Music has been important to humans since ancient times. Music is used in various traditional ceremonies. In Africa music still plays a vital role and is often combined with dance in a community or other group gathering. There are different dances and music played for different ceremonies such as initiation ceremonies or religious ceremonies such as weddings. Music evokes feelings in people, and often will reflect the culture of a specific time and place. For example, urban rap reflects the angst and challenges of street life. When we watch television and movies we forget that it is the music in the background that really conveys the mood and tension of a specific moment.
Today, research has shown that music also helps child development. It helps in the emotional and physical well-being of children and helps with their brain development. Music adds to literacy and teaches children to pay attention and listen. Music in modern life can help to alleviate stress and is still used in worship. For instance, music is played in religious gatherings as a form of worship. The music business is important in terms of economics as well, with songs being played on the radio and nowadays also on computers or iPods.
The radio is an important means of communication. This is how people could hear the news and any warnings given for a community. For instance if a tornado has been sighted in some town in the American Midwest and all someone owns is a radio they can hear the emergency transmission from the National Weather Service and will know to seek shelter. Radios have literally helped save lives by such broadcasts. In fact often the radio may be the only technology that still functions in an emergency situation.
During World War II and the Cold War, different countries used the radio to spread messages of propaganda. Today radio is still very important in countries where access to other technology is forbidden or simply too expensive to obtain. The radio can have stations that simply play music but can even have educational content with guest speakers, or talk shows where people can call in and offer their opinions and thoughts on a particular topic. Comedy shows and sports coverage can also be heard on certain radio stations.
With so many radio stations today, all types of music tastes can be catered for. Whether someone is a heavy metal fan or prefers country music there is bound to be a radio station that plays their type of music.The radio is really useful for people who have to commute long distances to work because it can help keep a person awake and alert while driving, and provide some entertainment while you are driving.
Radio has enabled people to communicate all over the world and really was one of the first technologies to link different countries together. With the advent of satellite radio, such as Sirius XM, comes even more choices and selections. Most radio stations today also live stream their programming over the internet.