Trying to Express the Ineffable

I have decided to collate some arguments and articles that sell the power of music. Hopefully it will enable me to sell what I do a bit better.

  • Although published 7 years ago, Sue Hallam’s study “The Power of Music” is an articulate, comprehensive investigation into the benefits of music. This paragraph is my favourite: ” Yet something that powerful can also have positive applications such as accompaniments to rites of passage and dance, expressions of love and respect, lullabies, liturgical revelation and enhancement, totemic expressions of apolitical national feeling…” “…and of course as a unique expression of ineffable feelings. Perhaps that is the most beguiling of the mysteries attending music: it can express that which has no other means of expression”.
  • In the Washington Post, John J. Mahlmann, executive director of the National Association for Music Education gave an interesting defence of music education: “…he has an unorthodox response to educators: “Why is math so high on the priority list? “His answer: “Because we can test for it.”The thing people forget, he said, is that musicians are assessed every time they play an instrument. “If you went to a concert and they only played 80 percent of the notes correctly, you wouldn’t like it,” he said. “Musicians strive for perfection. Lots of people don’t mind 80 percent on a math quiz.”
  • The British Music Rights are working with the government to increase media awareness of the true value of music. They have an ongoing “Respect the Value of Music” Campaign. There was a link where informing young people about the value of music, but it’s gone now 🙁
  • Balfour M. Mount, M.D. writes about the Healing Power of Music
  • Gilber Galindo can vouch for the importance of music
  • “A new Harris Interactive executive omnibus poll of senior business leaders shows a positive association between music education and career advancement.”
  • Ken Petress can tell you quite extensively why music education is important: “music teaches a transfer of abstractions (notes) into concrete realities (music); music teaches patience with one’s self and with others as well as with tasks; music performance aids in building and refining coordination and grace; music aids in mental coordination and timing; any instruction in the arts advances a sense of aesthetics; music teaches one about history and culture and builds tolerance of and appreciation of other people; music offers useful sensory stimulation; so much so that there are music therapists who use music to calm, quiet, and heal patients; the arts foster greater social interaction; music incorporates a spiritual dimension to life; musical performance opens a vehicle for improvising; and performance allows the musician to learn to accept and recognize the value of criticism”.
  • Debbie Cavalier talks about why she thinks music education is so valuable.
  • Besa Luzha says that “In the most difficult times during the conflict, songs were created speaking of the freedom and the children where singing those songs all the time. It brought them hope for a better life in the future. For ten years in a row (1989-1999) the oppressive regime that administrated Kosova forbade the use of the only concert hall existing in Prishtina (the capital of Kosovo) for the population of Kosovar Albanians –majority of Kosovo population”.
  • A firm ambassador of music was german philosopher Schopenhauer who believed it to be the the highest of all artforms now I would be foolish to be in agreement but I like his enthusiasm. “Music is the melody whose text is the world.”


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