Music as a social glue


Music has the quality of drawing people together in a shared experience. In the past, music is a group activity used in ceremonies, warfares and rituals to connect people and serve communal purposes. People come together to make music. This is still found in many indigenous cultures today. Listening to music passively through audio systems and concerts developed much later in modern societies.

“A culturally agreed-upon pattern of rhythm and melody, ie, a song that is sung together provides a shared form of emotion that, at least during the course of the song, carries along the participants so that they experience their bodies responding emotionally in very similar ways”. (Storr 1992)

In addition to this shared framework of emotions, music also structures the experience of time in people. Storr wrote that “music structures time. By imposing order, music ensures that the emotions aroused by a particular event peak at the same moment”. (Storr 1992). A live symphony brings the audience into the same breathing and rhythm. The audience has been aligned by the music as one and starts to breathe together like an organism. This shared time experience was also written by Storr as follows:

“Music brings about similar physical responses in different people at the same time. This is why it is able to draw groups of people together and create a sense of unity”. (Storr 1992)

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