The Power of Music

Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of music in our lives?  How our daily lives are filled with its subtle power?

Music has accompanied man’s development since the dawn of time; for prehistoric man, the ancient Greeks, and other early cultures, music was the ultimate expression of the great oneness of the universe.  The sick believed in the curative powers of music: shamans would chant, using a series of rapid short sounds, which recreated a harmony with nature, exorcising evil spirits and replacing them with beneficial ones.  Wounds, fevers, infections, and all important life events – from birth right through to death – were ritually celebrated with songs, dancing, and musical accompaniment.  Throughout history, music has been used to calm anxieties, relieve pain, bring us tranquillity and above all make us happier people.

Music has also served humanity as a kind of mirror, in which we can observe the development of history and society.  The human race has always expressed itself via music: work songs, war chants, songs of praise and prayer, celebratory songs, songs for the harvest and songs of protest and revolution.  Through the medium of music, the whole history of humanity can be understood.

Recently new studies of the brain have revealed secrets that explain our relationship and our responsiveness to music.  Today we know that music fills us with energy, changes our mood and can even improve our quality of life, helping those who listen to it to concentrate better and relax more.  This is due to the production of neurotransmitters which regulate different emotional states.  We are just beginning to understand some of the mysteries of the effects of music on our lives.

However this magic, this power that music has over us, which can make us fall in love with someone while listening to a song, move us to tears, dance all night without stopping, work intensively until we finish a project, or even make us want to be better human beings – this power remains inexplicable.

If we recognise the immense health-giving and creative power that music can have, we must now do all we can to bring music into our lives and into those of our loved ones.  Without doubt, the presence of music makes us happier, more expressive, more united, understanding and tolerant.

Fortunately today, unlike our ancestors, who had to use rudimentary objects to produce sounds, we possess advanced technology which allows us to reproduce a sound quality never before obtained.  This means that the music we are listening to reaches our brain in a much clearer, uncontaminated state and so the beneficial effects that sounds and vibrations can have on us are much faster and more effective.

Body, sound, balance, stability, happiness; these are the concepts which weave together to create the rich fabric inside every human being, that of our true nature.  Let´s hear music!

Patricia Caicedo

One of the most celebrated performers and researchers of the Iberian and Latin American art song repertoire, Patricia Caicedo, has performed around the world, recorded 10 CDs dedicated to the art song in Spanish, Catalan, and Portuguese and published nine books considered a reference in the area. She often visits universities and conservatories as a guest artist and teacher. Patricia is the founder and director of the Barcelona Festival of Song. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and an M.D. from the Escuela Colombiana de Medicina. www.patriciacaicedo.com  www.barcelonafestivalofsong.com  www.mundoarts.com