Andeemae: The first time I saw the quote “music is a universal language” was on Pinterest. It was part of a quote said by Lee Chaerin; a Korean singer. Music can be enjoyed without understanding it. I enjoy Korean music solely because the language is beautiful and the compositions of its music are different. Whether it is because of the different language the song is written in or because the whole song is solely instrumental, the only thing that matters is that how that song affects the person.
People can often detect the emotions conveyed in unfamiliar music by features such as the pitch, rhythm, the tone in the singers’ voices, and tempo. What is upsetting is the amount of people who are getting judged by listening to the music that they love. Music should be something you can love and enjoy; not be judged for. The ignorance in “Why do you listen to something you don’t even understand?” is irritating. You feel what the song is portraying through the emotions in the lyrics and through the beats of the instrumental in your HEART, not your MIND. You might not understand the content, but you will understand the shifting emotional states of the singers. Music is a universal system for communicating emotion.
That’s why people love music so much. You can relate and feel the emotions being communicated to you even if it may seem unfamiliar. YouTube comments under many international music videos I see, state, “I don’t know what this song means but it made me cry” or “I love this song a lot even though I don’t know what it is talking about.” Music does have the power to unravel deep feelings at the core of the shared human experiences.
I interviewed people who each had a different music taste; from rock to hip hop and even electric. Their responses to this question: “How do you feel about people listening to a kind of music with a different language (that they don’t know) or is solely instrumental such as orchestra or dubstep” almost shocked me because I didn’t expect understanding and heartfelt responses:
“When it comes to music, people have different opinions and honestly you do you.”
“People should be able to listen to whatever they want, I listen to a lot of orchestral stuff and a couple of Spanish songs here and there.”
“If they like it they should have a right to enjoy it.”
“They should do it and be proud! If that music makes them happy, they should be able to listen to whatever it is that makes them feel something and relaxes their mind or for the case of dub step, whatever makes their minds come alive.”
Angela: Just like how the readers say: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, it is the same for the music lovers who says: “Don’t judge a music by its language”. Music doesn’t just interest and entertain people nowadays; it also makes people learn and explore more about the world. Why did I say “more about the world”? Well, in fact that we are in a country where music is well-known and singers can easily spread their music all over the world, there are people who choose to be different amongst the “ordinary” people who only listen to the songs that came from the country they are in a.k.a the songs they understand. Teenagers tend to get curious easily in many different things. Some teenagers choose to read, some choose to play sports, but most choose to listen to music.
Music is our universal language. Base on my experience, I grew up listening to many types of different songs and genres: rock, hip-hop, pop, ballad, etc. And of course, to songs who are in different languages. Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, and much more. I mainly focused on Korean songs because I think the language is beautiful and whenever somebody speaks it, they sound sincere. I learned to speak in Korean, and learned about their culture. It is similar to American culture, but differences make me more curious and motivated to learn more about a certain thing.
One important thing that I’ve learned about listening to other countries’ music is it doesn’t really matter what language we use to make a song, it’s the story behind the song we make that matters.