Is painting stronger than music ?

Publié le 25/02/2021

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« Is painting stronger than music ? As Thomas Merton rightly said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” We can dive into unknown sides of ourselves and get lost in the process .Art inspires us, incites new questions, provokes curiosity, excitement and outrage.

Painting and music are two powerful art forms, one uses our eyes to penetrate the soul, the other uses ears.

Both communicate, express, impact.

Painting is considered to be an all-brain exercise stimulating both sides of the brain, the left to tackle rational challenges like the structure and technique of the painting whereas the right for a more creative aspect.

It could be a cathartic experience allowing us to access feelings buried deep within the subconscious.

We can abstract ourselves from the surroundings and time passes by without us being able to notice it.

This is why art therapy is efficient as one can release emotions in a safe, non-threatening environment.

It develops creativity and imagination, as well as motor skills.

Though a picture is not merely a picture, it paints a thousand words.

Painting has been explored by innumerable artists to communicate something that words couldn’t, as though they emptied their minds on a small blank canvas.

However, if an astronomer and another random person gaze up at the night sky, they would conclude with very different findings.

Similarly, a painting speaks more to those who deem it worthy, to those who can appreciate and interpret the emotion of the artist.

Painting is open to all sorts of derivations at our emotional and intellectual level according to our knowledge and perception.

Artistic, historical, cultural and many a times, religious context is indispensable in order to understand the artist’s intention.

In the words of Plato, “Music is a moral law.

It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and everything.” Virtually all cultures, from the most primitive to the most advanced have been making music since forever.

Our brain and nervous system are hard wired to distinguish music from noise and respond to rythm and repetition, tones and tunes.

Music, like painting, has allowed us to express and communicate.

Apart from this, music makes us feel connected to the world, part of the crowd, it makes us feel that we fit in.

It has the ability to intrude, to demand attention. A study was conducted to compare perception regarding the frequency of emotion experienced on looking at a painting and listening to music.

Painting was associated with increased frequencies of wonder whereas music was associated with increased frequencies of joyful activation, nostalgia, tenderness, tranquility etc.

Sound frequencies in music affect our hormones and are capable of triggering a release of endorphins which act as our feel- good chemicals, thus relieving stress, lifting moods.

Music is intertwined with memories- when we hear a piece of music from the past, it brings up those memories and makes us relive them.

Everything we know as real is made up of the movement of particles.

So if we realize that we and the world are all forms of movement and vibration, it seems logical that music, also a form of vibration, would have such a powerful impact on us.

It elicits a different response from us than a painting could.

It has the ability to transfer us into another realm of existence where we are in complete harmony with music.

The experience is much more intense and dynamic.

This is not however to say that music is necessarily stronger as every human has a very personal view of what moves them the most.

For some, it might be painting that takes them to a different place even though it might seem more subtle and sophisticated.. »


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