Choir Notes

The Power of Music
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4361

Music has been called the timeless and universal language—a language of peace, of love, of hope. No matter where we live, regardless of our age and stage of life, music can lift and inspire us, it can soften and console us, it can instruct and entertain us. Such music becomes like a lifelong friend—we can recall lyrics and tunes we haven’t heard for decades, because they seem almost to be burned into our soul.
While music affects us very personally, it is also communal; it unites people in a way few things can. As we sing or play together and listen together, we somehow connect on a deeper level.
Of course, there’s a wide range of musical tastes and preferences. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then good music is found in the ear of the listener. But in every style and genre, there is music that uplifts—music that brings cheerfulness and a smile, a fresh insight or perspective, a poignant remembrance or emotion, an inspiring feeling of rejoicing, gratitude, or worship. On the other hand, there is also music that can darken, degrade, or create a cloud of gloom.
One family found that they could positively affect the tone of their home just by the music that filled it. The wise mother discovered that if she had good, uplifting music playing when the children came home from school, it helped the attitude in their home. When family members made conscious choices to listen to wholesome music, everyone felt a little better about life.
Music that edifies will stand the test of time. It endures across the centuries and crosses every imaginable boundary because it touches something eternal deep within us. That’s what makes it universal and timeless, and it’s what inspired the 19th-century English poet Walter Savage Landor to declare: "Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven.”1

1 In Sheila E. Anderson, The Quotable Musician: From Bach to Tupac (2003), 58.

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