The Power of Music

Music plays a big role in the life most people, something the death of legendary musicians always demonstrate



The incredibly sad news that music legend David Bowie passed away this week really got me thinking about the power of music.

Often I think we take for granted the sheer amount of music that filters into our sub-conscious every single day. Even the rare few who say they don't like it surely can't deny that at least one song has touched their hearts or evoked a memory at some point.

Growing up to music

Music was quite a big part of growing up for me, yet only one of my parents actually liked it. My dad had the odd favourite tune, but on the whole he was rather impassive about either listening to or dancing to the stuff - I think he rather missed the point of it all - whereas my mum simply loved music in most of its genres. To this day - and she is 80 now - my mum remains very young at heart, and this was never more evident than in her love of music and dancing.

As well as loving the melodies of her own youth, my mum also embraced the music of ours, never dismissing any of it as rubbish as dad sometimes would. This was wonderful for my bother and I. We were able to turn up the volume on our old record player or tape recorders and indulge in all our favourites without being told to turn it down or put up with the irritating interjections of 'what a racket, you can't even hear the lyrics'.

Expressing emotion

Being able to listen freely to music at home enabled us to express ourselves as children, to crank up the volume and dance with abandonment at family parties or play records loudly with friends. Later, as sulky teens, we would withdraw to our rooms; listen alone in deep analysis in an attempt to 'find ourselves'.

My brother, mum and I shared the enjoyment of listing to our favourite songs together and now, as adults, the opening bars of a certain song can whisk us in a millisecond straight back to those times. One of the things I love most about music is it's power to transport you instantly to a specific joyous, sad, angry or indifferent moment in the past, offering the chance to relive any memory you choose.

David Bowie

Since music can make you feel such a wide range of emotions, it's not surprising that so many artists write about love, fear and anxiety. David Bowie was no exception, but I think he stood out because, as well as creating brilliant melodies, he wrote about these things during a time of intolerance, when much about human emotion was still misunderstood.

The 1960's and 70's were fabulous in so many ways, but no one can deny the period still had a way to go in terms of compassion and understanding towards certain minority groups. Bowie has been accredited with providing sanctuary to people throughout the darkest of times and was indeed an inspiration to so many. A very sad loss to music indeed.

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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