|Music is seminal to our lives. From our first lullaby to our wedding dance to whatever dirge they may play at our funeral, songs mark both our most important moments and hum in the background of our daily lives.|
(As I write this now, music ripples through my ear buds playing Springsteen’s Streets of Philadelphia – which perhaps subconsciously led to the inclusion of the funeral reference above).
Where music came from and why is a long contested subject among musicologists (yes that’s a field – how cool, right?)
Several theories captured in this fascinating paper, trace its beginnings as a necessary aspect of evolution. Suggesting that someone who made music had a biological edge in mating (guess that cliché about being in a band to attract others goes way back). Another evolutionary idea links the need to soothe babies via music as being critical to allow mothers to move on to other important survival activities.
A different line of thinking points to the use of music for bringing people together, consider this quote:
Recognizably musical activities appear to have been present in every known culture on earth, with ancient roots extending back 250,000 years or more…
Work and war songs, lullabies, and national anthems have bound together families, groups, or whole nations. Relatedly, music may provide a means to reduce social stress and temper aggression in others.
In an extensive review of the literature, the authors bring together over 129 different reasons why we listen to music — derived from past research.
In thinking about the role music plays in helping us move up, a few top factors struck me:
Because it reminds me of certain periods of my life and past experiences. Because it makes me believe I am better able to cope with my worries. Because it can make me dream.
All three of those statements are critical in having a better understanding and appreciation for all that it takes to move up in life.
We need to look back to appreciate from where we came.
We need help so things can get better today.
We need to have hope for a better future.
Think about your own life. What songs make you appreciate your past, overcome a current challenge or dream of a better future?
If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like you to email me back either a song that does one of the above or your three-song playlist answering all the above questions.
We’re putting together a music compilation for an upcoming Moving Up project and would love any inspiration you’d like to share.
To kick things off, Here is my eclectic list:
Past Appreciation: Brooklyn Roads by Neil Diamond
Overcoming: Lose Yourself by Eminem
Dream: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland