What Is Music For?

IMG_3077Do you remember being a very small child and dancing to music? Do you remember the almost uncontrollable, exuberance with which you moved to the music, as if you couldn’t contain the awesome feeling it gave you to be one with that joy? This is the purpose of music, to uplift and free the human spirit, to give it expression, to give it movement.

This is a good thing to remember, especially when trying to understand music in depth, because it is easy to get off track and onto the road of fame seeking, prestige, or being smarter or more skilled than others. In the words of the American Rock band Survivor, in that famous song “Eye of the Tiger”, “So many times, it happens too fast, you trade you passion for glory”. Let us remain pure in our intention, the intention to positively interact with others and with our own human soul through the means which music offers us. If music is feeding the best part of ourselves, then it is doing its job.

IMG_2573Picture from a dress rehearsal before a concert at the La Verne Chamber Orchestra (LVSO)

Through music we tell stories that are passed down from generation to generation. There is continuity with our ancestors, and with our children. We take what is given to us, cherish that spirit, and live our own story, in our turn passing that spirit on.

FOLI (there is no movement without rhythm) original version by Thomas Roebers and Floris Leeuwenburg

This is a beautiful video of the famous sitar player Ravi Shankar playing music with his daughter Anoushka Shankar. The joy is evident as all the musicians and audience take part in sharing music together.

Ravi Shankar & Anoushka Shankar Live: Raag Khamaj (1997)



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