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YammondaSparks

Mrs.Scaife
Composition1
February15,2016

MelodyoftheMusic
Inanearbyroomyouhearavarietyofnoisesandsoundsthatformabeatandit
immediatelygrabsyourattention.Theorganizationofpitchesformarhythm,thatsuddenly
engagesyouentirely.Doyoudance,doyousing,orwillyoujustlisten?Nomatterwhich
reactionyouchoose,themusichasalreadycapturedyourmindsoyouhavenochoicebutto
react.Ifyoutrytoresist,itbecomesanagonizingbattlebetweenmindandbody.Istheremoreto
musicthanwethink?
Inthelasttwoyears,mylifehaschangeddramatically.Itransitionedfromhighschoolto
collegeanditwasafeelinglikenoother.IwasacceptedtotheUniversityofArkansasatLittle
Rockwithafullridescholarship.Afewofmyhighschoolfriendswereacceptedaswell,Ihada
car,allofmyschoolsupplies,anewwardrobe,andabankaccountfullofmoneythatIhad
savedjustforthismoment.Sofar,itsoundsliketheperfectliferight?However,Ididnothavea
mothertomakedecisionsforme,Ididnothavepreparedbreakfasteverymorning,Ididnothave
asiblingtofightoverthebathroomwithinthemorning,andIdidnothaveacurfew.Therewas
alonglistofthingsthatInolongerhad.Beingaspoiledchild,Iwasnotaccustomedtobeingon
myownsoIsoonfeltalone.Ibegantoreachouttomyfamilyandtheycomfortedmeasmuch
astheypossiblycouldbut,theyhadproblemsoftheirown.NomatterhowmanytimesadayI

calledhome,thatstillneverchangedthefactthatIwasthreehoursawaytryingtopiecetogether
anewlife.Itriedturningtomyfriendsforcomfortbuttheymadenewfriends.Itriedmaking
newfriends,butmymomhadinstilledthestrangerdangerlessoninmyheadforsolongthat
therewasstillabarrierwhenmeetingnewpeople.ImovedtoLittleRockhopingtocontinuea
twoyearrelationshipwithathreehourseparationandthattoo,cametoanend.Duringthat
miserablemomentintime,itwasveryhardformetoconcentrateonmystudiesandshortlyafter
thesemesterstarted,mygradesreflectedeverybitoftheneglect.Icouldnotbeartherevisions
ofmylifeastheybroughtmenothingbutfloodsoftearsandsadnessthatturnedmysmallstorm
intowhatseemedtobeaneverlastinghurricane.Iwaslonely,weary,andgraduallyfellintoa
deepdepression.
OnenightIwasinvitedtoapoetryslamhostedbytheUniversityProgramCouncil.I
hadntleftmyroommuchinweeks,soIdecidedtogetupandgo.WhenIarrivedtheroomwas
fullofpeopleandtherewasonlyoneseatavailable.Theroomwaspoorlylit,withthebrightest
lightintheroomfocusedonthecenterofthestage.Thepoetsbegantogoonthestageandrecite
theirpreciousworksofartonebyone.However,Icouldnotseemtofocusonthepassionate
wordsthattheybegantospeak,butratherthebackgroundmusic.Itwasnotasongwithlyrics
butratherabeat.Itwasanunfamiliarsound,butitwassopureandsoothingthatitcarriedaway
allofmymelancholyanddeliveredasenseofpeace.IthadbeensolongsinceIhadthatfeeling
andIembracedeverysecondofit.
IbegantolistentoartistsuchasLaurynHill,whowasalsoa
poetalwayssangabouthowsheoncewasatalowpointinlifeandhowshenowworkstoward
selflove.
ThatiswhenIdiscoveredthepowerofmusic.

