Many a musical journalist have written about music as a means of bringing people together: friends, family, lovers, and enemies. Music is a language shared by all peoples and classes the world over. Sure, it's no new concept, no ground-breaking revelation, but nonetheless, it's something I come back to as one of my favorite things about music. It proves further how it transcends being an art form and becomes a phenomenon, something to do with other people, something to share and enjoy with the ones you want to get close to.
I remember when I showed my little brother a jazz song for the first time. The song was "Dixieland Jazz Band One Step" by the Original Dixieland Jazz band, a very early jazz tune. Getting to see his reaction, best described as "amused," was a moment I'll never forget. He was so completely tickled by the goofy trombone slides (glissandi), and made totally giddy by the wild clarinet playing that, to him, was "going crazy" compared to the rest of the band. Watching someone that I love, someone so young and new to so much in the world, react in such a joyous and mirthful way to a song was a treasure few other things could replicate.
This is how music is most special to me. It starts with a song, just a tune written by people you (most likely) do not know, but around a song, a phenomenon is created, a unique and totally wonderful moment in time, a memory that can stick forever, and the catalyst for that moment, for that beautiful memory, is just a song. One little song can make such a big difference to someone.
Music is an art, of course. A beautiful, wonderful, diverse, and gorgeous art, but it's role as a powerful social happening should never be downplayed. I think of music as a fine art, for sure, but to me, what's more important is the personal, emotional connection music can create between people. To this day, I never listen to jazz music without thinking of that awesome little kid laughing himself silly over the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
The song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW7rldvqN1w