I was doing a little research and discovered one of the most popular sports in 1780 was boxing, especially in England. I imagine these two guys would get into some form of a “ring” and would fight it out until eventually one would either drop or just give in. Probably went at it bare fisted and protection was not high on the list. It is difficult for me to recall any of the great boxers from then; however, I do know Mozart was doing his thing at that time. Even though boxing in the 7th century BC was featured at the Olympic Games, the question is what contributes more to society: boxing or music?
When I was going through elementary and high school we had a concert band, vocal chorus, marching band. We had the opportunity to study and perform in an organized classroom. The concert band introduced me to timpani, ear training and how to count measures (endlessly). Values changed, and in the last couple of decades budget cuts eliminated arts programs in many schools. For many of those that have programs they are supported by the parents or sponsors, not school budgets. It is more common to have budgets for sports rather than the arts.
We refer to the music of the 60’s as cutting edge. Whatever the genre, classical, jazz, rock, pop, much of the music was innovative and ground breaking. We still listen and study that music today and will for years to come. The majority of the artists producing and performing at that time were introduced to the arts through school programs. The longevity factor of music and the arts has obviously been proven to be a contributing factor in defining a society.
A recent article by Robert Winter, music professor at UCLA, quoting an article in the New York Times best sums up the reasons for playing music:
“learning to problem solve, to collaborate, to listen, to weave together disparate ideas, to focus simultaneously on the present and the future, to develop pattern recognition, to appreciate the quest for perfection, to understand the requirements for improvement, to trust one’s own creativity, and simply as an emotional outlet from the stress of life.”
Hopefully, in the near future, arts programs will be restored in schools and funding will come from school budgeting and supported by the community
The arts give meaning to life and in doing so, unite people!