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The Power of Music Essay

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“Music is the universal language of mankind” (Longfellow, thinkexist.com). When most people think about music they think of it as a subtle art. It is something that most people take for granted in their lives. It is fun to sing along to a song in the car, or to dance along at a party, etc... It is also a background noise in movies, or parties, or a variety of other places. Most people never stop and think about the transformative power that music can have on them. It should be made clear though that music does indeed have a transformative power. When a person is feeling depressed an upbeat song can lift their spirits up. The same is true for the opposite effect as well. If someone is feeling up, a sad and morose song can bring them back down. This is just a small part of the power that music has over our lives though. As the quote points out, music is a universal language. It is something that people of all ages, religions, genders, and ethnicity can understand and enjoy. This is what truly makes music a powerful force in our world.
What happens though when authors choose to put this power in their writing, though? What kind of similar messages and questions about music are raised in pieces from The Romantic Period and the Modern Era? While there may not seem like there is much in common from two eras hundreds of years apart, there are indeed some similar themes in the poems and stories from these two time frames. The most prominent of these themes is the theme of change, and how you can achieve it through music. It is not something that can be obtained by merely being around music. It is something that can only happen when you truly listen to the music around you.
First, let us listen to the Romantic Period and the pieces w...


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...tions. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

Wordsworth, William. "Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey." The Longman Anthology of British Literature: The Romantics and Their Contemporaries. By David Damrosch and Kevin Dettmar. Vol. 2A. Boston: Longman. 2006. 390-394. Print.

Joyce, James. "The Dead." The Longman Anthology of British Literature: The Twentieth Century and Beyond. By David Damrosch and Kevin Dettmar. Vol. 2C. Boston: Longman. 2006. 2229-2256. Print.

Coleridge, Samuel. "Dejection: An Ode." The Longman Anthology of British Literature: The Romantics and Their Contemporaries. By David Damrosch and Kevin Dettmar. Vol. 2A. Boston: Longman. 2006. 606-611. Print.


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