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The Boston Music Scene: Why We Need Music

The Boston music scene is healthier than ever. From the Pops Fourth of July concert to the jazz at Wally’s, locals make music a priority. WBZ’s Bradley Jay kicks off his ten-part series The Boston Music Scene with a look at why music is such an integral part of our lives.

BOSTON (CBS) – The reasons we need food, air, and water are clear; without them, we physically die. Music, on the other hand, is not necessary to sustain physical life, but it’s part of nearly every significant ceremony we’ve ever practiced. The question remains: why is music so important to us? WBZ’s Dean Johnson answers the question by looking to the past.

“Try to think of any civilization in any point of human history that didn’t have music as part of its core,” says Johnson. “Even the earliest books of the Bible speak of the musicians– the harp players and the like. Music has always been a part of man’s inner core.”

Berklee College of Music student Arnetta Johnson takes an emotional approach to the question of what music means to humanity.

“Music is meant to nourish the soul,” she says. “Every song you find is going to be about love or hate or relationships. We all have emotions, and that’s why we all can connect to music.”

Music impacts lives in different ways. (WBZ)

Music impacts lives in different ways. (WBZ)

Boston Pops conductor Dr. Keith Lockhart says the answer is inside every musician.

“Musicians go into music for the lifelong pursuit of the answer to that question. Music is unique among the performing arts because it has an ability to reach people directly, emotionally,” Lockhart said. “Other art forms– visual art , dance, theater– require some understanding of the context in which you’re viewing them to really take an emotional message away. But if you see a brain scan of what goes on when someone is actively listening to great music, it’s absolutely amazing.”

Boston indie musician and Berklee alumna Mary Lou Lord gets the last word on the importance of music.

“It’s a mainline to God,” she said.

More on music in Boston coming up in part two of Bradley Jay’s weeklong series, The Boston Music Scene.


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