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Finding Spirituality Through Music
Music has the ability to impact us
in ways beyond our realizations. Music can make us forget and it can make us
remember. It can serve as an escape from our everyday stresses; allow us to
pretend, even for just a moment, that reality is not waiting for us at the end
of a song. Music can also do quite the opposite – it can force us into reality.
A simple song, or even a single lyric, can force us to relive a moment, an
entire day or even an entire relationship. We attach certain songs to certain
people or places. A happy song can make someone cry just as much as a sad song
can make someone smile.
Most people associate spirituality with religion but, more often than not, it is not tied to any religious beliefs. Spirituality is simply being able to experience a connection with something bigger than us and to feel a sense of interconnectedness that is not based in anyone or anything tangible. As younger people tend to shy away from religious institutions, many have instead found such belief and spirituality in music.
“Music is an incredibly powerful medium which evokes strong concurrent physical, emotional, and psychological responses in persons,” says Sandi Curtis, a music therapy researcher, practitioner and professor in the Music Therapy Department of Concordia University. “Each response is very individual and unique […] it is music's unique ability to evoke these multiple responses simultaneously that makes it so powerful.”
Over the years, more and more research has been manifesting on the topic of music being able to induce powerful emotional responses that can open us up to spiritual dimensions – a field of study that has been traditionally classified as solely subjective and impossible to prove. Now, many have taken to studying such capacities, most notably the connection between finding spirituality in music within younger generations, due largely to the rave culture that has sprung from the rise of electronic dance music (EDM).
“I see the connection between music and spirituality just as I see how music has played a big part in many historical events in that music sends a universal message in order to connect people,” says Santino Agostino, a 23-year-old musician from Laval and member of the local rock band The Maxwells.
As Dr. Robin Sylvan notes in his book, Trance Formation: The Spiritual and Religious Dimensions of Global Rave Culture, that although it is now scientifically possible to study individuals’ ability to experience altered states of consciousness through music, the concept of finding spirituality is still subjective and unique to each person as is the type of music and the degree of spirituality.
“For me, music is spiritual in the sense that it allows me not to connect to any religious factors, but to connect more so with myself,” says Agostino. “When it comes to music on an emotional and physical level, it does provide me with an escape from the physical world where I can tune out any troubles I may be having.”
Music has the ability to impact us in ways beyond our realizations. Whether it is at a rave listening to EDM or at home listening to country music, or performing your own rock songs or receiving music therapy, music can entice powerful emotions within us that make us feel connected to something other than ourselves and that may just be all the spirituality one needs.
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