In Pandemic times , music helps me to overcome many daily hurdles. I learned from a psycholigian friend that music, because of its deep connections with the brain, is intrinsically meaningful to humanity as a race. We thrive off it. It drives our actions and emotions, and its influence on our brains creates a sense of unity with music that few other art forms can provide.
We are beginning to understand our own love of music not only as a cognitive reflex, but as a true art form. Because of being too busy in the past, I neglected this special love. And the relation between religion and music too.
The relationship between religion and music can be coined as the “spirit” of the “sound.” Both provide a means of transcending human existence.
Music has the ability to deepen the meaning of words that accompany it, both in a religious context or even on your local pop radio station you listen to on the way to work. As described by St. Augustine in Weiss and Taruskin’s Music of the Western World, St. Augustine reflects on his baptism, “The tears flowed from me when I heard your hymns and canticles, for the sweet singing of your church moved me deeply…The music surged in my ears, truth seeped into my heart, and my feelings of devotion overflowed…
Yes, music has a way of filling in the gaps in thought, feeling, and emotion that words cannot do justice, which can be incredibly powerful when accompanied by a spiritual belief. Using music for religious reasons also gave early humans the ability to experience and explore the tantalizing effects of music without committing a sin. In the present day, music is used much more widely and for purposes other than worship, which has allowed religious music to grow and expand into many types of praise that have a wider impact on many people. Music is a nearly universal part of religion because it appeals to and heightens human senses in a pleasurable way which, in turn, allows humans to praise through a medium that makes worship more enjoyable.
A life without music? I wouldn’t survive!