The Gift of Music

Something that drastically separates us from animals is music. Sure, some folks say that birds sing, whales have songs, and so on, but they do not compose symphonies or write songs with melodies, choruses, harmonies, and so forth. Nor do they form bands and go on tour: "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Macaques!" (and the crowd goes wild). Someone made a comment on my post, "Music is Not for Beasts", that pets get excited by music. Yes, many animals respond to it, but do not create it.

Music is a gift of our Creator, and not a product of evolution
Credit: RGBstock / Billy Frank Alexander
Music affects our emotions, leading us to melancholy, euphoria, and all sorts of things. It is especially strong in "bonding" between people, and stimulating memories. I've had some songs that I thought were powerful, but when I read the lyrics later on, I realized that the only thing the song had going for it was the music itself; "Tarot Woman" by Rainbow is musically exciting, but lyrically dreadful. (I often like a song that builds in intensity.)


A good tune can also provide a vehicle for messages that motivate and inspire. People are thrilled with anthems, whether for social causes, long live rock and roll, spiritual matters, and practically anything else. I have long lamented how professing Christians fill their minds with songs that have ungodly lyrics, then wonder why their spiritual lives are in a shambles. On a similar note (heh!), people conditions themselves by repeatedly listening to material that promotes disrespect toward and violence for women, rejection of authority, crying about oppression (often by sidewinders who are laughing all the way to the bank because they are getting rich from their "oppressors" who buy their material), and more. I challenge people to take a kind of musical fast and listen to music with positive lyrics, or even no lyrics at all. See what your outlook is after thirty days. Christians, try listening to some biblically solid material instead of secular rebellion and sensuality songs or lyrically shallow "praise" songs.

 Although the Bible is not explicit on this, music helps illustrate that we have souls. Music resonates with our feelings, since we were designed to be emotional beings. Indeed, look at Scripture and see all the references to music, singers, musicians, instruments, and the like. God even commands music at times. It is a great way to express praise (as long as it's not the trendy, mindless repetition nowadays). There is no way that music can be the product of mindless evolution with its self-contradictory teleology and utilitarian ideas. Music is a wonderful gift from our Creator. Music can also be just plain fun.
Scientists recently discovered that our brains are made for music—that a deep musical appreciation is a foundational aspect of being human.1 Why do we have this special relationship with music, yet apes and other large-brained ‘higher’ animals don’t make, or even desire, music as we do? Like speaking and writing in grammatical language, music is a peculiar and distinctive trait of human beings only. Where did this mysterious habit and liking of ours come from?
A new study
The scientists found that people with advanced dementia can suddenly and markedly improve in cognition when music they love is played back to them. Even when much of the brain is gone, music can wake it up, sometimes with truly ‘magical’ and inexplicable results. The sufferers ‘come back’ for that moment. The scientists who made this finding described music as like an emotional proto-language—for instance how a mother and father talk with their baby. The results were in many cases so astounding that the researchers themselves were readily swept up in the powerful emotions expressed.
I hope you'll read the rest of the article. Just click on "Music: A crucial gift".