The Guardian (Nigeria)

The Impact Of Music On Life Expectancy

- By Kayode Ojewale Death is not the opposite of life but a part of it – Haruki Murakami, Japanese novelist. Read the remaining part of this article on www. guardian. ng By Obe Ess

IN Nigeria today, mortality rate is not massively reducing as expected even with the advent of technology and other inventions, which make life easier to live. The average lifespan in our country gives an indication that the obtainable high death rates could be attributed to environmen­tinduced factors. Apart from accidents and illnesses being the main causes of death, there are other man- made and self- inflicted causes of short lifespan.

With an estimated population of over 200 million, Nigeria has an annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent. Death rate in Nigeria stands at 9.6 deaths per 1,000 inhabitant­s.

In 2019, the National Population Commission revealed that the overall life expectancy of Nigeria stands at 52.2 years. As defined by the World Health Organisati­on, life expectancy is the average number of years that a newborn is expected to live if current mortality rates continue to apply.

By implicatio­n, and if this trend continues, it means that, as more people are born, they only have few years to be alive. It’s not a doomed prognosis for Nigerians however. It is being increasing­ly proved that we can redeem the situation with music. Yes, music!

Now, let’s imagine life without music. How would man have survived if music was never invented? If it is true that the origin of music is unknown because it occurred before records of history, then it is a pointer to the fact that, music is part of our life. Music has been with us and man has lived with music. In man’s life, music, by default, naturally modulates and expresses his emotions. Music is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have revealed that our mood, cognition and memory can also be improved through listening to music. It is a good antidote to depression and anxiety.

The role music plays in man’s life cannot be overemphas­ized because it is the propeller that drives human feelings. Music keeps life going when one is at certain crossroads. Whether you’re sociable or unsociable, music is the force that controls your emotions.

Apart from the entertainm­ent and pleasure that music provides to the human soul, it also creates avenues to pass messages across to certain needs and situations of life. It avails a platform to express and share his thoughts or feelings.

Music is the only literature that the human heart reads. Music, if it invokes interest in the listener, has the capacity to spark off different responses via dancing or any gesticulat­ing signs. Music, to many fun lovers, is the soul of entertainm­ent. It fights loneliness. Music ( depending on the genre) serenades some to sleep when they need rest. Sometimes one may not even understand the language and lyrics of the song, yet one would still love to listen over and over again – that’s the mystery of music!

On a final note, music has proved to be a

strong unifying instrument that brings together people of different tribes, religions, origins and interests to subscribe to loving a song regardless of the artiste.

If there were no death, life would have been worthless. The reality of dying makes us appreciate life. In this context, how death occurs or happens might not really matter; what does matter is the reality of the absence created by death.

Music and death catapult us from the physical to the spirit realm. Both music and death are capable of creating emotions when they play out. Music may arouse excitement with an attendant urge to dance, while in most cases, death is accompanie­d with sadness and sorrow. Music can also in a way sadden or enrage as the case maybe in the song. A song may be sad or happy depending on the message in it and whoever it is intended for.

Kayode Ojewale is of the Public Affairs and Enlightenm­ent Department of LASTMA.

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