the Life all around you!
Why do you
Listen for Life?
Because you need music! And music needs help!
of media is causing the homogenization of cultures, and only one
principal genre of music (commercial pop from Britain, Western Europe,
and America mostly) is able to afford distribution in the global media.
Consequently, many genres and cultures of music throughout the world
are now threatened with extinction.
Why does it
Isn't there still plenty of music?
matters because it is important to retain the connection between
music and the culture it springs from. The music is an
that culture, and preserving the music is preserving the culture
itself. And it matters because music truly is the channel of
cross-cultural communication! When
we hear a musician perform, we are not just hearing that one
We hear their past, their traditions, their beliefs, their feelings,
and their hopes for the future, both individually and as part of a
is a unique language that speaks from
heart to heart, wordlessly. In many countries today music is
primary expression of people's lives, whether they are musicians or
not. But that expression is being lost in the global marketplace, and
around the world, music traditions are dying at an astonishing rate The
music culture of a people is its greatest natural resource! So all
natural resources of a country are diminished if we don't support and
encourage people's pride in their native music, as well as
the opportunity to share that music with the global community that
wants to "speak their language." Sociologists tell us that culture is
biological. It is a combination of learned behaviors,
techniques, and adaptations to new circumstances, and for all cultures
to survive at their healthiest, there should be more diversity rather
than less. When we diminish the number of cultures by giving prominence
to a few, all of them stop growing!
are musical cultures especially threatened now?
centuries, native instruments and songs have been passed down from
generation to generation through music-masters in each ethnic group or
village. The position of master musician has traditionally been held in
great esteem, as an embodiment of the culture, and those who follow in
the footsteps of the master felt a sense of importance. The
themselves felt pride in the specialness of their music traditions.
Now, because of the worldwide distribution of popular media, there are
more and more traditional instruments that no one knows how to play.
Folk songs or traditional melodies, which were passed on by rote and
not normally written down, have been lost. These things are happening
because the young people, who normally would have been "sitting at the
feet of the master" and learning the treasured skills and traditional
instruments of their people, no longer take any interest or pride in
that activity, because the music that the global media chooses most
often to broadcast does not spring from their culture. This leads the
young people to conclude that their native music and culture is not of
value. The master musicians themselves conclude that the art they have
devoted their lives to is no longer of interest to their own
countrymen, nor to the world at large, and in discouragement, they are
abandoning their instruments and their roles as "cultural historians."
can we do about this problem?
it be great if the citizens of each country could feel as much pride in
their music heritage as they do of their military or political history
or of their economic power?
for that to happen, all people
must first be encouraged to truly appreciate the gift of music itself,
for its potential as a channel of communication, spirituality, heart
and understanding. Also, the global media needs to embrace its
responsibility to enable the sharing and appreciation of all music
all people must be encouraged to come together as
one family of music listeners, creators and performers to combine their
voices, instruments, styles, and languages in a worldwide soundtrack of
all keep all styles, genres and cultures of music alive for future