Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 24, 2017

Section 8 - Installment 1- Eric Jefferson

This I Believe: Music is my Philosophy

I truly believe music has power. Just think about how a song makes you feel whenever you are upset or how it makes you feel when you are happy. Music can be a gateway into our thoughts and feelings of the time or can take us back to a moment in the past. The only other thing in this world that has that impact on your emotions is someone you love and care about. I remember listening to my grand father’s favorite radio station, V 101.1, after he passed away. While I drove down the busy interstate of Memphis and listened to the old music of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the tears just ran down my face. That is something powerful in my book. I believe most of the great philosophers we hear about who have strong opinions on just about any subject matter didn’t spend enough of their time listening to music. In my eyes we should view composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and all the other greats as philosophers. The music they all composed was a way for them to all express themselves and to share their thoughts with the world. Sometimes music can be the only way to express yourself when you don’t how else to let it out, even if you are just the listener. Listening to your favorite song can be your philosophy of the day or even life. After listening to a song that you can identify with is like following the teachings of your favorite philosopher. In today’s society the youth is more likely to listen to and follow the words of a music artist rather than a political figure or an author of a book. Music artists like Kanye West, Blake Shelton, or Lady Gaga have more influence on a person’s life than ever before. If Plato or Socrates said everything they thought about the world to the melody of a song we would look at them a lot differently. We as humans love things that sound good to our ears. Even when we were babies we loved when our mothers or fathers would sing to us to calm us down or to get us to fall asleep. One of my favorite memories as a child is when my dad would yell this loud song he got from his army days. He would only do it when me or my younger siblings were being loud and annoying him or to get a reaction out of my step mother. I always remember that song and it takes me back to my childhood and that experience. As I said, I believe music has power. It has the power to transport our minds to a time, a place, or a feeling that otherwise would not be tapped into. It is a way to get in touch with our emotions. It can impact how we view the world; it becomes our philosophy.


  1. I agree with you on this point. As an example of the power of music, I like to think about my times sitting in church. As they had the invitation to be saved, very emotional music would always be playing. When I was younger, I felt the feeling I was getting was from god. I was always taught that was him trying to save me. Now I realize music was the cause of this. Also, have realized how many people cry when songs are played at a funeral?

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  3. It's funny to me that you mention Kanye, Late Registration was the first CD I ever owned and I could probably write out the lyrics to every song backwards if I tried. "Hey Mama" is easily my favorite song from that album and as I got older, it became important to me. I am an only child of a single mother and definitely have had moments where I wasn't proud of myself. She pushes me towards success and at times I keep her sane.

    "Hey mama, I want to scream so loud for you
    'Cause I'm so proud of you, let me tell you what I'm about to do (hey mama)
    I appreciate that you alive for me, I just want you to be proud of me (hey mama)"

    1. Kanyes music is so powerful and influential. People refuse to believe so because of how tabloids have portrayed him.

  4. "One of my favorite memories as a child is when my dad would yell this loud song he got from his army days." - what was that song?

    Maybe take a look in your next installment at what Nietzsche and Schopenhauer said about the power of music? Or more recently, Oliver Sacks...

  5. Section 8- Commentary

    I absolutely agree with you on how powerful music can be to someone. Most of my favorite memories have a song or melody of some sort attached and even memories I thought were long and forgotten can resurface with a particular song. It's incredible.