How Vibrations Change the World

A brief overview of the importance of music and concert culture.

The Grateful Dead closing a whole street with their last free concert in 03/03/1968.

Jim Marshall

The Grateful Dead closing a whole street with their last free concert in 03/03/1968.

Modern, vintage, barbaric or ancient, music has been present throughout the entirety of human history, and it has been of vital importance to society as a whole, and isolated individuals cases ,on many occasions.

Although is very hard to date the beginning of the musical history, historians and archaeologists believe that the first signs of it can be traced back to Hohle Fels, a cave in southern Germany where back in 2014, a discovery was made that would change the world as viewed it today, a rumidental bone flute dated back over 40,000 years ago, having already existed before the first sign of an organized civilization. Ancient civilizations also used music in sacred rituals, festivities and funerals mainly to appease the god/s. Still today in many religions music is used as a worship tool, believed to pierce deeper into the soul, therefore creating a stronger bond between human and god/s.

As silly as it might appear, music can have a lot of power.  Take for example “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday, the song caused Holiday a lot of  trouble, even causing her to serve  time in prison for it. Despite all barriers, Holiday still felt the need to talk about the South’s lynching culture during the 1940’s and 1950’s . Abel Meeropol , a song-writer and poet from New York, was the author of Strange Fruit, originally named Bitter Fruit , but even Meeropol himself agreed that Holiday’s voice and performative characteristics made the poem more interesting, also giving it a more accessible way for the public to acquire . 

More recently, Childish Gambino also released a song criticizing police brutality against the black community. The song , “This is America,” was a complete hit, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s charts, and even winning the Grammy for best song of 2019. Gambino also came up with a greatly acclaimed music video, where riots and violence can be seen in the background but it’s always outshined by Gambino’s dance, facial expressions and moves, this was Gambino’s way of criticizing the American government for trying to muffle the issue.

“You just a black man in this world ,You just a barcode.” Quote from Gambino’s This is America.

“Music is a means of creative and emotional outlet,” said  Patrick Kelly, the Triton High  Principal. “ It creates many opportunities for people to share experiences regardless of culture, race, language,religion ,etc.” 

Students at Triton disclose that listening to music is important to them in many aspects throughout their day.

“Sometimes I don’t feel like talking to anyone really,” said senior Jessica Rocha. “ Some days I just need to hear Rutherford talk to me and I’ll feel better.” 

Music has been proven to take an important part of the brain’s mental development and social awareness . Prevalently being responsible for altering moods by stimulating brain chemicals. All notes, tunes, tempos and pitches are important to accurately portray the artist’s expectation for the listener’s emotions. For example, what mainly escalates the fear of a horror movie spectator is the tense music that surrounds the scene, when the brain receives information from the ears about something that can potentially hurt the individual ,it sends commands to the body to prepare for a drastic change, the body tense up, chills runs through the skin and sometimes even experience cold sweat .The same can be said about all other emotions as well, if an individual hears a song of their like, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, the same neurotransmitter released during pleasurable activities .

A survey done by AARP ( American Association Of Retired People , organization focused on issues that affect people over 50 ) reports that listening to music can reduce levels of anxiety and depression. The survey also highlights that adults with no previous musical experience, who have now been exposed to it, have an above average well-being score.

 Music taste can say a lot about an individual’s personality but also what they hope to be presented as. Sometimes though people’s likes can be very contradictory to their looks. 

Although not many people enjoy completely diving into the crowd’s energy when attending a concert, others find them necessary for a deeper connection to the vibrations and the whole experience overall. Chad Richard, one of the social studies teachers at Triton, was a concert-bug during his college years, so much so that he was present when History was made in Rome, NY. 

“I was there for the whole three days of Woodstock 99,” shared Richard. “ I saw Green Day light the stage on fire, and not in a figurative way.”

Richard compares his previous experiences with concerts and reports that the younger generation will probably never see what he saw and felt during those events. The enormous expansion of technology ,and the effortless ways to record basically anything, strips the notion of freedom that people seek when they attend these types of events. It is understandable and appreciated that nowadays the technological tools necessary to hold bad people accountable for their actions are widely available in everyone’s pocket , but on the other hand having media of actions taken in these events on the internet forever makes people take a step back ,feeling as though they can’t be themselves in fear or being judged.

All concerns aside, Richard still encourages young adults to go to concerts.

“When you are younger it gives you a sense of adventure,” Said Richard. “Especially for kids around here (Rowley area) where the days can feel really similar, going to a concert is a fun, reasonably safe way to have an adventure.”