Music Binds Us
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
You’ve heard it before – if you want to stay away from conflict with people, avoid the subjects of sports, religion, and politics. Of course, these days, people everywhere are speaking their minds regarding politics and many should heed the words of Thumper. Yet I digress.
There’s been much talk around the Harmony Central offices about how music is a universal language that knows no boundaries. It’s the one method of communication that allows a group of people from anywhere in the world to come together and start "talking the same language."
Because of this, it's the tie that binds us together as a people —human to human. And that brings us to the 59th Grammys on February 12th, and Neil Portnow's speech: Music Binds Us.
While the Grammys offered subtle hints of political unrest, it remained a night focused primarily on music (which was refreshing). But what resonated with us at Harmony Central were the words of Neil’s speech. Here are some excerpts:
“We are constantly reminded about the things that divide us. Race, region, and religion. Gender, sexual orientation, political party. But what we need so desperately are more reminders of all that binds us together — our shared history, our common values, and our dedication to build for ourselves a more perfect union.”
He went on to say:
“President John F. Kennedy once observed, 'The life of the arts is very close to the center of a nation's purpose, and is a test of the quality of a nation's civilization.' That's so true. And that's why we must be loud and clear in our unwavering support of music and the arts and those who create it.
"Behind the extraordinary artists you've seen here on our stage are hundreds and thousands of unsung musicians and songwriters, producers, and engineers — American creators — whose jobs suffer from outdated rules and regulations, some going back 100 years.
"So, The Recording Academy, together with America's music makers, call on the President and Congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education and renewing America's commitment to the arts. It's our collective responsibility to preserve what binds us and to ensure that the whole world continues to benefit from one of our most unique [and] economically and spiritually important assets — and exports. American music.” (see entire speech here)
This was the one political statement that we felt was appropriate, and needed, in the world of music.
We need to protect music and music education. Most of us who are musicians understand the profound impact it has made on our lives. Harmony Central’s Mission Statement is “to inspire people to make better music.” And we believe that our Harmony Central community can help with the task of inspiring the next generation of musicians as we strive to keep the torch alive. We believe that music education is the key to unlock the door to this tie that binds us.
As an MI executive recently said in a speech he gave his employees – “Music may be the only hope we have left.” And we agree that it's what the world needs now. And if you’re a musician, you know exactly what I mean. -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.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett