Would sure be nice if potential psychological harm from listening to recorded music was the most pressing problem facing humanity. Or was even in the top five!
Okay like...I actually think you're on to something, but I want to literally fight you for suggesting people are not responsible enough to listen to music or get their pictures taken, omfg. People get to ruin themselves (or heal themselves) however they choose.
Wow. In a lot of ways I agree with you about music. I have been thinking much of the same thing lately about narrative. What I mean is that narrative concentrates, for example, all of the interesting parts of life into say 30 minutes. And I think that parts of our humanity, I won't pretend to know which ones, may be getting overloaded by this. They sort of can't fully digest all of the story that we are putting into them. It would have been different when the story had to be a live performance, because obviously the consumption would have been much more limited.
Have you ever noticed how sometimes when reading a book after a particularly eventful sequence you might feel emotionally exhausted, and how movies used to affect us in the same way, and how we are getting numb to all of that? Like music, narrative is a more powerful drug than we suspect. Maybe our ancestors limited it not because they couldn't make it as available as we do but because they chose to?
As an aside, to bring up the Galli and the religious significance of genital mutilation is a brave choice. I hope that you haven't unintentionally summoned up a storm.
"[The galli] generally wore women's clothing (often yellow), and a turban, pendants, and earrings. They bleached their hair and wore it long, and they wore heavy makeup."
So like… trans girls, you mean?
The psychological harm thing is still pure speculation, though. Where did go all your natural science background? I honestly expected some links to papers.
I would also like to echo to the potential of music being used to, not say control people to any granularity, but at least reinforce many already problematic cultural norms and values here in the U.S., e.g. heteronormativity, sexualization of women, and the capitalist standard of success (except there are also alternative content by creators from more diverse backgrounds, just fewer). This is kind of true in China too, but it follows more from the censorship of alternative content rather than the natural popularity of the above topics themselves, plus additionally the ministry of education does try to instill patriotic (read: nationalistic) values by promoting certain songs from maybe 50 years ago (ugh). The first verse of PRC's national anthem basically goes "rise up, people who don't want to be slaves", whereas China is literally one of the top economic powers in the world and secretly doing all that neocolonialism shit. The cultural ambience is also generally getting more conservative, both in the US and in China, and I don't know why. I'm sorry this has turned into a rant.
I generally don't listen to songs with lyrics because I almost always would be listening to songs under a work context. Game soundtracks / neoclassical / lo-fi hip-hop are great; I used to love EDM / glitch-hop / future/kawaii-bass but they're a bit too intense and repetitive and can ruin my focus sometimes. I also can't listen to anything when I read.
I enjoyed this Thank you. I share the fascination with musico-religious connections and pretty much any religio connection. I won’t call it good or bad but I will tell you how I’ve experienced several things like the mandala effect in the music of coil. Check Going Up or Fire Of The Mind (video shot in a morgue)… The front men have been dead for some time but the music continues to change on its own. They were early purveyors of musical talisman, remote viewing, circuit bending, subliminal and somnambulist work…Dada type expression and even probed into places like Crowley and McKenna and oh the live shows…you might never be the same! I continue to travel with them and others in the spiritual jazz realms on the mandala effect.❤️
Absolutely agree. As a hobby classical musician I keep my house free of recorded music of all kinds. No background music, no radio, nothing whatsoever. It's not allowed for kids either. We play musical instruments and sing instead.
Ted Gioia, on his substack (tedgioia.substack.com), is serializing his new book "Music to Raise the Dead" which deals with the connections of music and spirituality. Good stuff.