Music as meditation

The benefits of meditation on well being are widely studied. It seems natural to me to think that music should have many of the same benefits that meditation has. Both listening and making it, if done with the right kind of single-minded absorption that characterizes meditation. Whereas in meditation the focus is on the self, in music the point of focus is a set of musical ideas; or the succession in time of individual musical moments.

Meditation opens up the door to meta-thinking, as it teaches oneself to clear one’s mind and in doing so makes it easier to realize that one is constantly thinking; it’s easy to just live life from one thought to the next, without exercising much control on that flow; never (or not often enough) stopping and ask why, or doing any other kind of meta-thinking.

Music probably opens up its own set of ideas, those motivated by the underlying structures (elements from music theory that are perceived aurally and enjoyed or just noticed); like a smell that evokes a memory, music at primes parts of our brain to be stimulated more easily later, and thus used in other contexts.


Comments powered by Disqus