The role of music (1)
Some people listen to music all the time and others hardly ever. What is the cause of this difference in behaviour? There are several: either a person is primarily occupied with the physical, visible surrounding world, or he tries to stimulate his emotional life most of the time. Someone who is entirely engaged in the material and tangible reality which surrounds him, will not, or only a little, be inclined to introduce some music into this atmosphere; it would rather disturb him. On the other hand, a person who is more or even very much focused on his emotional life will often be inclined to give his moods an adequate musical accompaniment to underline it.
So much depends on the nature of focus in a person’s life; and if this focus tends to be rather emotional, then the question arises: what kind of music matches his inner state, or in other words: what is the bases of his emotional life? There are many musical genres, and in fact this diversity largely corresponds to the nature of a person’s inner life. An example is provided by the American Blues sung by black slaves who worked at the plantations at the time and to whom this kind of music was a way of expressing their painful emotional experiences. Each musical genre thus corresponds to a type of individual and / or to a certain kind of emotional, inner experience.
Classical music may, in a positive way, express the desire to find a well-structured framework that allows the individual to “go up”, to rise intellectually, socially, or as a soul. In a negative sense, this musical genre can push him to elitism.
Jazz, instead, expresses non-conformism. In the negative sense, this genre can even provoke antisocial behaviour. Rock tends to a form of independence, but in the negative sense may encourage materialism and stimulate greed, or the search for gain and profit.
In short, each musical genre awakens a specific sensation in human consciousness, for better or worse. Nowadays the question is: what music or musical genre can enable man to be aware of the soul, of a more subtle existence, less materialistic, less selfish?