It is quite magical, really. A set of vibrations arranged in such a way as to elicit sounds that can then be arranged in a plethora of ways. What’s more, there is a certain intangible way in which these sounds that we call ‘notes’ are able to work together to paint a beautiful picture, and even more, the way these notes are able to work together to form what we call ‘chords’ to paint an even fuller picture.
There is logic to the way music works. Certain chords simply sound better when played before or after other chords. In fact, certain chords played back to back would not elicit a pleasing sound at all. Furthermore, certain notes played at the same time produce a beautiful harmony while others combined sound something more like nails on a chalkboard. We tend to take these structures for granted as we listen to the album of our favorite band, or even as we make music of our own, but one thing is undeniable: these structures are really rules that music has to follow without anyone even thinking about it.
Look around you. Look outside right now. See the logic and harmony of it all. I recently watched the film March of the Penguins and this logic and order became more apparent than ever. Penguins intuitively know what they will need to do in order to mate and take care of their children. They travel hundreds of miles from all around Antarctica. Literally every penguin in the region attends. They have no maps; they have no compasses; no global positioning systems. They just know. They are equipped naturally with the knowledge and ability to do what they need to do to survive.
As a Christian, I believe in a specific God, but I should think that anyone after watching that movie would find themselves convinced at least to some degree that there is a master behind it all. I believe that music is yet another example of the natural order of things. I believe that God created a complicated yet intuitive system of music in the same way that he created penguins with the intuition to travel far distances and endure great hardships in order to carry on their species.
You may argue that this cannot be, since not everyone possesses this musical gift. But I tell you: anyone can see the logic contained in music. Not being a musical genius on the level of Mozart does not negate the beauty and complexity of music itself. I am terrible with arithmetic, for example, but I can still see the complexity of the system and appreciate those who understand it on a level beyond everyone else.
Music affects people in a variety of ways. It can alter moods, change opinions, and even remind us of a different place in our lives. Music is a gift, and there is logic to how it works. I believe that this provides evidence that God exists.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.