Music can affect the body in many health-promoting ways, which is the basis for a growing field known as music therapy. However, you can use music in your daily life and achieve many stress relief benefits on your own. One of the great benefits of music as a stress reliever is that it can be used while you conduct your regular activities so that it really doesn’t take time away from your busy schedule. Music provides a wonderful backdrop for your life so that you can find increased enjoyment from what you’re doing and also reduce stress from your day.
Music still tells a story, we know just have many genres to satisfy the cultural and social tastes of our modern society. Hip Hop is a genre of music that has significantly grown the last couple of decades. Its increased popularity has brought it to the forefront of globalization. Technological advances have made it easy for Hip Hop to spread out globally. This occurrence of globalization is a key example that as our cultural borders are broken down by technology, our own cultural and social practices become fluid.
Although there are many positive and negative comments about the globalization of Hip Hop, it is a reflection of the growing phenomenon occurring all over the world. Hip hop originated in the South Bronx of New York City in the 1970s. The term rap is often used synonymously with hip hop, but hip hop can also be described as an entire subculture (“Hip Hop”, 2004). The term Hip Hop is said to have come from a joke between Keith Cowboy, rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and their friends (“Hip Hop”, 2004). Although Hip Hop was created on American soil, it’s influences are global.
It can be said that Hip Hop might be a result of ethnic globalization. Hip Hop has roots in African, Caribbean, and Latino culture (“Hip Hop Globalization and Youth Culture”, 2005). Spoken word, which is still popular today is also an influence in Hip Hop music and culture. Spoken word is a style of poetry spoken in a rhythmic fashion. Hip Hop ranges from rap music, to B-boy dance. It was a platform to empower ethnic youth without violence. Hip Hop in the beginning was essentially still an underground subculture. It was popular with many ethnic communities but it was not popular in the mainstream music industry.
This all changed with the band Blondie and their song “Rapture”. “Rapture” is one of the first rap song’s to reach the top of the charts in mainstream pop music. Although Blondie is a punk/rock band, they were the proper catalyst to give Hip Hop the mainstream attention it deserved. Hip Hop has changed since it’s birth in the 1970’s. Hip Hop is now apart of the mainstream music scene. It is not uncommon to see artist from different genres collaborating with Hip Hop artists. It is also not uncommon to see Hip Hop music and culture in movies, television shows, and commercials.
In the past you would only see people from ethnic communities wearing Hip Hop clothing, now all races including Asian, Caucasian, etc have accepted the Hip Hop style. The subject matter has also changed. In the past Hip Hop lyrics focused on political and societal frustrations, now Hip Hop lyrics steer more toward provocative content. Hip Hop subject matter consists mostly of the aspirations of wealth, sex, drug use, and criminal activity. During the beginning years the age of the Hip Hop listener was wide spread. It ranged from teens to even adults in their 50’s.
Although Hip Hop still has an adult audience, it is now more geared toward younger audiences. Younger listeners are more likely to purchase Hip Hop music and paraphernalia, than the older audience. Music has always been a great healer. In the Bible, we learn about how David played the harp to help ease his severe depression of King Saul. Music is a significant mood-changer and reliever of stress, working on many levels at once. Many experts suggest that it is the rhythm of the music or the beat that has the calming effect on us although we may not be very conscious about it.
They point out that when we were a baby in our mother’s womb, we probably were influenced by the heartbeat of our mother. We respond to the soothing music at later stages in life, perhaps associating it with the safe, relaxing, protective environment provided by our mother. They say that math is the universal language, and while that may be true, music has traits to it that even the casual listener should but may not always recognize as universal, literally and figuratively. Moreover, music is beneficial to the musician’s and the listener’s health and well-being.
Music is everywhere, and it can be made and enjoyed by anyone, any animal, and any living thing, in its own way. The universe itself has a sense of rhythm, melody and music. Everyday speech has a lilt that can be called some kind of music. In nature, without the white noise of civilization in the background, the sounds of the trees, the water, and the air can all be called music. And animals, birds in particular, have their own sense of melody in the sounds that they make and use to communicate with each other.
Music comes in so many various forms that it reflects, in a way, the diversity of the languages spoken and written on the planet. Whether it be classical music, pop, gospel music, country music or whatever pleases the ear, there will always be a kind of music for everyone, and it can come in any language. They say that learning and listening to music makes one smarter. As studies show, music makes the musician use his mind in a way that develops and maintains good mental health.
Music is an art and a science; anyone who learns any bit of musical theory will know that music has a particular structure, while still allowing for creative freedom. Reading music and playing an instrument causes the musician to use both sides of his brain at once – the mathematical side, and the artistic side. Learning to understand a staff of music and the symbols written on it is akin to learning a scientific or mathematical formula. Applying the formula to the instrument at hand takes plenty of practise to do well, but once it is learned, it does not easily fade away.
Developing and maintaining musicality, on the other hand, is partly talent and partly practise, much like other art forms like drawing, dancing and singing. Music is a great well for emotions. The same art form that puts babies to sleep can release anger and sadness, encourage joy, and sooth stress. To the Romantics, music was the purest of art forms because it connects directly with emotions (The New Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry, 47), during a time period that produced composers that are still well known today. David wrote many psalms while he watched sheep.
And even though he was not always a favourite of King Saul, David’s playing would comfort the king (1 Samuel 16). Music brings people together. It is understood that before modern technology, live music was a natural form of entertainment, and people were considered accomplished when they learned to play instruments. Music can create a good atmosphere and encourage a good mood that relaxes people whether they are actively listening to it or not. That is part of the reason why it is ideal for parties, weddings, funerals, and other such gatherings.
Music is universal. It is calming, gentling, entertaining, inspiring and healthy. It helps maintain good mental health and a balanced emotional state. It is a gift from God that anyone can learn, appreciate and enjoy. Hip Hop proves to be the voice of the people that may not be able to speak for themselves in conventional ways. Globalization has allowed many people who would not have the means to speak up, to be able to take center stage. Many believe that globalization will be the end of individuality and creativity.
Courtney from Study Moose
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