What is music?

What is Music?


As long as I have been performing music with others, I have been aware of an almost psychic communication that occurs among musicians. Without words, cues, or even eye contact, the players know when the hit is coming, where the singer will take us, when to reign it in, and when to let loose. Certainly there is practice involved, and an intimacy and familiarity among the players. However, I believe four musicians who have never met and speak different languages could conceivably achieve the same level of communication. In short, music transcends language. It is universal. 


This is the heart of its power and importance. Through music we communicate love, sorrow, anger. Music plays an influential role in most of our lives, often without our awareness. Imagine Star Wars without John Williams, commercials without jingles, Christmas without carols. Like bass guitar before Paul McCartney, you don’t know it’s there until it’s gone. 


For me, music is an outlet, and has been since I first started playing guitar 30 years ago. In times when I don’t play much, I am aware of how badly I miss it, and that making music is a part of me. Likewise, listening to music is an escape. While I treasure a sweet melody, and nod in agreement with resonating lyrics, what I dig the most is a dense soundscape—an audio experience I can enter, almost physically present in the center of the music, with sound to my left and right, above and below me. If you could enter a room and just be. . . that is what I seek from music. 


Music is: universal communication, a backdrop to our lives, my personal escape room. 


What is music for you?

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