Music is Unique to the Human Person – As Seen in a Commercial

daniel-sleepsI have often observed that music seems unique to the human soul. Animals appear to be largely unaffected by music other than to respond with fear to a sudden or loud change. I have seen a few birds (e.g., cockatoos) that respond to music that has a heavy beat by synchronizing with it.

But in general, animals seem quite unmoved and unaffected by music that we humans find moving or inspiring. I can play a particularly stirring piece and my cat, Daniel, just lies there. I can play the most mystical Church polyphony, an exquisite Mozart sonata, or an inspiring choral movement from Handel’s Messiah, and little Daniel still just lies there (see photo at right).

Yes, it seems that although music can stir our physical nature, it requires a rational soul for this to happen. Non-rational beings just don’t “get it.” And even those of us who have rational souls need some training in order to appreciate higher forms of music. I am aware that many people do not appreciate a Bach fugue the way I do. It takes something of a trained ear (a trained mind, really) to relish the mathematical progressions of his magnificent pieces. And it is the same for many other types of music, whether ancient or modern, that exhibit subtlety or specialty.

So it would seem that music, while speaking to many aspects of our person, requires a rational soul, an intellect, to unlock its meaning and beauty. Music is a language of the soul; it is a way for one human soul to reach out to other human souls with a wordless but powerful message.

All that is to say that I enjoyed the commercial below, which features singing sheep. It’s a weird commercial. Of course it’s weird; sheep don’t sing (unless, as the commercial suggests, they’re hiding something from us). It’s using absurdity in order to get our attention. So enjoy it, but let it also remind you that music is a gift of God that is unique to the human person.

4 Replies to “Music is Unique to the Human Person – As Seen in a Commercial”

    1. Fascinating. There is something interesting about ancient singing that uses very little vibrato. Vibrato seems a more modern addition to music along with the 12-tone scale. Ancient chant and music uses the pentatonic scale.

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