Some people say that music is a good way of bringing people of different cultures and ages together.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion ?
Opinions vary on the role of music in social cohesion. In my view, this art form has the potential to bridge the gap between traditions but is less successful at unifying older and younger people.
The main reason as to why music is an effective method of cementing bonds between different cultures is that it is the planet’s global language. Even though it is true that the lyrics of a song may be incomprehensible because of language barriers, its melody is linguistically universal. Such musical element is accessible to a wide range of people no matter where they are from. Take for example a Korean pop song which has been well-known not only in Asia but also in the western world. Despite not understanding any single word in Korean, many listeners fall in love with such a song due to fun and catchy melody. With the ability to overcome the linguistic barrier, its live concert is usually attended by broad audiences worldwide. This is clear evidence that music is a universal sentiment that can build cross-cultural relationships.
However, I do not consider that music has the power to unite the generations, even within the same culture. Admittedly, several national occasions where music is a part of the ceremonies could connect all age groups. Nevertheless, in the absence of unifying cultural events, I think that musical preferences are divided along generational lines. For instance, relaxing musical genres including soft rock, smooth jazz, and classical music are universally popular among adults and the elderly, while a large proportion of adolescents opt for high-tempo types of music such as hip-hop, rap, and various forms of dance music. As a result of this discrepant preference, the old would not be entertained by the musical tastes of the young and vice versa. This is more likely to divide groups than to bring them together.
In conclusion, I believe that, ultimately, although music can unite people of different cultural backgrounds, it does not have the same success when it comes to differences in age.