Why is it that all cultures (if you know of one that purposefully doesn’t, let me know) have some kind of music? Go to the streets of New York or the outback of Australia and where there are people there’s music. It’s found in stores, in ear phones, cars, concert halls, airplanes, you name it, it’s everywhere, sometimes to such a pitch that competing styles overlap and the uniqueness of each genre can hardly be distinguished. Most of us identify ourselves with a particular type of music, something that is uniquely us, reminds us of where we come from, why we’re special, who we are. How is it that sounds, with or without words, can speak to us and sometimes unite, sometimes distinguish us culturally and intellectually. Well, leaving how they do this aside for the present, the fact is that they do. Go to a rock concert and you’ll see huge numbers of people from different backgrounds, parts of the country, ages, but one thing they have in common: the music. For a brief time you’ll see all these people united in one positive experience because of their common musical culture, because it speaks to them about things they’ve gone through. Music tells us about things that happen to us and let’s us know that other people experience those things too. The style is the language that comes from the culture, but the truths that good music allows us to understand are universal. Music tells us that in spite of all the stuff that goes on around us, all the confusion and pain, there are still things under the surface that are beautiful, organized, holy, and good. Every good bit of music is a testimony to the victory of a human person. This video of Hilary Hahn performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216 made me think of these things.
If you want to know what music does, watch this video to the end: