Music and our Environments

Report on the results of “Music and our Environments” roundtable held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 5, 2013

From its biological origins:

Human beings and animals share perception of sound, and human music is in some ways related to the sounds animals make. What distinguishes human music from animal sounds is the quality of communication and pleasure it may generate. There is also the question of the highly evolved physiology and neurophysiology of human beings which makes them especially reactive both physically and emotionally to sound. This makes sound and music important in human life, and suggests that the understanding of music and opportunities for music education are significant for our world. Scientists should be encouraged to investigate further nature of our sound ecology.

The energy of sound and music has a profound influence on human beings, from the noise perceived inside the womb to the mother's voice, and the learning of empathy and emotional intelligence, to the sounds of the environment. This brings great responsibility to musicians and those concerned with sound and its technological side to take care of the human effects of music, as it influences human development from a physiological as well as social aspect.

To its social impact:

Music serves as a universal 'language' of dialogue for different countries, ages, civilizations and cultures. It serves a perfect fundament in which we can base our dialogue because we use it as a significant tool which encourages peaceful intercultural relationships. We are encouraged to continue our research in order to discover more specifically what methods are needed to enhance the meaning of music in dialogue. Our current research already shows that music is a powerful tool for social transformation and educational development and that this power should rest in the right hands.

We call for a world of music and musical expression without borders; we believe our children should have the right to understand all genres of music, to know and love the sounds of nature and to listen to the Cosmos.

This is a safe and enjoyable way to look after our planet.

''It is not important what kind of planet we leave behind us for our kids, but what kind of kids we leave for this planet.''