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Following God: The Grand Adventure | Notes on worship, music ♫ , God, leadership, church, adventure and life, Have you ever wondered why music is so inherent in our culture and in cultures around the world? Have you ever wondered why music is so important and can stir up all sorts of emotions and memories? Here are some thoughts on 'Why Music?' Music Is A Science It is exact, it is specific: it demands exact acoustics. A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time. Recording studios and live concerts use computers to control the time, pitch and frequencies of music. Music Is Mathematical It is rhythmically based on the subdivision of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper. Chord progressions and scales are based on 5, 7 and 12 note scales and are often noted numerically. Professional Nashville musicians use a numbering system to perform music. Music Is A Foreign Language When people ask me if a speak a foreign language I tell them yes, I speak music. Music is a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music are the most complete and universal language. Music existed even before written language. Wherever I travel in the world, people relate to music. Music Is Physical Education Music requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles. It also requires extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back and chest muscles which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets. To perform music properly you have to be in good musical and physical shape. Music Is Art It allows a human being to take all these technical and difficult techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: feeling and emotion. Music says things that cannot be said in words. We need music to say the things we cannot say any other way. If there is great joy, we need music. If there is great sadness, we need music. In fact, we need music whenever we have a great need to say something important. Music Heals We now know through controlled treatment outcome studies that listening to and playing music is a potent treatment for mental health issues. Research demonstrates that adding music therapy to treatment improves symptoms and social functioning among schizophrenics. Further, music therapy has demonstrated efficacy as an independent treatment for reducing depression , anxiety and chronic pain. Music Is Spiritual The New Oxford American Dictionary defines spiritual as relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Martin Luther said: Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us. The largest book in the most spiritual of books, the Bible, is the book of Psalms. A collection of lyrics from 150 songs. The Bible also declares that God sings: For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Why Music? Music is one of the few activities that involves using the whole brain. It is intrinsic to all cultures and has surprising benefits not only for learning language, improving memory and focusing attention, but also for physical coordination and development. Music brings joy, life, emotion and a spiritual connection that does not happen in any other way.
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