How is Music different from Noise?
If music be considered as a treat to the soul, noise may be regarded as anti-music for it has an adverse effect not only on human body and mind but all living species on earth and the entire universe. But one of the most revealing facts which fascinates me is to know that noise and music are the two sides of the same coin. So the specific line of demarcation between the two is really of a thin margin, though the effects of both on the living species differ phenomenally. When we take away music from space, what exists in nature is noise akin to the presence of darkness in the absence of light.
At a very gross level, on an emotional platform, one can say that the emotions associated with darkness are very much akin to those associated with noise. There is fear, there is anxiety, and there is lack of clarity, pain, hatred, anger, stress, agitation, rejection and finally depression too, to name a few of the associated emotions with both noise and darkness.
I always believe that feelings and thoughts emanating from a human mind are predominantly inter linked with one’s body and so the health of an individual. If the noise manages to trigger the above mentioned emotions and feelings, then it is bound to have detrimental effects on the health of the living species, as mentioned in the text books and study materials. As the feelings evoked by music is subjective, so are the feelings evoked by noise. One man’s music could be other man’s noise and vice versa. I may consider rock music as noisy but it does uplift the moods of certain others and if it manages to do this, doesn’t it sound therapeutic? This thought does puzzle me at times. I have known people who like to listen to the noises railway engine produces. Many say there is a rhythm in that which is enjoyable. Then the question is that do we still classify it under noise. Here I come to a conclusion that each person decides what noise is for him/her. I may not be wrong if I put it this way: that noise is determined by an individual, based on the fact if it is emoting him positively or negatively. Hence I conclude that whatever emotes an individual positively is music perhaps and negatively is noise, the individual could be a tiny little bee to a caterpillar to a monkey to a mammoth to a human being.
It is also quite surprising to note the stories about vishakanyas from mythology. It’s said that women were given poison/visha in much diluted monitored doses without their knowledge which turned them vishakanyas. I always wondered how the effect of so called ‘poison/visha’ didn’t kill the person but on a contrary turned him/her poisonous. Perhaps this is the reason the saying goes, nectar becomes poison if consumed out of proportion and vice versa. Similar is the case with noise. Probably human ears become used to certain kind of noise that sometimes it may start serving as music.
Coming to its therapeutic value, I wonder if noise could be a driving force on the battle front, where agitation, anxiety and trauma created by noises made by war weapons are very much essential to push the soldiers into action. Though this cannot shed light on the therapeutic benefits clearly, noise does contribute towards a favorable outcome sometimes.