The influence of music is amazing and even more powerful live. This is because you being there changes things. We live in a digital, on-demand world. You want something; you can get it in a snap. This is wonderful for discovering new music and artists. However it will never beat the live experience.
“The first music “streaming” service was invented in 1897. People in New York could call up the Telharmonium, an electric organ that took up the entire floor of a building, which would play live music through their phone speakers.” Source: http://crazyfacts.com/the-first-music-streaming-service-was-invented-in-1897/
The Influence of Music:
What kind of influence can music have? Sarah Dessen says, “Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” We all come to music and artists with our own thoughts, ideas and issues. We listen to music and pour ourselves into it. We invest it with meaning beyond itself. You see that is where Sarah’s quote rings true. It brings is all together because we have each invested in it and the song unites us.
I grew up playing in the band in school. Playing an instrument helped show me the influence of music in the world. Playing songs of celebration caused my heart to leap. Playing songs of sadness helped me understand the troubles in the world. Playing the music helps me to live out my emotions in a much fuller way. I was also a part of choirs and singing groups. This showed me the influence of words set to music. That is a powerful thing. So powerful that Martin Luther said the following, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”
That quote is powerful and sobering. As I said in the introduction we live in an instant world. So finding music is easy and we have influence because we can find what we want and cut it off at any time. But going to hear music live is something totally different. We are surrendering control over to the artists/musicians. They control what is played and sung. They control the set list. We participate by letting the music flow over us and through us. So Luther’s quote should be sobering to artists and musicians because music is a noble art.
I love live music but I am very careful about what shows I go to, because I do know the influence of music on my heart and soul. I want to share with you about a band I love and also a time of live music that touched me.
Love & Valor is a band in my area made up of great folks I know. Their lineup has changed over the years and the music has been good throughout it all. They are group of extremely talented singers and musicians. They have introduced me, through their covers, to different artists. But to tell the truth I like Love & Valor’s covers better than the original. They write and perform their own songs as well. They are humble folks who perform positive music and connect with the audience. I love going to their shows, not just because I like them as friends, but also because I leave happy and encouraged. They know the influence of music and seek to share that in a very positive way.
If you have listened to my Stuff I Learned Yesterday contributions, I think you can tell I’m a Christian. Music is huge part of the worship of Christ. The spectrum and styles of musical worship goes from Beethoven to simple choruses. I love and appreciate it all. But to me one of the most special times of live music was a simple one. We were group of college kids sitting in a vacant cafeteria space singing worship songs. We were sitting and singing all out to the Lord. I was surrounded by friends, and yet connected heart and soul alone with Christ. Yes the influence of music is extremely powerful.
What I Learned:
So what have I learned? When I recognized the influence music has over me, I learned to use it. I choose carefully what I listen to and use the influence of music to encourage me. I choose music that will draw me into worship of God and appreciation of the blessings He has given me. So I challenge you to examine the influence music has over you. You may be surprised.
I also challenge the musicians to examine what you write and play. I leave you with this quote from Beethoven, “The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man’s soul. Music is the language of God. We musicians are as close to God as man can be. We hear his voice, we read his lips, we give birth to the children of God, who sing his praise. That’s what musicians are.”
I’m Geoff Gentry and this has been Stuff I Learned Yesterday
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