Music: More Than Background Noise
It is around us everywhere we go. Part of our active lives not only includes music, but it also seems that it is threaded into our existence. The first thing I do after getting into my car is turning on the radio. No thought goes into this action, it has become tethered to my daily routine. And this is just an example for riding in the car. Music is playing in the stores, workplaces, bus stations, train stations, airports, on airplanes, and any other travel mode we experience. Do we even notice the music playing? It has become a passive part of our lives.
It is even available for our sports and exercise regimens. How many people do you come in contact with during the day wearing headphones, bopping along listening to tunes? Well, this passive listening to music lead to my writing this article. As an active watcher of the world around me, I noticed music is playing everywhere and wondered whether the listeners realized their actions as a passive response to daily routines.
Music is a creative expression of sounds, beats, tempos and mixtures of notes that get under our skin in ways that contribute to happy feelings. Music also acts as a comforting hug during those times of sadness, grief or changes that life seems to throw our way. We use music as the comforter and warm blanket to soothe those rough patches. It also works as a celebratory mechanism for those times we have conquered the beast. What would life be like without music? Thinking for quite some time on this question, I thought in my case, life would lose its color. Music explodes the emotions of life for me. A song that gets into my soul causes me to sing out loud, dance around and work through the daily experiences. The latter of course happens behind the scenes without any prior planning on my part.
Variety in music is what attracts me. There are few genres that I refuse to give a try. I think the lyrics that tell a story, combined with the music are the elements that grab my heart. Without thinking, the lyrics become part of my speech pattern, again no prior planning involved. The evolution of music styles has also lead to the evolution of me. Thinking back throughout my life, particular styles of music, generally what was popular at the time, has attached itself to the many experiences I have had. Certain songs have special meaning, and that may be due to the timing of the song and the event that occurred. So, has the music evolved because of me or is it the other way around? Perhaps my evolution is because of the music. Looking at the collection of CD’s, albums and 45’s I still possess, yes, I said albums and 45’s. This collection represents my life in a nutshell! How apropos that this music that has been playing passively all my life, has really become a representation of my life.
Recently, I watched a documentary on television where the lives of a couple were followed for 13 years. This couple wanted their journey through Alzheimer’s documented to help other families that may be entering the same journey. Their experience was to help others with decision-making for the care of the afflicted person. As the journey became more difficult for the Alzheimer patient and her husband, the one memory that lasted until the end, was that of music. When a song from her past as a young girl was played, she immediately smiled, tried to sing and move to the beat. If music can bring a bright moment to a family struggling with memory loss, then look what music can and does for the rest of us living healthy lives.
What are your thoughts about music? How has music been threaded throughout your life? Can you look at times and experiences you have had and find a song that explains it all? I think you can. How fortunate to be surrounded by this creative expression and find that it wasn’t as passive as it seemed. Music really is an active selection, though may not be as conscious. Let’s keep the music alive in all we experience. Gray looks great on walls, furniture and home accessories, but not in place of music.