Music brings us together. This is a known truth. In the unparalleled world we have now found ourselves thrown into – more connected than ever before online, but bizarrely cut-off from our social norms – the untiring ability of music to generate deep human connection is more marked than ever. From Italian balcony serenades to live concerts played from the homes of artists such as Chris Martin, Dua Lipa, and John Legend, music has given us all a blissful relief from the harsh reality of a global pandemic and has become the prime factor in our mental wellbeing.
It’s not that these instances have given us any kind of sweet slice of oblivion – we are fully aware that Charlie Puth didn’t decide to wake up and stream himself singing from his parents living room for the sake of it. He, like John Legend and Chris Martin, was graciously dipping into the ‘Together at Home’ concert series. The idea aims to unite people through music as we all sit at home, having unknowingly covered most of the series Netflix has to offer, told ourselves to not snack on anything else until dinner, and most likely tried to do a workout and given up shamefully quickly – wondering what to do next.
These are exceptional circumstances, we have all heard these words uttered in more forms than we knew possible over the past couple of weeks, but there is something about the rawness and nonchalance of these ‘concerts’ that provide a true sense of comfort in such an uncomfortable time. It has been so easy to find a feeling of familiarity and solace by watching our favourite artists serenade us from afar over social media. It feels like the world has stopped, but the music hasn’t, and in this heartening fact we can take great consolation.
This is not to mention the heart-warming videos of people from around the world singing from windows and balconies in a sort of wartime act of hope initially derived from plain boredom and an increased sense of community spirit. Morale has been boosted through the rooftops with the simple act of singing together, enduring this together, and coping with it together. A musical statement demonstrating humanity at its finest.
Whilst the unquestionable effects of Covid-19 on industries such as sport and travel are ruthless, the music industry, needless to say, has been faced with a similar heart-breaking struggle. Artists who make the majority of their income from playing live have been challenged with an unfortunate period of great insecurity for their music. The already ever-changing industry may have to force more changes as we inevitably move to a new, digitalised world. Covid-19 has plainly presented this fact; however, I don’t believe that the wonder of live music will ever fade with this digitalisation.
In the meantime, it is crucial that we should now acknowledge the joy music has brought us all over the world amidst this crisis, and give back to artists by buying merch, purchasing physical CDs/records, streaming their music, introducing your friends and sharing their music, and perhaps even buying tickets for a gig in six months’ time – a much more hopeful prospect.
As Covid-19 spreads, we realise that each week is wildly different from the last. The enchanting thing about music is that it is always there, and it will continue to be more important to us as times get harder. And if we have nothing else to owe this virus, it can be that it once again revealed the remarkable power of music.
Photo: Michaela Loheit via Flikr.