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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Can Music Create World Peace?

I think that this questions has probably been asked many times but it bears asking again. When people from different cultures choose to perform each others music, it is a way of honoring that other culture. In my lifetime I've probably heard more Western European classical music that any other type, but there are millions of other types and genres of music that could bring comfort and peace to many people. Listen to this beautiful performance of some of the music from "Schindler's List" (written by American John Williams) sung and played by a Chinese group of musicians! Listening to it again brought tears to my eyes, thinking of the atrocities visited on the Jewish people in the 30's and 40's. The more people don't forget this, this less likely it will ever be perpetrated again on anyone! Sing for Peace!


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Anonymous said...

let me site some data that supports this subject,

Come with me to Christmas Eve 1944 in the South Pacific. Again, it is a night of terror. War has been taken the lives of countless Germans, English, Americans, Japanese, Russians, and French, and the onslaught of carnage seems to have no end. The battle rages in the South Pacific. This particular evening on an island in the South Pacific, it has been a week of carnage. We find the incident recorded in numerous journals of the soldiers who were there. For a week, the Japanese have had great success over the allied forces given that there was no moon. Because of the Japanese superiority of knowledge of the terrain, at midnight each night for a week, they have climbed to positions of advantage and at the stroke of midnight unleashed artillery at the allied forces below. There was a great succession of carnage over the week that preceded Christmas Eve. On this night, the American soldiers climbed into their fox holes, some with Christmas stockings tied to their bayonets, macabre reminders of the day of celebration. As midnight approached the same familiar sound was heard of the Japanese taking positions on the mountainside to reenact the carnage of the nights previous. There was the sound of stealthy approach, then the silence of waiting till the signal was given. Just before midnight sounded, a courageous soldier in a fox hole began to sing “It came upon a Midnight Clear” . It started out as a solo, then a duet, a trio, a quartet and ultimately a choir from all over the mountain side.. When it was finished it was answered with “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, and “Silent Night”, which was a fitting conclusion to the evening as it described it well. It was indeed a night of silence, as the Japanese soldiers retreated from the mountain without a shot. What force stopped those deadly bullets? Was it the familiar music of the 19th century Anglican carols. I don’t think so. It is my opinion as a considered expert (I hold a degree of Doctor of Music in Music History and Literature), that the Japanese could not have known those songs. Could it then have been the words? Not likely. Was it the occasion? Were they hurrying home to celebrate Christmas Eve with their families? Certainly not! It was the power of the music! In my belief it is a miraculous, inspired, ingredient that exists in some music: a power than can transcend social, religious, economic, political differences and speak directly to the heart. It is, I believe akin to love, universal love. I do not know how to describe it any other way. I only know that it is there, that it has great power. I have seen it stop wars! Could it be that Pythagoras, Aristotle and Plato were describing the same phenomena when the described the music of the spheres? Whatever it is, it warrants further examination.