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  • Wonjin Eum

Music is a moral law

About 2500 years ago, Plato stated, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” People listen to music for different purposes; some play music constantly as a background sound and others truly enjoy diving deep into the music itself. The great passion towards music connects us with majestic and marvelous emotions — and links us to others.

Passion towards music often comes from close observations of the song or the artist. HIstory and journalism teacher Dale Hinckley says, “One of my favorite bands, Steely Dan, always excelled at [improvisations], combining rock, funk, and R&B with jazz.” His words represent the love and passion he holds to the band and their dynamic music. Hinckley also explains, “Improvisation is the essence of jazz, and playing variations on a melody lies at the heart of many kinds of music.” Being able to identify the different genres that are embedded in one performance proves his dedication and excitement towards music.


Furthermore, Hinckley goes into becoming a part of the music by emotionally and psychologically participating in the music: “I replay the original melody in my head while a guitar, synthesizer, sax, bass, or singer creates surprising variations on the melody.” By fully immersing himself in the development of variations on the melody of the music, Hinckley shows his willingness to complete the music he loves.


Sophomore Ansam Qureshi also shares her focus in finding herself in the music: “I try to hear the actual melody and find ways to harmonize with the artist.” The way she interacts with the music by including a piece of herself in it creates a beautiful and charming connection between the music and an individual. One’s passion towards music not only mesmerizes them from looking at it externally, but it also brings them into the internal world of the melody and instruments and finally completes the music.


The emotions and reactions to the music reflect the amount of passion one holds. Depending on the genre and the artist, music can bring a variety of moods, feelings, movements, consoledents, and entertainments. Hinckley explains that his experience “could range from deep melancholy that heals the bad vibes to laughter that comes from true joy.” He says that music sometimes overwhelms him with “awe and the pure expression of creativity.”


Hinckley also expresses deep appreciation for the artists which brings him “admiration for the clever ways a musician has found, for example, new rhythms in a song or a way to explore alternate scales.” Sophomore Maddy Ullyot offers a slightly different focus: “The best feeling is when I am in awe of the lyrical writing skills of the artist.” It is interesting to note that people have preference in either the instrumental or vocal part of the music. In a survey sent out to Stevenson School students, 54% of people responded that they paid more attention to the instrumental part while the other 45% leaned towards the vocals.


Music completes some people’s minds and lives. Senior Sofia Bozzo says, “I try to listen to the music I love as much as possible– I have a song for every significant part of my life.” One’s passion could be directed towards one specific genre or style of music, but also could end up in diverse areas. Music seems to be a crucial part of people’s everyday lives, completing the empty intervals between one thing and another. Ian Haight states that music is a coping mechanism for him: “Music is a great way to explore and express the moods I am in; stress relief really is my main reason for interacting with music.” Ullyot also asserts, “Music is an escape from the outside world where I can create my own world and get out of my head for a while.” The consolidation that music conveys could be better than any other remedy.


Hinckley sums up his thoughts on his passion towards music: “It irresistibly draws me into it! I find a little realm of magic in the experience of music– one of the few realms of magic one can explore for a lifetime — and one of the few places we still find magic in life.” Music is a life-long companion that has always been next to us that finishes human existence.


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