Thursday, April 9, 2009


Music harnesses the unique ability of humanizing the human experience. It transcends any socioeconomic, cultural, racial, mental, emotional, physiological, or religious barrier. Music characterizes reality and helps people channel their own emotions, it helps embody any type of experience that any one us may have. It is also easily accessible to most of the public. Especially since mass media has expanded over the last 50 years and also since the advent of the the internet people can listen to all types of music. You can choose to listen to any type of music of your liking depending on your preference of genre. When people have nothing to relate to, and nobody to speak to, the music speaks for them and helps make their experience seem important enough for the masses to listen to. But what most people don't realize is that there are many people who are out there sharing that same experience who we might not get to meet face to face but the music allows us to make that intimate connection. This is the single most luminous aspect that music has to offer. It also helps personalize any intimate events that a person might not feel comfortable sharing with anybody else. Music pluralizes any humanistic dimension that otherwise might be seen as individualistic.

The other aspect of music that makes it so popular is a pseudo reality. It can materialize what otherwise maybe fantasy. For example the song "My life is entertainment" by TI talks about the glitz and the glamor of being a musician and other songs such as "Torre De babel" by Wisin y Yandel that takes you halfway across the globe to explore an unknown land. There are many pop songs that depict this pseudo reality where everything is fun, life is a paradise, and that our journey on this earth is worriless and care free. Kanye's album graduation is an album that perfectly characterizes that feel good pseudo reality type of music.

But is being a famous musician all it is cracked up to be??? Think about it. We've already discussed the facet of the pseudo reality of music but on the flip side lies the realism. Music also portrays the realism of the artists' experience. They show us the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the pretty and the ugly. The music provides an outlet for artists to speak about their lives and get personal. To get intimate with the listener and expose their deepest insecurities! I believe this type of music evokes the most emotion because we can see how human and fallible a famous artist can be; they show us that they are not at all invincible. These types of artist generate the most diverse and broadest fan bases and also have the most mass appeal because so many people can relate to their message. The stark realism of any situation cultivates a following like no other theme. In the song El cantante Puerto Rican singer Hector Lavoe speaks on his struggles of being a famous salsa singer. In the song he sings about how he is rich and famous and that people pay to hear him sing nevertheless in that dark corner after his show he is an ordinary guy who has trials and tribulations and has happy and sad moments just like each and every one of us. Joe Buddens is one of my favorite artists whose subject material includes anecdotal accounts about how he overcame depression and how he once was borderline suicidal in the midst of battling other demons. He also speaks on his interactions with females and the turmoil in his life. Most people can relate to this type of music and can have respect for it. "Everything that glitters ain't gold". It couldn't be more true in show biz. Many people yearn to be famous and fall into the deceptive trap of wanting to live a glamorized lifestyle. But they have no idea what it takes to keep your sanity and to thwart the criticism and tolerate the press and to be scrutinized each and every moment of your life. You are constantly under supervision, from the time you leave your house to when you enter a bathroom!

Music also provides a safe space. It is nonjudmental, does not criticize you, and makes you feel perfectly normal despite your flaws or idiosyncrasies. What I mean by this is that when artists speak on a certain issue that is important to you or his/her lyrics are related to a secret that only your family and friends may know about or that only you may know about. Lets say an artist has a song about child abuse and somebody has experienced that in the past, this helps the listener overcome that situation and feel understood. When it comes down to it most relationships are built on the concept of being understood. So music's most powerful unifying factor is that most people that listen to a certain genre or artist all understand each other. They gravitate to music that resembles them in some sort of way, usually the similarities are not superficial such as he drives the car that I drive or he is Asian just like me. The semblances tend to be deeper like we share the same strengths and flaws, we have a similar upbringing, or I experienced the same tragedy in my past. This leads people to respect each other and where they came from.

Music can also be very dualistic in the sense that it has two polar opposite facades. It can either be very empowering or very detrimental. It can be used to kill or to procreate. Most people that listen to music use it lift their spirits and have good intentions but there is that small group of people that use music for the darkest of reasons. Music also has different effects on people. Other people use music to channel their different emotions. Some people may use music when they are angry to evacuate all the anger. Some people may use certain types of music to motivate them, other people may utilize music as a form of relaxation or to make them happier. It can destroy or cultivate, inspire or discourage. Music also conceptualizes your successes as well as your failures. Like everything in life music needs to maintain its ying and yang in order to be functional but I strongly believe that it has more positive uses in the world than negative.

Apart from the pseudo realities and realities music is UNIVERSAL. Music is life; a compilation of all the experiences, sounds, visions, and lessons that make us who we are. Music universally humanizes the all too real human experience. Music is the center of our galaxy that revolutionizes all dimensions!

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