An analysis of Imagine by John Lennon

It would not be wrong to say that John Lennon indeed happens to be one of the most popular and influential musicians of all time. As a part of The Beatles, he gained a massive fan following and unmatched success as the band rose from dust to unbelievable fame.

Also, it would not be an exaggeration to consider John Lennon to be a musical genius and a visionary with great talent. In fact, it was his unique sound and vision that allowed him to bring a musical revolution during the 70’s which remained unparalleled. Around this time, he was working on a musical masterpiece, ‘Imagine’ which would later go on to win the hearts of many. In fact, this single is still widely cherished and loved to this date as it was when it was first released. This is yet another indication of the fact that John Lennon was a musician who was quite ahead of his time.

Released in October 1971, ‘Imagine’ would later go on to become John Lennon’s most successful single, becoming one of the most commercially successful singles of all time. In fact, soon after its release, it ended up breaking a number of previous records. The vinyl that it was released on also included ‘Working class hero’ and ‘it’s so hard’ at its backside.

The song ‘imagine’ is a beautiful expression of freedom and the joy that originates from it. This song, more or less, encourages the listener to challenge their existing notions of patriotism, religion, and freedom so as to live a unified life full of peace and sustenance for all. He starts off by asking us to challenge our notions of hell and heaven, by imagining that neither of them actually exist. Then he continues to mention that in order to imagine this, we all need to try a bit. This is obviously because we have been indoctrinated a lot of information and beliefs since or birth. So he points out that it would require some effort, but it is certainly possible to imagine. This was the one part of the song that made ‘Imagine’ a controversial ballad which was not so appreciated by the orthodox religious communities all over the globe. However, the entire purpose of the song is to encourage the listener to reshape their lives for unification, and to let go of things that separate us from one another.

In other words, all that John Lennon wanted people to do was to focus more on the present rather than worrying and even committing atrocities to get to heaven or hell later. This leaves us wondering how much we as a society will benefit if we begin focusing on the present. Indeed, this song is quite a thought-provoking one and at some point, it does make a listener question a lot of usual everyday stuff no matter how orthodox one is.

Indeed, ‘Imagine’ is a kind of masterpiece that is seen only once in a century. With thought-provoking lyrics and a pleasant music structure, ‘Imagine’ is a ballad that will be remembered forever.

7 Top music festivals around the world

Music festivals have become fashionable all over the world. Millions of people attend these annual events that span over several days, with performances from the world’s top artistes. Let’s look at the top seven music festivals all over the world.

Donauinselfest or the Danube Island Festival

In 2015, the Donauinselfest, or the Danube Island Festival, was stated to have the largest attendance at a music festival by the Guinness World Records after having a 3.3 million attendees. It takes place on Danube Island, Vienna, Australia, and spans three days in June.

The festival covers an area of 4.5km and has 11 open air stages, and most importantly, entrance is free. There are 18 islands each with different entertainment to cater for all ages and tastes.

Mawazine

This is the largest festival on the African continent. Mawazine, also known as Rhythms of the World, was started by the King of Morocco in 2001 and hosts artistes from all over the world. It is held in Rabat, in Morocco, and is attended by over two million people annually. The festival lasts nine days and entrance is free.

Summerfest

This music festival was established in Wisconsin, USA in 1968, and in 1999, the Guinness World Records named it the World’s largest music festival.

Summerfest is held at Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee and lasts for 11 days, with 11 stages and has over 100 performances. The festival runs from June to July, including the fourth of July and hosts an average of 850,000 people each year.

Coachella

This is the best known and most profitable music festival in the world, owing partly to its location in California, USA. It was started in 1999 and has risen to accommodate over 250,000 people. Taking place in Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, the festival is attended by many celebrities and many people who dress in the Coachella fashion, including the popular flower crowns.

Tomorrowland

This festival, which began in 2005, is the most famous festival for electronic dance music, which has gained prominence over the past few years. It takes place in Boom, Belgium, over a space of two weekends, and currently has an attendance of over 400,000 people. The festival, whose tickets are sold out as soon as they are released, has won the award for best Electronic music Event consecutively since 2012. Spin- off events of this festival are now being hosted in Georgia, USA and in Sau Paulo, Brazil.

Exit

This festival started in 2000, and takes place at the Petrovaradin Fortress, in Novi Sad, Serbia. It features a mix of electronic, rock, metal, hiphop, rap, reggae and punk music. It is an international festival attended by over 200,000 people from different countries. In 2014 and 2018, the festival was declared the ‘Best Major European festival’ at the EU Festival Awards.

Rock in Rio

This music festival alternates between different cities, that is Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Madrid and Las Vegas, but was founded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1985. It features seven days of mainly rock, pop, funk, soul, MPB and electronic music.

Music Therapy

There are more than a thousand reasons to listen to music, to be in the know, cop the latest slangs, lift your spirits, try to communicate your feelings and emotions or just block the noise of the world.

While for millions of people, they see music as art some others see it as more than art but a tool for treatment;therapy.

David the Jewish king was said to have been a psalmist who used his songs and harp to treat the health malady of his predecessor King Saul who felt depressed and attacked by ‘mental demons’

Did King David administer Music therapy?

So what is Music therapy and how is music therapy quite important as the years go by.

Music therapy is defined as the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a certified professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

You could be forgiven if you had the notion that music therapy is a new branch of therapy.  Apart from the story of theJewish King,David his harp and King Saul ,there is an established history of the use of music as a healing tool.  Apollo in the Greek mythology is the god of music and medicine. Aesclepius was also said to have cured infirmities of the mind using music.

Hippocrates who is the acclaimed father of medicine played music for his patients.

Music is said to help clear the mind and help in combat ailments of the mind.

But does it have a farther reach?

