Some speculate that music is the reason humans are what humans are.
That the sounds of voice and eventually instrument over the millennia helped form the communities that became the societies, that allowed us to grow into the dominant species on the planet.
As famed cultural critic George Steiner put it, there is no community on this planet that does not have music — music being far more universal than language.
Music shapes community. It shapes cultural (and counter-cultural) identities within societies. It is tribal. It helps us to find “our people” and shape our world view.
From the snarky guy at the record store to the acclaimed pianist taking the stage at the Jack Singer; from the keen all-ages promoter hyped up on the local music scene to the guy putting up posters along 17th Avenue — music and the social scenes that develop around it mean more than just beats and bleeps and bangs.
When I was in high school and regularly going to all-ages punk shows, my dad would often ask in that concerned parental way what I had in common with my friends. The answer was almost always music. That didn’t make much sense to him.