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The Ultimate Celebration Accessory - Live Music

The "universal language" is also the global language of celebration



by Dendy Jarrett





As those in the USA get ready to celebrate the 4th of July (Independence Day), preparations are underway all over major cities for huge fireworks extravaganzas. But what's really interesting is that virtually all of these celebrations include some tie to music - which isn't surprising, because since mankind first started hitting sticks together instead of simply hitting each other with them, music has been an integral part of celebrations throughout the world.


For example, music is a huge part of the Olympics and for that matter, virtually all sporting events - the Super Bowl would hardly be the same without the music-centric half-time show. But music isn't just a part of massive celebrations. Weddings, funerals, high school proms, Native American pow-wows, worship services, protest marches, festivals...the list could go on and on. (And also think about the importance of dance in many of these celebrations – you certainly couldn’t have dance if you didn’t have music.)


In many ways, we include music in these celebrations as our means of expressing emotions tied to the celebration - everything from the joy of a couple united in marriage, to the crossing over to whatever happens (or doesn't happen) after life, to major events and holidays. Through lyrics, we can communicate messages of love, hate, relationships, sex, politics - and often, music doesn't even need lyrics to express itself. Think of a blues guitar riff playing: it can transport you immediately to a place of deep thought and reflection and, yes, maybe even pull you into sadness or happiness.


Grammy-winning musician Moby once said “One of the really fascinating things about music is that technically – in a very literal way – it doesn’t exist. A painting, sculpture, or a photograph can physically exist, while music is just air hitting the eardrum in a slightly different way than it would randomly. If you were a space alien trying to define music, you would define it as humans manipulating the way in which air molecules hit someone’s eardrum. Somehow that air, which has almost no substance whatsoever, when moved and when made to hit the eardrum in tiny subtle ways, can make people dance, cry, have sex, move across country, go to war, and more. It’s remarkable that something so subtle can elicit profound emotional reactions in people.”


In his 2006 book "This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession," Dr. Daniel J. Levitin writes, “…Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there…it is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.”


Whether or not you're in the USA celebrating the 4th this week, you’re probably celebrating something, somewhere, with music. So find a live music venue, or grab your own instrument, and make time to celebrate what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once called "the universal language of mankind." That in and of itself is worth celebrating! -HC-






Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.


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Bluesmann31  |  July 03, 2017 at 11:17 pm
I believe you are right to a great extent that the love of the E guitar has for the youth been of no major concern and  most of the youth would not know who Freddy King, BB King , Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Peter Frampton were and are. My first love of the guitar was when I heard Peter Frampton do " Do you feel like we do ? "  I did not know anything about the blues music or artists. Then I came to Berlin as an Airforce member and while I was here and I still am I found out about a concert with BB King. I went at that time to this concert. He played in a tent for 1000 people. That was such a closeness and then seen him play another two times here. The sense of timing that he had was terrific. Since then I think Joe Bonamassa does alot to promote guitar players and get young kids interested in the only real feeling of electric guitar and that is the Blues. I only tried to pick up guitar playing by myself because I did not want somebody showing me how to play. I think I can play but maybe that is a dream. My wife tells me occasionally that some sounds are good. I have only sung and wrote the texts although in a couple of bands. I never really played on stage except for Jam sessions and then with some elses guitar. I have an epiphone BB King Signature model and a Fender American standard with texas pickups. They both are really great for the price. I hope I could give something sensible to your portal. Good luck and God bless.David Parrett
Ckpruitts  |  July 03, 2017 at 4:39 pm
Home run Dendy! Well written article.
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