What Value Is Music?
“And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.”
The Bible tells us that the earliest generations of human beings were making music. By the time the eighth generation of man came along, Jubal, a member of that generation was able to make his living providing musical instruments. On the evolutionary side of things, however, musical ability would seem to provide no survival advantage. Yet, the human brain devotes considerable resources to the processing of music.
Our love of music is wired into our brain. Each of our sense organs is important to our enjoyment of music. And each of these organs is linked to its own part of the brain which is responsible for how we experience the music. Parts of the brain are reserved for memory which stores the music. Other parts of the brain are dedicated to trying to understand the entire piece of music, referencing back to parts of the music stored in the memory. Even more interesting is that one need not hear music to activate the various parts of the brain devoted to music. Positron-emission tomography reveals that a person only needs to imagine music for these portions of the brain to become active.
The ability to make or appreciate music offers us no apparent survival value, and therefore, according to evolutionary theory, should not have developed. Yet, our brains, and indeed, all our senses, are designed to make and appreciate music. The obvious message here is that evolution had nothing to do with the formation of human beings. Rather, we were created by God Who loves music, and wants us to praise Him with music.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for the gift of music and the ability to appreciate it. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Ref: Science Frontiers, No. 141, 5-6/02, “Why Music?” Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay. (PD)
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