by Stacy Widelitz
The human brain is hardwired for music. Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients, even when they can’t recognize their loved ones, will recognize a favorite song, sometimes even singing along. Differing languages, customs, and religions can separate, even alienate, people, but music binds them. It is primal, and there is no better way to reach people on a deep, emotional level.
I’m lucky to have co-written a song, “She’s Like the Wind,” that became an international hit, and is still heard around the world. I’ve heard it on a bus in Havana. I’ve heard it in a theater in Berlin. I’ve seen the song pop up in a blog in Vietnam, and a Hong Kong edition of Vanity Fair. It has transcended language, customs, and religions.
That is the power of music as a cultural force. Music is abstract – you can’t see it or touch it, but you feel it in your heart and in your soul. It’s spiritual, used in sacred rituals around the world. In my mind, music is perhaps the most effective tool for bringing people together, and for creating a sense of common humanity.