The Powerful Hold Music Sustains


Jacob Martinez, Managing Editor

New Jersey – In a song named “Trench Town Rock,” Bob Marley croons “one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.”

I have always been a fan of music from any genre as long as the song mirrors love and appreciation of the craft. My most recent journalistic work can be found on a website dedicated solely to electronic dance music, a genre that I like but do not love.

While EDM may not be my go-to music genre, I do have an interest in freestyle and house music which has obviously influenced the ever-evolving dance culture.

One of the most significant achievements of humanity has and will be the ability to blend sounds, instruments and tempos to create music. Whether you’re listening to a soothing voice or a spacey synthesizer, music has a way of pulling you into a melodic rapture.

Glenn McDonald, a data alchemist at Spotify, has identified more than 1,520 genres of music from around the globe. Despite the different types of music available for audible enjoyment, nothing brings millions of diverged people together like a good song. Of all outside forces in this world, nothing can guide you through mazes of emotional or mental breadths as can music.

Do you have any idea what happens in your brain when you listen to music you love?

A research group led by professor of radiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Dr. Jonathan Burdette, discovered that particular circuits within the brain are activated when listening to music you like rather than music you dislike. A paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information on the psychological effects of music proved that people often listen to music to “achieve self-awareness.”

Elena Mannes is an author of a book titled “The Power of Music,” which highlights music’s capacity to stimulate the brain. However, the mind is not the only aspect of life that gets fired up by an incredible song.

My strongest memories of expression have been motivated by lyrics from Rakim, Nas and Biggie Smalls, which may be due to my being born in the same borough that hip-hop was; the Bronx.

The words spoken by these artists motivated me to overcome economic and social hardships and become someone respectable. Similarly, Kesha’s “Praying” has motivated countless women to stand together against an all too common enemy in sexual harassment and assault. Songs like Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” raised awareness to the civil rights movement and reverberated during a critical time in American history. While movies and TV shows may reflect a moment in time, there are entire soundtracks which reflect every generation.

Regardless of race, economic stature or religion, a love for music is firmly ingrained into all forms of life. A frog exclusive to the island of Puerto Rico is renowned for its two-note song, filling the night air with a harmonious echo. Journalist Arin Greenwood recently wrote an article on the power music has over dogs living in animal shelters, including a video where an animal control officer silences a corridor of dogs by singing to them. While most chirps and tweets genuinely are just calls from a bird in need of some bestial relief, there is a relaxing feeling one gets from listening to the different pitches and notes.

Music is and will be the greatest medicine and poison to have ever existed in the world. You can refrain from food, water and, for some, even sex, but it is impossible not to tap your foot or move your hips to a song like “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire.