Eng. 100A MWF11
November 28, 2011
The Voice of Music
Nowadays, everyone loves listening to music. From the ancient times, music and values were compared in ways that many people today might find uncomfortable or politically incorrect. In ancient China, the Chinese philosopher, Mo Tzu scorned the excellent and relaxing power of the sound of music. Throughout time, individual pieces of music possess a liveliness, which has the power to exert various influences over those who listen to it. Music touches many subjects to express the way life is. Music will stay for an eternity because it helps and influences people in many different and beneficial ways.
Music has proven to have profound effects on humans. In his writing “Against Music”, Mo Tzu argues that those who “[…] spent their time listening to it, then they will not be able to (perform their tasks) and as a result the state will fall into disorder…” (World 312).
Mo Tzu believed that music should not be permitted since it does not have any benefits for people, and distracts them from completing their tasks. This thinking was shown to be in error by experiment performed by David Easton dealing with the effect of listening to music on work performance. He concluded, “Quality of work and time-on-task work was least efficient with no music. His experiment showed that people produce more quality work while listening to music and they finish their work faster when listening to music” (The).
When performing many feats of physical skill, calculating how fast a person can perform the action has become a custom that has gained prominence in recent years. Observing how long it takes a person to perform an action, now known as observing the reaction time, has even gained enough importance to the point that it has even used in some scientific investigations. The purpose of this scientific ...
This study shows that people who study music “[…] have better GPAs and are higher achievers [than those who are not involved in music]” (The).
Music brings pleasure and satisfaction to people. Music is a melody, which can help us escape our lives briefly to enjoy time without stress, worrying, and problems. Music enables us to imagine another where we can be motivated and inspired. Music inspires people to live and fulfill their dreams, and encourages people to reach out to others and helps them overcome fears. Mo Tzu presents an argument against music. He stated that, “But through the body finds comfort, the mouth gratification, the eye pleasure, the ear delight, yet if we examine the matter […]and if we consider the welfare of the world we will find that they bring no benefit to the common people” (World 309).
He implied that music does not have to do with the greatness and success so it does not bring welfare to the world, which will lead no benefit to the common people. In the first part of his argument, Mo Tzu describes how music provides comfort to the body, gives the eye preference and the ear enjoyment. If a human has all this, then he would be motivated and inspired to do anything he wants to fulfill. This undercuts the last part of Mo Tzu’s statement denying the value of music.
The production of music was not profitable in ancient China, but today music can make a lot of money. Within the music industry, music producers’ main job is to oversee and manage the recording or production of an artist’s music. In ancient China, only the wealthy people could afford to pay heavy taxes to listen to music because music making was expensive. Mo Tzu argues against music by saying, “If you try to promote what is beneficial to the world and eliminate what is harmful by laying heavy taxes on the people for the purpose of making bells, drums, zithers, and pipes, you will get nowhere” (World 310).
Mo Tzu is saying that music is not useful to society, and that people should not be forced to pay taxes for musical instruments that do not benefit them directly. Today, music producers make a good amount of money that benefits themselves and society. According to Zoe Chace of NPR, “[…] the hourly rate for music producers can range from $13.49 to $28.86 per hour. NPR states music producers median hourly wages are $32.08 per hour” (How).
Rock Music Impact on Society Rock music has affected society in the twentieth century in a large way. Rock music started in the 1950s with various small bands such as Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. These pioneers of modern music drew a larger crowd at each show, and soon, rock music would be in the ears of almost every American. Rock and roll contributes many things back to people when they listen ...
The amount of money that music producers make per year, “[…] can range from $20,000 to over $1 million dollars per year. NPR states music producers median annual wages are $66,720 per year” (How).
Music producers are able to afford to buy other music instruments to improve music sound and support their families. Society benefits with better sounding music and exciting musical innovations that motivate and inspire people to peruse their dreams.
Music touches each individual differently. The influence of music on all of us is powerful. Music influences the political arena, and society, as well as peoples’ moods. While music has the power to express, convey and affect powerful emotions, music’s moral and ethical power, and how that power affects individuals and societies, is the issue that receives the most attention.
Chace, Zoe. “How Much Does It Cost to Make a Hit Song?” npr.org. NPR. 30 June 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/05/137530847/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-hit-song>
Easton, David. “The Influence of Music on Self and Society- Values in Music in Eastern and Western Cultures.” Tparents.org. Tparents. July, 2003. Web. 17 Nov. 2011 <http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Eaton/eaton_Influence.htm>
Tzu, Mo. “Against Music.” Reading the World: Ideas that Matter. Ed. Michael Austin. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company 2010. 308-312. Print.