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What is a song?

What is a song?

When the magic of music is harked upon to express oneself in rhythmic repetitions, a song is born. The life on this planet tends to break into vibrant songs to express themselves to their surroundings. From dolphins to birds to humans, everyone has their lexicons, and the appeal of a song is not confined to a particular species. So far, it has been documented that sound energy has the capacity to not just influence the structure of molecular formations in Nature, but also affect the workings of gravitational energy. Work with vibrational frequencies spans millennia, from ancient monolithic structures to modern approaches to the treatment of cancer using vibrational therapy. Some people believe music is that primordial medicine that satiates our innate need for healing from everyday environmental stressors.

As with any form of self-expression, music is intimately connected with the spirit. The spirit or our subconscious awareness, I believe, does not deal in words. It is voiceless and visceral. Perhaps it feels more natural for it to revel in music that complements its vibrational frequency. A particular song can be a transcendental bridge between the spirit and the conscious mind. The conscious mind works on aspects of the song such as beat, scale, pitch, lyrical elements that then become the conduit through which subconscious needs and desires are projected out into the material world.

I am aware that this interpretation of music borders on being abstract to a fault, but long as it’s rooted in reality and makes sense, it could be another way of looking at something so intrinsic to life.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as an “embarrassing song” simply because every song is but an attempt at expression by a certain soul.

A song can be composed by a poet in the transient throes of passion and yearning. It can be brought to life by a pubescent at the threshold of maturity, looking at the world from a fresh perspective. It can be heard in the weary croon of a mother singing her newborn to sleep after an exhaustingly eventful day. It can be attempted by a jaded musician reeling under the pressure of an excessively extortionate record label.

It can be performed by a pod of young enthusiastic dolphin bulls putting on an elaborate show for potential mates, or it can be trilled by a particularly vivid rainbow finch simply conveying its gratitude to the Sun. There are no laws in the realm of melody. A song is what a soul imagines it to be.

By no means though am I disregarding the existent practices surrounding composition. Laws and practices come into play when the spiritual pursuit of music is given an added dimension of intellectual rigour. It is what makes the refined stringency of classical music hypnotic or the lilting symphony of soul music relaxing.

The identifying markers in a song -- the rhythm, beats, tempo, frequency, lyrics – or, in other words, elements that help delineate a song from the free-flowing dynamism of music, are sometimes constructed in ways so as to elicit specific responses from the subconscious in the form of emotions, changes in mood, desires and even identity.

The song thus becomes an encoded yet direct channel of communication between the conscious and the subconscious -- a function that is inordinately impactful and transformative, once assigned with an intention.

Other animals may well have their own rules regarding composition. Biologists have picked up on the semblance of structure and even carefully-crafted lyrics in some pieces but unsurprisingly do not have a comprehensive grasp of the essence of such songs.

Even though intricately composed songs following an established set of structural rules do exist, the fact remains that the definition is still wide enough to encompass any musical piece that serves as a vessel for the expression of the soul.

So long as you have a heart and the desire to musically transform what’s in your heart, you have yourself a song – an inimitable piece of spiritual expression.