the therapeutic use of music

The role of music in society. Why is music important? (1)

This question has been asked for centuries and still fascinates and inspires us. Music is more than just a form of entertainment. Music is a powerful force that can shape our emotions, influence our behaviour, and connect us to others on a completely different level.

Whether you’re listening to your favourite song on the radio, attending a live concert, or playing your favourite melodies in the shower, music has the power to take you somewhere else. It is a help in escaping everyday difficulties. Music comforts in the rhythms and melodies that move us.

But the influence of music goes far beyond our pleasure. Music can shape human culture, and social and political relations, and even promote physical and mental health.

The impact of music on emotions and mental health

It’s no secret that music has the power to move us emotionally. Whether it’s a song that causes tears or one that drives us to dance, music can provoke strong feelings and connect us to our emotions. Did you know that music can also significantly affect our mental health?

Studies have shown that listening to music can reduce stress and anxiety, improve overall mood, and even relieve symptoms of depression. Music therapy (music therapy) is used today as a treatment for various mental disorders, including schizophrenia, dementia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia. Tales of Music and the Brain, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2007,  p. 30

“Music forms a significant and, on the whole, pleasant part of life for most of us—not only external music, the music we hear with our ears, but internal music, music that plays in our heads.”

How does music have these effects? Scientists believe that music releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine (which enhances our motivation) and serotonin (which provides a sense of happiness, focus, and inner peace) associated with pleasure, reward, and happiness. It can also activate the same parts of the brain that are involved in processing emotions and memories.

Moreover, music can act as a mechanism for dealing with difficult emotions or situations. Whether it’s a breakup or a tough day at work, listening to your favourite song can help you feel better and more resilient.

The impact of music on our emotions and mental health is important and multifaceted. Whether we use it to calm the soul or to move the body, music has the power to improve our well-being and quality of life.

Music as a tool for social change

Through history, music has played a key role in social and political movements. From protest songs to anthems of solidarity, music has been used to express opposition, promote unity, and inspire change.

Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia. Tales of Music and the Brain, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2007,  s. 39

“In all societies, a primary function of music is collective and communal, to bring and bind people together. People sing together and dance together in every culture, and one can imagine them having done so around the first fires, a hundred thousand years ago.”

An example of the power of music in bringing about change is the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Songs such as “We Shall Overcome” (a gospel song strongly associated with the American civil rights movement) and “A Change Is Gonna Come” (by Sam Cooke) have become fighting screams for racial equality activists. These songs helped unite the movement and gave voice in the struggle for justice.

Today, music is still a driving force for social change. Artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and J. (Jermaine Lamar) Cole use their platforms to raise issues of police violence, inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement. They draw attention to important issues and engage in conversations that might not have happened otherwise.

Moreover, music can unite people through cultural, racial and geographical divisions. The universality of music allows it to cross language and cultural barriers, creating a shared experience that can help break differences and build understanding.

So music has a unique ability to bring about social change and promote unity. Whether it’s through protest songs or cross-cultural collaborations, music can inspire us to work for a better, fairer society.


It is not easy to answer the question posed in the subtitle of this article: Why is music important? Music is not only a form of entertainment, but also a powerful force capable of shaping emotions, influencing behaviour and connecting people on a deeper level.

Music is not just a form of escape from everyday difficulties, because its influence reaches much further. It affects not only culture and social relations but also physical and mental health. Music reduces stress, improves mood and supports the treatment of various mental disorders.

In the second part, we will look at the role of music in shaping cultural identity, because music has long been an important part of cultural identity, both within individual communities and on a global scale.