Music Makes the Man

We’ve all hear the maxim “Clothes make the man” and I agree with this 100%, but it is also important to look into how music makes, or breaks a man.

Just as a man’s choice of cufflinks, pocket square and watch speak volumes about who he is, and where he is going, a man’s choice of music will speak volumes about him as  well. Music satisfies many of our needs. Good music uplifts and inspires. Good music moves us to savour, good music transmits power, leads us on a journey or tells a story, many times without words. Good music is manly. The primary vehicle for conveying this manliness is classical or other traditional forms of music. As with everything else that we choose, we must choose those things that move us forward as men, not backward to boyhood. In today’s society there is constant, intense pressure on men to behave as a boy in a man’s body. Few are the real men who resist, but as always, they reap the rewards.

The lyrics chosen for the vast majority of contemporary music actually promotes adolescence, a very skewed view of love and in the case of hip hop, for the most part a “thug culture”. Very rarely will you hear a song written about being a man in the strictest sense of the word. Rather, the lyrics steer us toward a perpetual boyhood, a place where “men” of all ages are forever 16 years old. Who in their right mind would want that? As men, we must constantly be moving forward. Every minute of every day we must be on the journey to being a better man than we were yesterday. Every milestone that we pass adds to our character, every book read imbibes wisdom, every life lesson breeds common sense, every mistake is a forebears confidence. Just as nature, and our place in it, are intricately connected, so our manliness and the things that we surround ourselves with are also intricately connected. Contemporary music just does not measure up to that task, it promotes an emotional immaturity. Secondly, there is no complexity whatsoever to the lyrics, they are written for the lowest common denominator. Go ahead and look up the lyrics to several songs on a search engine. I think that you will be surprised by the real lack of any meaning, or lack of any depth.

After checking out these lyrics, check out some verse by some famous poets; Lord Byron, Longfellow, Poe, Kipling, Pushkin or some others of your choosing.

Finally, there is no sense of the majestic or the sublime in contemporary music. A real man must be introspective, a warrior-poet so to speak. The samurai knew this well, as they would balance their lives with swordplay, the martial arts and then something like calligraphy or even flower arranging. We hear the majestic in Wagner’s Tannhauser overture, we feel the sublime in Chopin’s nocturnes. We hear the stories, handed down of men in ages past, brave warriors in African tribal music, Ukrainian Cossack songs and the songs of English sailors defying death while building one of the greatest empires the world has ever known. These are the things of men.

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