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Whitney Houston and the Power of Music

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Phillipe Copeland, in his latest entry on blogcritics, notes how the passing of Whitney Houston, is “an opportunity to consider the power of music itself.”

This power imposes responsibilities on both its creators and its consumers. One of the things I’ve found most striking since hearing of her death are the spontaneous and heartfelt testimonies about the meaning of her music in people’s lives. These testimonies, often including spontaneous singing of her songs, have reminded me of how the Baha’i teachings describe the impact of music on human beings. This is equally true of music in both secular and sacred forms. ”

Regarding music, specifically the human voice, ‘Abdu’l-Baha (the son of Baha’u'llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith) made the following observation:

“…wonderful sounds and tones, melodies and charming voices…attracts and exhilarates the spirit of man and has great effect upon him: it makes him weep or laugh; perhaps it will influence him to such a degree that he will throw himself into danger…Consider how strange this is, for nothing comes forth from the singer which enters into the listener; nevertheless, a great spiritual effect is produced.”

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