Yes, very true. John Paul Lederach talked about the deepening of the moment through repetitive music, how musicking grounds us in the here and now. Gives us a terrific feeling to be the right person at the right place with the right people.
So, in my work on business ethics - and Cindy and built on this when we offered our theory of how businesses can contribute to peace - I talk about how business needs to follow the laws (which musicians have to do in terms of notes, orchestra, dynamics, etc.), they need to interact with their constituents to treat them fairly, which brings in notions of harmony and, even, suspension (glad you mentioned that Kathleen) and they need to have a commitment to do good, an emotional one, which as has already been said, plays into some of music’s greatest strengths. These steps create trustworthy businesses and, Cindy and I argued, foster peace as well.
Social justice movements have used music to mobilize collective memories and/or traditions in innovative ways.
In response to Karen’s point, it is important to know the audience, though, to make sure that one is appealing to music that takes people out of their usual sense of their location in time. Other music can be used to appeal to people’s sense of their immediate situation and their role(s) in it.
I think music represents culture and a good representation of music can be a bridge to bring people together . When people understand the culture, business can be done. Business can promotes the cross-cultural relationship and so it can create peace when everyone is trying to sustain the economy as a whole.
I attended a session yesterday where a specialist on “networks” spoke about the many different ways human beings congregate into networks (irrespective of subject). Networks are being studied as to their effectiveness in generating connection and knowledge – this is unlike the traditional stance of “networking” to make business contacts. However, is there a way that business can help musicians expand the structure of the networks that are already interested in the music of the moment? I’m looking for something with a longer impact.
What if the music turns into a “popular” song with an expiration date, what happens to the message/the lasting effects after that song is no longer popular?
To continue Tim’s point, I was wondering about improvisation, for instance in Jazz. It sounds totally free, but one follows rules so that the free improv sounds good. I was thinking that business could benefit from a spirit of free improv while still following certain rules. For the sake of peacebuilding, these would be ethical rules, within which people would be free to improvise. We can imagine free jazz business, respecting ethical rules…
Exposure to music of “the others” can create enlightenment and sympathy. They can create new emotional connections among otherwise separate groups: be it businesses or communities. It could open up a channel of communication. This can always be an initial step towards peace building.
Ha! Just as Connie was in a meeting yesterday, so was I (a different one) where we talked about using jazz as a constituent of an executive education leadership program!
There are also business models using the Beatles and string quartets – collaborations that are very successful and focus on communication and contribution.
Phillip Bimstein has written on how he used musical techniques as a two-term mayor to “compose a community,” for example, by setting a key, recognizing close seconds, using pedals to sustain undertones, etc.
In response to Lisa’s point, I think encountering a song that had its moment of popularity some time in the past can sometimes afford a kind of time-travel, in that it can enable us to see concerns that were once immediate in perspective and perhaps be reminded of their continuing relevance to the present situation – or of the way that things have evolved since that music as at the “top of the charts.”
fascinating – is that a particular article or book?
Well, we are clearly on a roll here. I hate to cut off this fruitful discussion, and indeed, it can continue, but it is time to move onto our second question. This is one that came up immediately - introduced by Connie - in terms of some kind of structure or organization that might facilitate the ideas we have shared during this event. So here is the second question for us:
What kind of collaborative organization could be designed to include music and business that has a last impact on peace?
I suspect this is where arts entrepreneurship programs could take the lead – particularly at the city and state levels.
An article: Phillip Bimstein, “Composing a Community: Collaborative Performance of a New Democracy,” New Political Science: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 32:4 (December 2010).
When I read this question in advance, only one compelling idea emerged, and I have no other one right now, here it is: could we have a space in this fabulous Business Fights Poverty website, that would be permanent and curated? We’ve had a space for three months and it was fabulous. I cannot imagine a better tool for a long-term development of our collaborative explanations. Is there any way we could convince the owners of bfp? What do you think?
oops, not explanations… explorations!