While some people use it to set the pace and mood, others use it as a stepping stone to wealth and power. Still more people use it for entertainment or merely as a cure for depression or troubled minds.
Have you ever posed to think why there is music at the birth of a child, at initiation, marriage and, even at funeral in Africa?
Music is a powerful weapon which can be used for both good and evil.
Just as slow music may put someone in a contemplative mood, its fast-paced variety may throw one into a dancing mood.
Music is not just an arrangement of rhythmical beats and lyrics to the initiated.
Believe it or not, the chants made by magicians or songs sung by Christians or members of the Mungiki sect or the mantra by Hindus serve a similar purpose to that it does at political rallies.
Experts say music began as a primitive form of communication, its primary function being religious, ranging from heightening the effect of magic to ennobling liturgy.
Music is not only a refined form of magic and sorcery, but also a form of healing magic in the traditional sense of the word.
In the past musicians did not just sing about solutions but provided them. “They could be doctors, surgeons, priests, therapists and politicians, all through their instruments,” write Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh in their authoritative nonfiction, The Elixir and the Stone.
Depending on how it is performed, music can soothe, agitate, calm or make the listener belligerent or aggressive.
Some experts argue that music can contribute to the loss of one’s critical judgment. It is precisely on this basis that shopping malls and supermarkets are playing music to induce people into compulsive shopping. Music at evangelistic crusades has a similar function: it softens and mellows down ‘difficult’ people, making them more receptive to the gospel.
Ancient Greeks believed that “musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”
Any one familiar with the Old Testament of the Christian Bible is likely to remember that when evil spirits possessed King Saul of ancient Israel, David drove them away using the music from his harp.
In the wrong hands, music can be as dangerous as a loaded gun in the hands of a toddler. Didn’t Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party use stirring marching music to prepare crowds? The music manipulated minds and made otherwise level-headed people to support the manic Hitler into committing the holocaust!
Behavioural scientists contend that adolescents who listen to heavy metal and rap are likely to be aggressive and destructive besides under-achieving in academic work. Conversely, exposure of young children to certain kinds of music enhances their emotional and intellectual development.
Exposure to music videos is said to lead to sexual permissiveness among adolescent girls.
It is they who know how to use music to their advantage who will rule the world. Are you one of them?