Ichosetousepersonalinterviewsfromavarietyofpeopleformydatacollection.This
varietyincludedarandomperson,amusician/artistandacounselor.
Wecounselorsoften
prescribemusicasatherapybecauseithasbeenproventonotonlyaffectbutimproveaperson's
mood,saysMrs.AnneCarter.Cartergoesontoexplainthatmusictapsintousinadifferent
waybecausemusicreleasesendorphins(ahormone)thatrelievesstress.
Onehundredpercentof
myintervieweesadmitted
tonever
tonever
beingabletoavoidthesoundofmusic.
Musicis
intrinsicinallculturesandisoneofthefewactivitiesthatinvolvesusingtheentirebrain.The
brainisthecontrolcenterofthebodywhichallowsmusictocontrolthemindandbodyallin
one.Thegenreofthemusicdepictshowthemusicaffectsthebody.Musiccancontrolpain
level,bloodpressure,memory,andemotion.
Myfirstinterviewquestionwas,Ifyoucould
produceamusicalbumwhatwoulditbeaboutandwhy?.Itwasamazinghowtheiranswers
reflectedeachother.Myfirstintervieweewastheartist
/musician
,Dr.Dre.Hisresponsewasthat
hewascurrentlyinthemiddleofproducinganalbumabout
thelifechangesthatheiscurrently
going
hislifeandthethingsthathewasgoing
throughtheproblemsthatpeoplecouldrelateto.
Forthatveryreasonpeopletendtolistentoalotofoldermusicfrombackinthe70s,80sand
90s.Backthenithadmeaningandemotion.Nowadays,mostmusicisnothingmorethanjusta
beatoracatchyphrase.Thedifferenceisnoticedinthereaction.Peopleloveemotionlessmusic
forthemomentandtheexcitementfromitsoondiesdown.Ontheotherhandmusicthathas
meaningtendstoaffectpeopleinadifferentwaybecauseitisalwayssomethingthattheywillgo
backtowhentheyinneedofawayoutorasenseofease.

For
alongtime
many
,musicwas
our
their
onlywayoutasarace

,saysMartinLawrence.

African
A
a
mericansdidnothavemany
rightsand
privilegeswhenhewasgrowingup.

Theybegantosingandrapbecause
Lawrence

alsosaysthat
itwastheonlywaytocopewiththetimesbecause
theirvoice
it
was
allthey
all
they
had.
Lawrencealsosaysthatmanylistentomusicnotonlybecausetheycanrelatetoitbut
alsoforcomfort.Dr.Dresayshestilllistenstootherartistbecauseit'snicetoknowthatyouare
theonlyoneinpainorhurting.Oftenthanmost,anauthorwillnotonlysingorrapabouttheir
problemsbutalsoexpresswhattheydidtohelptheseproblemsorwhattheywantedtodo.
Peoplealsodependonmusicbecausetherearewordsthattheywanttosaytoexpresstheir
feelings,butdon'tnecessarilyknowhowtosaythem.Thatisanotherreasonwhymusicis
important,becauseithastheperfectdeliveranceanditspeaksforsomanypeople.Iwasableto
relatetoLaurynHillwhenshetoodidnothaveahappylife.Shesungaboutherheartacheand
howshebegantoloveherselfandfindhappiness.Withherhelp,sodidI.Musicspokeforthe
mistreatedAfricanAmericans,musictoldthelifestoriesofmanyauthors,andlastlymusicspoke
forme.
Attheendofthedaymusicisaboutdeliveranceandnoonecantellyourstorylikeyou
can.Forthatveryreasonpeopletendtolistentoalotofoldermusicfrombackinthe70s,80s
and90s.Backthenithadmeaningandemotion.Nowadays,mostmusicisnothingmorethan
justabeatoracatchyphrase.Thedifferenceisnoticedinthereaction.Peopleloveemotionless
musicforthemomentandtheexcitementfromitsoondiesdown.Ontheotherhandmusicthat
hasmeaningtendstoaffectpeopleinadifferentwaybecauseitisalwaysonethattheywillgo
backtowhentheyinneedofawayoutorasenseofease.Musicisatherapy.

Whatdidyouintervieweestellyouabouttheirexperienceswithmusic?Comparetheir
experienceswithyouratthepoetryslam.
Musicisuniqueformofartwhichmakesitundeniablyhardtoexplain.
Musiccancontrol
painlevel,bloodpressure,andmemory,duetosoothingbeats,sharedemotionsandempathy.It

isintrinsicinmostculturesandisoneofthefewactivitiesthatreleaseshappyhormonesinto
thebody.
Musichasseveraldifferentgenresthataffectthebraindifferently.
Forthisveryreason,
musicisheavilyreliedonformanysituations.
Musichashelpedpeopleregainmemory,tell
stories,copewithracialissuesandrelievedstressanddepression.Itissafetosaythatmusicisa
therapy.

Thenexttimeyouhearmusic,whatwillyoudo?Wait,isthistheend?

WorkCited
Carter,Anne,MartinLawrence,andDr.Dre."HowDoesMusicAffectYou."Personal
interview.7Feb.2016.