Every two weeks, when I indulge in the tedious task of doing laundry, I lay my dry clothes on my bed, turn on my Favorites playlist on Spotify, and fold and store my clothes. There's one thing that makes this process surprisingly pleasurable: music.
Why does music matter so much to us? Why is it that I can play my favorite R&B album and forget about all my problems in life? Why is it that the past is so vivid when I listen to my favorite 90s songs? Music is a combination of different sounds that, when concocted in a coherent way, result in striking melodies and rhythms. When you add in the voice of the artist, who always has a narrative that can be disseminated in various ways, you get a powerful sound that not only is pleasant to the ears but also resonates with us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
I won't get too much into the origin and original purpose of music, but music means many things to many people. It matters for several reasons, which are outlined below with examples.
- Music is a means for expression - Like other art forms (e.g. painting, photography), music is way for us to express our feelings and tell stories.
- Music is a way to build wealth - Many people have made a living off of making and distributing music. It's a big business with lots of rewards for great work. Just look at Beyoncé.
- Music helps steer our focus - Think about how many people you see at their desks with headphones on their heads every day. Music is helping them focus.
- Music is a way to relieve stress and relax - Just like reading a book or doing yoga, listening to music helps you get back to the real you, not the angry, pissed off, and upset you.
- Music provides a feeling of nostalgia - Think about the memories that come back to you when you listen to your favorite song from your teenage years. We attach music to moments of our past.
- Music is a catalyst for fun and relationships - Have you ever been to a rave, college party, or just a regular dance party at a bar? Music is the spark that makes these events awesome.
Put simply, music is involved in almost everything that's important to us as social, spiritual, and emotional beings, and it's an art form that will probably never die.