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Music Without Words is Meaningless

My third GP essay.
Written: 6th March 2009

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music“Let us all stand up for the national anthem”. The numerous people, creating a large crowd in the huge football stadium, stand up. The players of both the teams line up in the centre of the field in a rigid stance. The anthem begins. The camera focuses on all the team members of the country whose anthem is being played, tears streaming down the cheeks of a few players in great love, respect and patriotism for their beloved country. The anthem surely made them emotional and triggered the love for their nation. But wait…nobody is singing the national anthem, it is only an instrumental. If music without words is meaningless, then how come those players were so touched by it? How did they receive the message and the sensation of patriotism through only the sounds coming from a number of instruments? A better question; how did they even RECOGNIZE that it is their country’s national anthem and not their opposing team’s? The answer to all these questions is that music without words is not meaningless, and it would be quite a sweeping statement to say so. Yes, music can be meaningless without words if it created that way, just a mixture of random notes and intervals without any harmony, but why would anyone waste their time creating something like that? Even if words are added to such a piece of music, it would not be effective. Continue reading

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