Thursday, January 28, 2010

Music ~ a universal language

The 19th Century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once mused, "Music is the universal language of mankind." Although his words pre-dated the iPod generation by about a hundred years or so, I think the poet was onto something.

In an age where understanding the new models of music and media changes by the day ~ if not by the hour ~ it is music that has shaped the world around us. No matter what language it is sung ~ English, French, Spanish, Afrikaans. No matter if you don't speak or understand the language. You can still understand ~ and appreciate ~ the voice, the beat and the sound of the music.

A perusal of recent additions to my "Morning Becomes Eclectic" playlist (500+ songs) on my Apple iPod reflects the universality of my expanding multi-lingual and multi-genre music tastes:

"Prayer in Open D" by Emmylou Harris from Spyboy.
"Waiting for a Miracle" by Bruce Cockburn from Anything, Anytime, Anywhere.
"Xango Te Xinga" by Fabiana Cozza from The New Brazilian Music.
"July Flame" by Laura Veirs from July Flame.
"Seya" by Oumou Sangare' from Seya.

Let's break it down: There's alt country sung by an American (Harris), indy rock by a Canadian (Cockburn), bossa nova (sung by Cozza, a Brazilian), indy folk (sung by Veirs, an American), world music (sung by Oumou Sangare, a Malian). Added up: Music has no borders; its themes are shared.

Yes, music is indeed its own universal language. And, after all, doesn't everything in life go better with music?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, everything does go better with music...with perhaps the exception of a young child learning to play a musical instrument (the sounds of discord can be a bit distracting!).