How Music creates Cultures

Music is present in everybody’s lives; nobody can run or hide away from music (unless you’re deaf). Nowadays, we don’t just hear music from performer for the mere purpose of entertainment, we can also hear it in jingles, commercials, anything, you name it.

A lot of sociologists agree that music has a big impact in different social groups, there’s a music product for every taste in different presentations ready to be consumed by these individuals that, together, make up society for what it is.

Because of the reason we’re all individuals music creates several cultures since the reaction is different for every person, even if we’re consuming the same product. So, in my personal opinion, it’s not possible at all to talk about a static culture but rather several cultures that find themselves in constant evolution processes that are flexible and adaptable to every single person.

As long as there are different perceptions and opinions, cultures will always be malleable. The music leaves its impression in symbols and values; it also set the guidelines for social stratification, technological characteristics of our time and the growing influence of the mass media production.

So you can tell music plays an important role in society when it comes to culture manifestations, it’s also communication between all individuals since it reflects the principles where they belong. We, humans, express ourselves through several forms of culture, with music specifically we use a specialized language, different from the one we use every day. The language of music has many levels of understanding and it allows us to be aware of the extension of dialogues in modern culture and also there’s the special ingredient which is the passional together with its cognitive dimensions.

Something important about music being seen or used as a product is that its importance shouldn’t be measured by the benefits that its merchandising reports. It’s all about how a new vital experience is built and created around it. That’s the way we can understand and assume an identity, as much as subjective and collective, with the current musical cultures.

The significance of music also lies in the performance, not only in the text and the composition; the staging is also important because through it you can describe the answer and the feeling you want to elicit on listeners. We say that music is symbolical for a group of individuals and transmit identities when a song contains a representative value for that human group into a time and determined context.

It’s very hard to question the communicative capacity that music has without necessarily being a language, it operates just as if it was a language. Its communicability develops through observable, measurable and verifiable processes. But because we’re always exposed to music and sometimes we even abuse it we miss its communicative capacity. We have never been so surrounded by music; however, music occupies a peripheral place in our society which hides its communicative function. We have progressively lost the capacity of translating music’s real language.

Jose Carlos (for Music Interval Theory Academy)


About the Author

Jose Carlos

Jose is a student of musicology and a big fan of books and science.

He lives in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and works as a freelance writer. His main profession is writing articles about music-related topics like music therapy, how music can cure diseases and what it does to the human brain.

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