What Most Popular Music is Missing

Since time immemorial, humanity has used music to communicate. Expressing sentiments and feelings in ways words often cannot, music is a way of reaching out and sharing our hearts.

Too much of our popular music today is focused on drama, loss and heartbreak. The fact that so many of our cultural references, from literature to theatre to soap operas, are based on conflict and aggression only demonstrates how addicted we are to drama, as if violence and discord are valid as long as they help us escape from the drudgery of routine. But if our entertainment comes in the form of conflict, then that simply highlights our own incapacity to truly enjoy life for what it is.

Why are so many of our songs based on loss and unrequited yearning? Is that really what moves our hearts more than joy and pleasure? More than compassion and peace? The artistic obsession with misery is a convoluted attempt at profundity; the complexity of suffering makes us feel interesting and worldly, but really it only keeps us locked in an endless cycle of self flagellation and mental dead-ends.

But music can be much more than this. Transcending cultural and social boundaries, music speaks to us beyond the constraints of language. Music has always been closely tied to religion and spirituality, helping us name the unnamable, moving the deeper part of ourselves.

And so it seems fitting that MasterPeace, an international initiative for bringing people and cultures together in the spirit of peace, has chosen music as the catalyst for transcending our boundaries. Through a concert that will take place in Istanbul on September 21st 2014 – the UN’s International Day Of Peace – MasterPeace seeks to show how music can help foster the values of peace so needed in the world today.

The organization has also launched a competition, the winner of which will be invited to perform their original song at the opening of the concert. Over 200 artists from around the world have submitted a wonderful variety of songs, covering all kinds of different genres and all with messages of hope, compassion and solidarity. I invite you to discover their work at masterpeace.org/mymusic. You can vote for your favorite (voting ends April 30th) and the jury will select the winner from the 20 most voted entrants. Please join in and show your support for an initiative that is encouraging artists to channel their creativity towards the uplifting, the life affirming, the uniting.

Let’s kill the drama and find the entertainment that lies in joy and in the celebration of life, and watch how our world begins to sing a new song, a song of peace.

Isha Judd is an Australian humanitarian based in Latin America. Listen to her song “One World, One Hope, One Dream” and cast your vote for the MasterPeace competition here.

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Christine Jones
Christine Jones7 months ago

Rap and hip-hop I find particularly ghastly, being mostly aggressive, violent, and so disrespectful to women. Not to mention dull as dishwater.
TV isn't much better. Often I channel surf and it's just rape, murder, gang warfare, violent crime, medical disasters, relationship failures, etc. Sometimes I prefer to watch a children's show as then at least I know it's going to be safe.
I sometimes think that if people have safe and uneventful lives, they seek tension and drama in the media. I have enough going on in my real life so I prefer my media to be more positive.

Tonya Freeman
Tonya Freemanabout a year ago

Methinks if one were to leave out the lyrics of most popular music, the rhythm might possibly stir up something different. Just the other day, my husband and I were talking about this very thing...how certain genre have a sexy, sensual sound, others are about pain, hurt, loss and then there is all the rest.

Some lyrics tell stories, some are just like a repetitive chant (now that's a thought.)

I enjoy a variety of music that feels good to my soul. Thanks for sharing and I'm going to look up MasterPeace. Sounds cool!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompsonabout a year ago

What else is new? Each previous generation thinks the next generation music is going to hell in a hand-basket...

Francesca A-S
Past Member about a year ago

Really interesting article, thank you for posting. I'm not a listener of pop music myself but I don't know if when people are upset they tend to identify more with that type of music? (From experience I know it can be easy to wallow in bad feelings!) I'm more into classical/baroque/romantic music because for me it's what reaches me the most.

Nancy Collins
Nancy Collinsabout a year ago

totally agree!!!

slava rabikovich
Slava R.1 years ago

Popular music is dead. So much of what is in current circulation is just repetitive nonsense. Love this. Fancy cars and clothes that. It has no real meaning. There's no money to be made from transcendental music, however. Sleep in the forest, listen to the birds and trees. Sleep on a beach, listen to the tidal waves of an ocean hit against each other. The best things in life are truly free.

Diane Wayne
Diane Wayne1 years ago


Alice B.
Alice B.1 years ago

Thanks for sharing !! :)

Daphne H.
Daphne H.1 years ago

The Beatles song, "Imagine" is a favorite. Imagination is a GREAT tool.

Shawn P.
Shawn P.1 years ago

Listen to Pharell Williams song "Happy" and it will play through your mind the rest of the day and night! Because " I'm happy, clap your hands"!!! Like a room without a roof!