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We’re excited to announce a new collaborative playlist—which we hope you’ll enjoy—and to share some reflections that inspired it.
Music affects all of us, consciously and unconsciously, regardless of how much of it we’ve been exposed to throughout our lives—and most of us have been exposed to quite a lot. (The average person listens to 32 hours of music per week, according to a new report released by Nielsen Music)
Music impacts our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts, even our very being. Whether we choose to listen to it at a concert or on our headphones—or hear it in the background while buying groceries, waiting in line or getting our teeth cleaned—we are frequently exposed to music, and our brain processes and internalizes what we hear. The subconscious mind is strongly influenced by music—look no further than the power of a good film score—and the younger someone is, the more vulnerable they are to its tones, rhythms and messages. An abundance of fascinating research conducted in recent years documents the profound ways that music and its lyrics affect us. (For more on that, check out the link below to an article by our arts editor)
Clearly, an important choice is before us: what kind of song lyrics, messages, and content do we want to listen to?
One scale we might consider using, when choosing what we listen to, is the effect it has on our soul—does it lift it higher or entrap it in baser instincts? In this connection, Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote:
We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion. – Baha’u’llah, The Most Holy Book, p. 38.
Positive words can be found in the music of all genres—not only folk, soul, and religious music, but also hip hop, pop, EDM and every other style. Such words can lift our souls, refine our thoughts and actions, and equip us to elevate the collective spaces and environments we inhabit. Choosing to listen to, share, and create meaningful music equips us to beneficially influence our homes, workplaces and communities.
On this note (no pun intended), the team at BahaiTeachings.org was recently reflecting on these themes and decided to create a playlist on Spotify, featuring selections of songs that are carefully curated to lift your spirits and mood! We joyfully invite you to participate, by listening to and sharing the music, and by suggesting any songs you think might fit the bill. We’re looking for tunes that:
- Contain positive, uplifting lyrics, themes and messages
- Are free of profane, degrading or derogatory language or references
- Are upbeat and motivational
- Reflect a diverse range of music from all genres, eras, languages and styles
Please submit any song ideas or suggestions you may have to our arts editor, Shadi Toloui-Wallace, at [email protected].
We’re very excited about this. Thanks for listening to our thoughts, and for humming along!
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