music v. language

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by sevenhelz, Jun 24, 2005.


Music v language

  1. Music is more powerful

  2. Language is more powerful

    0 vote(s)
  3. It depends...

  1. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    I found this fantastic exam question while revising for my music exam (which is on Monday:eek: ), so I planned an essay for it and in fact thought quite hard (it hurt); but I'd love to hear some other views:

    Do you agree that music is more powerful than language? Give reasons for your answer.

    answers on a postcard
  2. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    Yeh music is more powerful than language. Dunno why just is.
  3. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Thats an interesting question.

    Music is a very personal thing, and has some emotional attachments. A composer can relay personal emotions and thoughts in their compositions, and easilly relay this to an audience.

    The most important thing here is that music is universal - there is no language barrier, and can be appreciated by anyone anywhere.
  4. akwarose

    akwarose Active Member

    Not everyone speaks the same language in the world, but everyone can understand the general message a piece of music is trying to convey, even if there are different interpretations. It is the one of the only really universal languages in the world.

    Similarly, there are only a limited number of words to convey emotions as effectively as we would like, there are no such limitations within music.

    And lastly, within today's society there are so many constraints on language and what is socially acceptable, whereas there are no such restrictions on music. Agreed some genres and styles, particularly modern day popular music (such as rap, RnB etc) may be the subject of some controversy but for the most part people see it as freedom of expression.

    Overall I think music is more powerful than language for all of those reasons, and many more that I cant put into words at the moment.
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It is a tricky one, but I feel that sound is the most important thing. The combination of pitch, intensity, duration and repetition can mean many things that can warn, calm, attract and entertain same/different species. Language and music are evolved developments of this area. Maybe the same can be said of dance, acting and mime for body language?
  6. JDH

    JDH Member

    Music reaches directly to your inner emotions, while language is purely a tool of communication. Music is therefore more powerful.
  7. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    My reasoning in saying it depends is that the question doesn't ask what kind of situation this power is held in. I mean, if you're asking someone to pass the salt, it's difficult to explain that in say a two beat piano motif. So language is definitely more functional; but I would argue that language can be used as beautifully and as persuasively as music. Also, think about opera and great songs; the poetry of the language adds to the power of the music.

    some good points, thankyou for replying
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2005
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It's also handy to remember that languages on this rock we call Earth vary in their importance with reference to pitch and rhythm. Eastern languages have definite pitches and execution of syntax to convey meaning whilst languages such as our own can carry indirect speech acts with our use of inflection and pitch change during a statement. It could be that oriental music contains more cultural significance as a form of communication than the aesthetic value of Western music. Food for thought!

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