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Judith Meyers Essay

Humans have made music for as long as our collective consciousness can recall. Just as every culture uses language, every known human culture engages in music. It is made unceasingly in the darkest times and the brightest ones. Music is such an essential part of our humanity that we cannot keep ourselves from creating it.

Music allows us to free the secret, invisible, and indescribable parts of our selves that could not otherwise be shared. It allows us both to put forward our best and to make our worst into something beautiful. Music allows us to meet others in a new way—both people who we will never meet in the physical world and others who we see every day. Through music we connect with our bodies and make full use of our brains. It is an essential human activity, without which not only would we be incapable of sharing our fullest selves with one another, but incapable of fully seeing our own hearts as well.

The great dancer Martha Graham wrote that art expresses a person's life force and “because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique...if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.” Music is capable of translating our inner lives, our hearts and our experiences, in a manner more direct than any other expression. To make music is our duty to one another. Without it, a part of our humanity would be missing from the universe—mute, unheard, and unfelt. Through music, we find both ourselves and each other.