Yup, like Russell said in the post right above yours, music is one of the many reasons we make our decisions so it will definitely impact peace or raise money for causes. I know in the past, we have had music festivals to support various causes and countries that were struck by national disasters and needed help. Music is a good tool to connect people together to support causes.
Great and lively discussion. I believe music influences emotion but as much as music can cultivate peace there is an argument to be made that it could also promote conflict. There have been many studies performed on the influences of violent and degrading music lyrics. And a significant amount of them find violent lyrics to have an adverse effect on behavior. These studies concluded that violent music lyrics can negatively influence listeners’ perceptions of society, could increase destructive thoughts & feelings, which perpetuated aggressive behavior. Music must be constructive as a key ingredient to sustainable peace is positive thinking.
I think it is interesting that a song intended to unite and bring others together can ultimately have unintended consequences as well.
The past NFL season, players were using the time before the game when the National Anthem was being played to kneel, link arms with other players, raise a fist in the air etc. as a demonstration for causes like helping the oppressed or discriminated.
The demonstrations were not aimed to instigate violence but rather raise awareness. The playing of the national anthem is usually a song that brings Americans together. However in the case of the NFL, it has caused dissension and conflict between players, fans, and the owners of the teams. It has led to some to even question why the national anthem is played at sporting events.
Hi Jermaine - Just out of curiosity, are you saying you don’t buy into the idea that music could influence violence but are still open to the possibility that it could influence peace? It seems by reading your comment that you’re open to the idea that a song with a positive message just might inspire peace however your not open to the idea that a song with violent and /or derogatory message might inspire violence. I am not disagreeing with you I’m just wanting to get your thoughts on why you believe music, if it had any influence, it could only be positive?
spot on - Sarah Mclachlan (and her voice) is a perfect example of how ones music probably sparked an emotional connection to a cause (orphaned house pets in the USA).
wow, what would do you have to say about the movement in the 50’s where society wanted to sensor Elvis Presley? How about every other decade since where society has tried to sensor any music which was unproductive and provoking negativity within our society. ANY lyric which puts down women, or uses derogatory or racial slur, or promotes the use of drugs has no place in a culture which is hoping to cultivate peace. Tell me how is that productive? Because someone calls it art? Without an instrument or a tune those words would be defined as either a speech or a poem…are you okay if I wrote a poem or gave a speech which negatively puts down any other individual the same way some of our music lyrics do…Most would say video games are “art” yet our societies acceptance of the violent video games have been one of the main drivers behind our society taking a step backwards in cultivating peace in schools. Just because it is an art doesn’t mean it is constructive.
Interesting that you are not seeing a connection between music and peace. How about a connection between music and emotion? There is also the connection to compassion and empathy, which music can elicit.
Casey - it’s interesting to me that you say you listen to the tune of a song first and lyrics after. I hear music the same way; honestly, as sad as it is, I probably don’t know what half the songs on the radio are actually about even though I can sing along.
I’m positive that different people hear songs differently (for example, my boyfriend understands the lyrics to every song he hears and doesn’t get how I can know a song without knowing the lyrics). However, it’s interesting to think that the same song can inspire either peace or violence to one person when another person doesn’t even digest the lyrics.
There are a lot of great examples throughout all these responses in regards to music being used for advertising purposes, in movies, or the purpose of some specific songs. I’m wondering - does anyone else have an example of how music personally inspires peace (or violence!) within them?
My personal examples are my favorite band, Fall Out Boy and my favorite song, Mr. Brightside. Mr. Brightside by the Killers is an example of a song that has great memories and also always makes me feel good when I’m down. In addition, I’ve listened to FOB for years and years now. When I was a kid, I would play one of their albums whenever I heard my parents fighting to help me fall asleep. As an adult, FOB is who I play when I’m upset or angry about something to help me calm down.
I truly believe that music can inspire peace, because these are examples of my go-to music to literally make me feel at peace.
How could someone conclude that music might only influence peace and never aggression/violence? Like saying their is a north but no south. Curious because my follow up question to that individual would be on their meaning of “verbal” abuse!
Continuing down the road of whether music can promote/inspire peace, violence, neither, or both, how do you all make your determination of what defines violence, and what defines peace? In my opinion it is hard to take a firm stance on either because I am not sure I know exactly what peace looks like. Is peace just not being violent in your opinion?
That’s a good point Adam. If you assume that it can inspire one emotion/action (i.e. peace) then logically under that assumption it can inspire others (i.e. aggression/violence). In either case, I believe that when you really dig into what inspires actions, music isn’t the sole/major influence despite what some people may claim. Usually there is a stronger driving force behind people’s actions; for example past personal experience, influence from family and friends, societal pressures, etc.
I think your comments are really interesting, Ashley. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas’s essay on empathy kind of adds to these ideas. Does Music help us feel empathy and compassion? If so, that is a really powerful tool for peacebuidling.
Association too – sometimes the music creates an association that is emotionally charged.
Good morning Everyone. A little difficulty signing in today, but made it.
Good Morning Tim and everyone, lovely to be here.
Hello, everyone. I am pleased to join you.
There is something about “access to beauty” that some have cited as a turning point for ethical behavior.
Good-morning to all!
Good mooorning. Evening here, doesn’t matter