Modern Music therapy started after the end of World War I and II. Especially in England where musicians played music to soothe soldiers with emotional and physical trauma.

The mechanism of action of music therapy is quite wide and far reaching.

Music therapist aim to treat the ailment by their health in several domains, like cognitive functioning, emotional development, motor skills,  sensory, communication, quality of life and social skills by using both active and receptive music experiences such as improvisation, re-creation, composition, and listening and discussion of music to achieve the expected goals.

Music therapy does not only have an effect on the mind or help treat ailing mental states.

It also has a way of improving physical and cognitive health.

Music therapy has been shown to be advantageous In improving the health of the heart, stroke, dementia and aphasia but not limited to these.

A recent review has shown that music therapy reduces the severity of signs and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Music therapy is also useful in the treatment of premature babies. There are five techniques of music therapy that help in the intervention for premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

  • Live or Recorded music which help in regulating respiratory regularity and oxygen saturations
  • Promotion of healthy sucking reflex
  • Multimodal stimulation and music:
  • Infant stimulation
  • Parent-infant bonding

Music therapy is more orthodox than we think and has come a long way from the time of David and Saul.

The lessons from Avicii

The lessons from Avicii

On the 20th of April, 2018 Tim bergling known popularly by his stage names was dead, cause of death;  Suicide.

It is sad that a man who has continued to lift others with deep reaching sounds couldn’t get his own uplifting songs to help him when he needed it.

Avicii was a Swedish musician, a DJ and a remixer who grew to be loved by millions all over the world while making his million bucks.

The young artist who touched the lives of millions with his works and philanthropy started his career quite early, by posting his remixes on electronic music forums at the age of 16,and not long from then had his first record deal.

Avicii was nominated for a Grammy for his work with fellow DJ David Guetta and was being recognized as one of the DJ’s who ushered in electronic music and made it quite popular in the 2010’s.

Yet what was so special about this young man who touched the lives of people on and off concerts,  on radio and when they didn’t listen to his voice or songs.

His album True contained songs like wake me up which touched the lives of people all over the world especially young people who felt lost.

The song tries to make young people understand that sometimes, somehow it is okay not to have a sense of direction or a place of destination but it is okay to start.  It is best to start and take life as it comes, making it fun to live.  And while the older generation, the ones who have seen everything are keen to chastise the young for failing to have a sense of direction, for failing to take life as serious as they hoped,  the song hoped that the young feel contented in living life as it comes . The young would be warned as about potential regrets later in life, but the key is to enjoy living life while you still have it.

He might be seen to just finding his place in life but he doesn’t see it like that, for him he has to enjoy what he faces in life.  And even when he tries to be like everyone worrying about life, he sees it’s futility .

Life is short, should be lived fully

Yet how did this young man whose songs sounded cryptic but whose videos showed a man who wasn’t afraid of facing life lying fead at the young age from suicide.

He retired early from performing and touring because he felt mentally drained and unable to continue. But he reassured fans he was back to the studio making music.  His health issues continued to follow him heavily especially after he had acute pancreatitis and had his gallbladder and appendix removed.

His lack of fear for the vicissitudes of life and enjoying the little pleasures of life like a bottle of scotch caught up with him.

But Avicii who gave his fans great lyrics to live for ensured he not only touched people with his music but touched them with his philanthropy work.

His house for hunger was a charity that gave back to the world. While he continued to live life to the fullest he made sure someone somewhere had the chance to just live life .

Avicii might be gone but his powerful lyrics remind us how precious life is , and how we must continue to give back.

WHAT IS MUSIC ?

WHAT IS MUSIC ?

What is music seems a rhetorical question or at best a question with many parts and many answers. But this question is asked because it needs answers maybe at the end of this, I might get some answers or maybe o would get ‘the Answer’ if it exists.

Music has always been since the beginning of the World.  If you believe in creation by the Jewish /Christian narrative, you would believe music came even before the world. And is the Big Bang itself not music?

So why do we try to define what music is, if it is older than us all.

Just maybe because music Is personal , you might be in a crowd thumping to music blaring from Sound Speakers or from the guitar of a hyped up band member and still personalise your experience of the song

Music is everywhere and everything.  It is said that Music is a form of art; an expression of emotions through harmonic frequencies. The key word here is emotions, because while music is an expression of music it also elicits emotions.  No matter what the emotion is,  could be revolution, could be introspective, could be romantic, could be depressing, could be inspirational could elicit emotions of adoration but what is key is that music expresses music and then elicits music..

Yet no matter the expression of music, it still holds a personal meaning to different people. Some forms of music or a song could elicit a different feeling for different people,  a good example is the fact that the song by Passenger about letting go could be seen as admonishing one or reassuring him of his decision to break it off with a partner, yet the same song could allow someone mourn the loss of a loved one or an unavoidable break up and could just be a sad song for one who isn’t in a relationship but feels the need not to hold on for too long once he is in one.

The song portrays the same message but elicits different yet strong emotions in 3 different people.

That is the power of music.

But music isn’t all about messages, dance hall songs and feel good songs elicit emotions even if not deep seated ones. They make you move your legs, they make the world less serious and make you giddy with laughter while it is on .

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YBut music isn’t all about singing ,tapping ,playing musical instruments and clapping are music as long as there is a rhythm.

Music is a link to the future and the vehicle to the past.  Music is memory, the good and bad.  Music is root.

Music would always revolve, different stories would be told by Musicians as the year goes by, different emotions would be expressed and elicited but music would always be music.

Just because music is a thing of the heart.

Music is enjoyed by making it, listening to it or by creating it by composing it.

No matter where you are or what you are facing there is a special song, rendition , tune created just to pull you through the dark nights or make you enjoy the bright sun.

Just listen to it.