Music and Peace

Throughout this blog, I’ve often mentioned my struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI). I’ve talked about my methods for coping with the malady. I’ve written about my success in living with the condition. What I haven’t mentioned is the contribution of music.

My fascination with music goes back to childhood. Quite early, I came to realize that the logic inherent in music does not apply to any other facet of human life. That discovery paralleled my learning that language rules varied from one tongue to another—Italian and French, languages I taught myself as a child, used systems of thinking similar to each other and to English but not identical. My appreciation for the variance in language logic ballooned when I studied Asian languages.

What I didn’t understand as a child was the common factor of sound and pitch that music and language shared. Only when I worked with tonal languages did I comprehend that, for example, the meaning of the sentence “That’s right” depended on the intonation of the speaker. That is, a rise in the voice on the word “right” altered the meaning from a statement to a question.

In other words, I discovered as a child that the rigorous rules of logic changed depending on the milieu. Mathematical logic was accurate for dealing with numbers but didn’t work for aesthetic or spiritual reasoning.

In short, music and language taught me as a child that the rules for accurate thinking varied with the subject of thought. Only later did I realize that music can offer peace.

More tomorrow.

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