ON THE VALUE OF MUSICCulture and the arts are such an integral and essential part of society and people’s livesthat their significance to the individual human being is difficult to discern with clarity. Wecan examine the significance of the arts to the individual through the prism of science. Aworld without music would be a world without culture. Musicality seems to be a productof evolution which has contributed to mankind’s survival on Earth. It is precisely in musicthat we often find the most beautiful and the most exalted aspirations of culture.According to an ancient oriental saying, “If you wish know the state of a nation, listen toits music.”
Kalevi Aho, Composer
Cultural and artistic education may play an important role in nurturing socially active,cooperative and responsible citizens, and on the whole in promoting a vibrant Finlandwith an appreciation for diversity and humane values. Cultural and artistic education canhelp to cultivate the personality of children, youth and adults, offer fresh insights andskills, and reinforce creative attitudes. Such development will be conducive to theformation of a meaningful sense of life and the promotion of individual life mastery. Awell-functioning musical environment can help to develop skills and aptitudes which mayprove themselves valuable not only to the arts but also to mental well-being, science,economic life and society at large.
Kari Kurkela, Professor
From the perspective of business and economics, music appears as a constantlygrowing area of economic activity and as a foreign export. The economic significance of music is difficult to measure, since its indirect proceeds are often just as important as thevisible cash flows. Everyone knows how important it is that Finnish excellence is visibleon international concert stages and in international media.
Pekka Kivelä, Press attaché
From the vantage point of history, social sciences and social psychology, music can beseen as developing the social skills of people and promoting the social integration of different population groups, as preventing social exclusion, especially among the youth,and as exerting a positive influence on general social attitudes. Moreover, arts andculture serve as regional resources that promote the vibrancy of the peripheral areas of Finland. Adequate cultural services and opportunities for study are key attractors for newbusinesses and skilled individuals. Arts and culture can also engender new ways of thinking and enable economic innovations in the country’s periphery.
Ilkka Levä, Psychohistorian
Progress in neurological imaging and other methods of functional diagnosis has providednew evidence about the role of music in ”enforcing” a communication between thehemispheres and other areas of the brain. Better communication between different areasin the brain can also help to explain the fact that children who study music or other artsperform better than average in school and show aptitude for other subjects as well,including mathematics. One indication of the significance of music for the brain are themany good results that have been attained with the use of music and singing in speechrehabilitation. Enhanced brain activity can also show outwardly apparent results such asimproved concentration ability.
Markku Partinen, Docent in Neurology
Research in media and the culture of media highlights such aspects as the significanceof technology and digitality for the shaping of musical culture. In our media-centred age,