The Coronation and why music is important.

Music has always been important to royal ceremonies and Charles’ was no exception. Fortunately the new KIng himself has a keen interest in music and his choices for the event were inspired. 12 new works were commissioned by contemporary composers including Paul Mealor, Roxanna Panufnik, Tarik O’Regan, Judith Weir, Sarah Clas, Nigel Hess and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, perfectly complimented by the more traditional pieces by Handel, Tallis, Byrd and Purcell. The music also reflected his interest in music from other cultures and religions. Performers included Sir Bryn Terfel and Pretty Yende, and were as diverse, eclectic and inclusive as you could get, reflecting his commitment to the commonwealth and the promotion of unity and harmony. Coupled with bright and inspiring military music that is a prerequisite of royal events, it was a wide ranging and high quality choice.

Wider considerations and the importance of music

There is a wider context though as it illustrates the importance music has in all our lives. Where would a birthday party be without a rendition of “Happy Birthday” or a wedding without celebratory music. There are also very few funerals that don’t include some music as a tribute. Let’s remember that the background music often heard in shops and supermarkets, and the number of people we see on walks or workouts who wear headphones, presumably listening to their favourite tunes, attest to the fact that music is important in all our lives (yes, even lift music!).

Scientific studies have illustrated how valuable music can be to the community and society in general, and there is evidence to show that children respond to music from a very young age, often before they can talk. Children love to sing and dance and this often endures into adulthood. But one thing is certain we all have our own favourites which we listen to and are often happy to pay for.

The coronation undoubtedly highlighted the fact that music is important to all of us in our own way, and the huge number of radio stations streaming every style and genre of music you can possibly think of, show that there is a huge global need for it. At a time when the future of music education is uncertain we need to make sure that it is protected as a vital resource for the many not just the privileged few.

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