How Does Music Affect Our Lives

The Connection between Communication and Music Music is present throughout our lives, from the moment we wake up and hear that song that starts our day off, to that song that reminds us of that relationship we once had with that special someone, or a song that a city uses as its anthem for its sports team or a song that a country listens to, that helps comfort them in a time of tragedy and loss. Music helps us communicate and relate to things when we can not find the words to help us express our feelings.

When we have had a tragedy in our lives some people turn to alcohol, drugs, or something else to get rid of a terrible memory. After the attacks of September 11th music was used as an instrument in rebuilding the lives of the many New Yorkers who had lost loved ones or had witnessed the horrific events. Bruce Springsteen was one artist that released an album at this time; the album was titled The Rising. This album conveyed the feelings of the citizens of New York City.

Some of the tracks were titled, “Into the Fire”. “You’re Missing” and “Lonesome Day” We also had Sir Paul McCartney’s Freedom a song that was used as a memorial for the 9/11 attacks. Another band that helped heal the wounds of 9/11 was U2. Since the beginning, they have written songs that reach a wide variety of fans from all over the world. One song that sticks out is, “Pride (In the Name of Love)” these lyrics talk about many great figures throughout history, including Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. These are some of those lyrics.

One man come in the name of love

One man come and go

One man come, he to justify One man to overthrow

In the name of love

What more in the name of love

In the name of love

What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed-wire fence

One man he resists

One man washed on an empty beach.

One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love

What more in the name of love

In the name of love

What more in the name of love

Early morning, April 4

A shot rings out in the Memphis sky Free at last, they took your life They could not take your pride… (U2 The Unforgettable Fire, 1984 Island Records) Music is also used at funerals as a send-off into the next life or as a testament to the life of that person. My uncle was murdered in the fall of 2002. Everyone including my grandmother took it hard. The song my cousin chose for her father was Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Music has been there for me when I have no one to talk to.

In the book Popular Music and Communication by James Lull, there is a paragraph that explains musicians and how they communicate to their fans, “Popular musicians are loved, even worshiped, not only for their abilities to write songs and perform them publicly but for their ability to “speak” to their audiences. Even an artist whose only contact with the audience is through the sale of millions of compact discs and tapes communicates “personally” with each listener” Pg. 33 of Popular Music and Communication by James Lull Sage Publications, C 1992.

Everyone has a soundtrack to their lives and I found the first part of mine in 2000 with an album by a band named Papa Roach. My mother and father are separated; their divorce was based on the fact that my father was abusive towards my mother. The one song I could strongly relate to on that album was a song titled “Broken Home” I can’t seem to fight these feelings I’m caught in the middle of this My wounds are not healing I’m stuck in between my parents I wish I had someone to talk to Someone to I could confide in… Broken home All alone

I know my mother loves me But does my father even care If I’m sad or angry You were never ever there When I needed you I hope you regret what you did I think I know the truth Your father did the same to you… (Infest, Papa Roach, April 25, 2000, DreamWorks Records) When I heard this song it really opened my eyes, for the past sixteen years of my life I never knew that my father’s father had left when he was very young, it was a revelation to me, that this man who is my grandfather, that I have only seen a few times in my life, and my father was one and the same.

After recently ending a relationship with someone that had truly changed my life I continue to listen to this song from a popular punk rock band MxPx. The song is about someone giving up on girls and relationships and joining G. S. F. “Girls Schmirls Foundation” “You didn’t have to be so mean to me I guess now I see how it’s gonna be I’m joining GSF, I’ve made up my mind Forget this thing called love, it’s a waste of time Girls ain’t no good anymore, anyway! Not for one second have I understood

Why they do what they do, why they say what they say Always happens to my friends, it always happens to me It’s taken me 19 years to finally see She said “Can we just be friends? It’s just not working out. ” Another broken heart that I can do without Girls ain’t no good anymore, anyway! Not for one second have I understood Why they do what they do, why they say what they say” Many of my friends say that they can relate to how I feel and the song is a good way for me to get my feelings out and to show that girl she hurt me.

Music is also used to help boost morale in teams and fans at sporting events. Once a Spurs fan hears, “Are You Ready for This? ” they automatically begin to get hyped for the preceding game. The same is at football games, especially college football games. When the fans at Texas State hear “Go Bobcats” they automatically get on there feet and begin to participate in the hand gestures and sing the chorus. The football team, whether win, lose or draw will be on that field singing the Alma Mater.

There are those fan jams that are required at any sporting event, such as Queens “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” Music is used at these events to get a crowd hyped and the teams pumped and excited that they are playing in front of a large group of people that believe in them. As you can see Music is all around us. It is apart of our lives. It helps us express our feelings towards other people, it helps us to close old wounds made by tragic events, it also gives us a reason to cheer and sporting events, but the most important thing music gives us is a voice, a reason, a definition of who we really are.


  1.  McLaughlin, Terence. Music and communication, New York, St. Martin’s Press [1971, c1970]
  2. Lull, James. Popular music and communication, Newbury Park, Calif. : Sage Publications, c1992.
  3. Lynyrd Skynrd. Lynryd Skynrd, MCA Records, c 1973
  4. Papa Roach. Infest, DreamWorks Records, c April 25, 2000
  5. Paul McCartney. Freedom, Capitol Records, c November 13, 2001
  6. U2. The Unforgettable Fire, Island Records, c 1984
  7. MxPx GSF, At The Show, Tooth and Nail Records, c. July 27, 1999

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