Philosophy of Music

Music is a universal art form that has been found in every culture. Anthropologists have yet to find a culture that does not use music, whether as part of religious or secular rituals, to soothe pain or to entertain. Music has been known to evoke positive emotions that increase productivity and concentration. It also promotes creativity and helps people to reach higher levels of consciousness. It is no wonder that musicians are some of the most sought after individuals in the world today.

It is possible to categorize music into different genres based on its style, instrumentation, lyrics and tempo. Some examples of popular genres include pop, rock, blues and country music. Other styles of music that are more eclectic include jazz and reggae. Reggae, which originated in Jamaica in the 1960s and is closely associated with Rastafarianism and Afrocentric religion, blends elements of folk music with soul and funk.

Some philosophers have argued that music is more than just a form of entertainment. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato (428-348/347 bce) believed that music had the power to change one’s moral character. He regarded the musical scale as a mirror of divine harmony, and he wrote that rhythm and melody imitated the movements of heavenly bodies, thus delineating “the music of the spheres.” His followers, including the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and the French philosopher-mathematician Rene Descartes (1596-1650), viewed the basis of music as mathematical and used it to stimulate intuitive thinking.

Other philosophers have argued that music is not necessary. The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus (534-456 bce) denied that music and other arts were essential to the human experience and asserted that they were simply graces given by God. This view was endorsed by the Christian reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). He was concerned that music might become vain and sensuous, and he advocated that it be simple and straightforward in order to encourage piety.

Despite these philosophical debates, music is widely used and appreciated in the modern world. It has been shown to improve the performance of some workers and students, and even boosts the mood of those with depression. It is not surprising, then, that many universities have begun to incorporate it into their curriculums, especially in the field of education. Many students find that listening to music can help them concentrate while studying and writing papers, although it is important to listen at a moderate level so as not to distract from their studies. It is also important to set aside time for studying without music to ensure that students can focus on their tasks at hand. An ideal study playlist should consist of a mix of calm and upbeat music that is stimulating but not too loud. A few good songs to start with include The Beatles, Coldplay and Drake. Movie or television soundtracks can also inspire productivity and provide the right amount of excitement to a student’s work. A few of the most popular movies and TV shows that have inspiring soundtracks include Top Gun, Interstellar, Dune, The Social Network and Pirates of the Caribbean.