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Jack boots or ecstacy?

February 18, 2011

Can music change the world? Can it change anything at all? It’s a question that’s been asked many a time, with various answers. I’m one of those who believes that music is capable of affecting a change in our culture.

Music effects the emotions while bypassing the intellect. Ponder that for a moment.

This fact is both the source of music’s incredible power and also it’s great weakness. It can be used destructively, such as when we see stirring marches used to stir populations into believing all the militaristic bollocks spouted by governments the world over while shiny-booted troops march up and down, or it can be used to heal, whether by expressing the depths of desolation (for example, old delta blues from the American deep south) or when making people forget their daily grind by dancing all night in a club.

How can we harness the positive side of music’s two-sided power? I think maybe music we create can only express what’s already in the musician to be expressed; miserable gits can only produce miserable git music. Well centred people can make music that lifts others up and inspires them – even if it is a blues tune expressing pain. That is music’s great paradox.

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