“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination.” Plato
Love has no boundary so does music. Wherever people are there, there is music. With some poetic licence, one can sing, in the North-eastern Region wherever there is music, people come together. This is uniqueness of the Region of India, where music is the air they breathe. A sense of music is in the blood of this people. It is the culture of the Region.
There is something about music that can heal you, shape you, change the way you are feeling, can bind you and can even divide us. Music has some unique forces. It can unite all types of individuals across all borders. It both shapes and reflects society. It can promote ideals - like peace and solidarity - but it can also prepare armies for battle. It is part of almost every important personal and collective moment. It can open and close a door of us. It has such powerfully magnetic forces.
There are different types of music yet they all basically share an expression of unity. Dancers follow its beat; protesters use it to find their voice. Music can be used positively or negatively. Why did human start making music? What is the purpose of making music? Why do we sing National Anthem? The answer is very obvious yet for better affirmation- a research on ‘why humans make music’ led by Dr Thomas Currie from the University of Exeter explains, “The results show that the most common features seen in music around the world relate to things that allow people to coordinate their actions, and suggest that the main function of music is to bring people together and bond social groups – it can be a kind of social glue.” This is truer to the people of Northeast, who are born and brought up with music. Our traditional music basically aims at uniting and bringing harmony to the communities. We have forgotten basic purpose of music.
Music is really one thing that the whole world has in common, yet comparing with other regions or people, the north easterners are much more attune with music than others. Music is in their blood. Delving more into the nature of the people, their edifying ethos and philosophy of life, music is a way of life. Every person is attuned with some sense of music. Reflecting more into the nature and the purpose of music, one can also easily notice that all the folk or traditional songs tend to be more of social phenomena than being about individual expressing themselves or displaying their talents. They were developed as a way to bring communities together. They are used as form of social bonding.
Lori Hunzeker says, “Music has the power to bring people together: people from different geographic and cultural backgrounds and even people with different physical and mental abilities.” One can travel everywhere in the world and still be able to appreciate the music being performed. This is seen clearly in Burma. People are brought together, mobilised and shaped through music concerts. One can understand the emotion expressed through music which one cannot be expressed verbally. It can also express beliefs and strong convictions so effectively that people can be influenced by it leading them to come together. It can link us the past with the present. It also links us from differences. Such is the means and power of music.
Lynn Hunter in her essay on ‘Music Burns U’ writes, ‘Our lives are lived with others. Our lives are filled with music. Each age fashions a melodic square. Measure upon measure creates a beauteous patchwork of quilt of sound.’ Her thought says a lot about the people of Northeast. Music has ability to unite people under a singular experience, which, in turn, can change the way people think and behave. For example when we sing or hear the National Anthem, a patriotic feeling, a feeling of belongings, etc. arouse in us with a positive energy. It provides a source of inspiration for all.
The lead author of the study, Pat Savage, explains the covert schematics behind music, “we’ve shown that despite its great surface diversity, most of the music throughout the world is actually constructed from very similar basic building blocks and performs very similar functions, which mainly revolve around bringing people together.” The north easterners, being blooming lovers of music, music can transcend beyond the barriers of language, cultures, religions, denominations, tribals, races, state, etc., to bind them together under a single umbrella. He further says, “Music lets us connect without language.” It is the serving forces and legacy of our predecessors. Our folk songs are the foundation to build upon this harmony and unity. Understanding the old music may provide insight to examine our present way of life.
Music is a way of life for us. It is our spirituality. It is our ethos. It is a sort of mating call. It attracts people. It reassures, it motivates, it soothes and it educates. It has not creed, no colours, no tribes, no languages, etc. It prepares a foundation of fellowship. It has innate ability to bind us together as one. Through uniting individuals that are passionate about music and passionate about creating change in the world, we religious are the instrument to provide this opportunity to the youngsters of this region. A new door of harmony is opened before us. Let us enter through this door of music and make haste in bringing harmony to this region of ours.
“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what colour we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and faith, music proves: We are the same.” John Denver.