. (And the beat is not really a peaceful one but it's still catchy - in the sense that even housewives are taking up arms).

Simply said everybody should refrain from putting into songs anything that can upset, cause anger or attack others. These days, people turn to music whenever they feel hatred or anger but far from using the healing powers of music (crying, head-banging, singing-at-the-top-of-my-voice all work fine with me) , they turn to it as a tool to fume their feelings in wrong way. And more often than not, it turns bad (hurts others physically or kills) and escalates to become something that is far too huge to stop. While most people (myself included) love to say things like 'I can't live without music', some people (may God bless them) 'can't live because of music' - they died. 


  1. I like this post. Penuh dengan renungan dan pengajaran tentang music. Music is also important to us, God makes song as one of the ways to cut off our tension. :D