Scholarship Letter Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

Music is one of the most fascinating aspects of a civilization, and yet it’s importance is often overlooked by many in today’s world. The existence of music dates well beyond any known civilization, and its gradual evolution drastically varies from culture to culture. To me, the notion that music is a mere reflection of society is a statement I used to take for granted. Although this notion is true to some degree, mainly with some popular music, my research has led me to conclude that all music influences society on a greater scale than one would assume. In ancient times, there existed many correlations between changes in music followed by changes in society. These range from the ushering of ...view middle of the document...

After stumbling across the latest discoveries in Quantum Physics, neuroscience, and ancient wisdom, as well as having a number of “mystical” experiences, I radically reevaluated my belief system. Having found a new direction in my life, I left everything in the hectic New York City behind. I moved on my own to a rural area in Washington State in an effort to live a more peaceful and self-sufficient life, and pursue new experiences. Once I moved, my taste in music gradually became more refined. I began to seriously practice the classical guitar and composed for it as well. Since then, I also started experimenting with binaural beats and have used them extensively in meditation and other disciplines. This led me to research the effects of particular frequencies exerted on the brain, and how they could easily be used to induce different brainwave frequency states. I discovered how playing music helps to create a lot of new neural networks, increase the bridge between the two brain hemispheres (corpus callosum) and develop higher levels of perception. But the rabbit hole was deeper than I thought.

I read books on the influence of music on society throughout the ages. Each specific type of music has produced an effect on history, morals and culture. I found examples of drastic changes in music that led to drastic changes in civilization. Different styles of music within a society led to different coexisting ideals. Sometimes new popular music led to a social revolution. In places like ancient China, where music varied very little, traditions were maintained for thousands of years. The Chinese themselves believed it was because of the preservation of their music, which had little innovation but always adhered to their musical rules. The Chinese emperors and other wise men went as far as making sure each region would use the exact same tuning because otherwise it was believed that regions would fall into conflict and separate if not attuned with each other. There is research showing that specific frequencies and rhythms can be used to heal the body and well as to debilitate it. With a little contemplation one can easily realize that listening to instrumental music is affecting our mind and emotions, but one may not realize that is also affecting us physically by altering our heart rate and blood pressure for example. And perhaps, it might even be affecting us spiritually on levels we are not even aware of. How and why this happens are just some of the things that I would like to learn more about. But the most important, I believe, is the level of...

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