Music Connects Us to Time and Place, Essay Example

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Essay

What music do you associate with childhood? How did/does this music make you feel? How do your choices reflect your childhood experiences? The music that I listen to as a child was the same as my parents listen to and that was bluegrass, gospel, some folk music, country, and some rock like Elvis Presley, which was my mother’s favorite.

Our childhood memories are often influenced by the environment and family members. Thus, it’s no surprise that the music categories which remind me of my childhood were the ones liked by my parents including bluegrass, gospel, folk, country, and rock. My mother liked rock music, particularly, due to Elvis Presley who was known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll (ElvisPresley.com). When I think about the music I associate with childhood, I also realize how much it helps me understand my parents’ upbringing and ideals.

My parents grew up in a religious environment, attended church regularly, and were always a small-town folks at heart. They liked songs as much as for the lyrics as they did for the tone, melody, rhythm, and overall music feel. They had strong family values and were not very fond of liberal values that were entering the mainstream public. Some of their music choices were also inspired by their beliefs rather than the quality of the music such as gospel. I still remember listening to gospel music with average melody yet it influenced my parents emotionally because of the powerful impact of lyrics. It taught me that a music category one enjoys is not only influenced by the lyrics and melody etc. but also the beliefs, ideals, and dreams that motivate an individual.

What music do you associate with adolescence? Was this music a way to fit in or rebel? The music I listen to as a adolescence was bluegrass, country, southern rock, and some folk music.

The music I associate with my adolescence is bluegrass, country, southern rock, and folk. I have never been what one may call a ‘problem child’ and am grateful for my family and values they have instilled in me. Like my parents, music is also a mean of imagination to me and I like music which I do not only enjoy for the melody but also for the beauty of lyrics. I have never liked music in which lyrics promote materialism as well as stereotypes regarding women and present undesirable behaviors such as drugs as cool acts. I could not have disagreed more with country music DJ Christy McLeap who claimed that country music is real life and family friendly (Y108, 2011). Listening to songs in these music categories remind me that life is not only about riches but also about friends, family, and other little joys that become lifelong memories.

These songs also make me realize that life is not always about just faith, hard work, or luck but a combination of everything.  I also like country songs because they use both idealistic and realistic tones. On one hand they cast the same spell on you that fairy tales cast on children and on the other hand, country songs have an amazing ability to summarize just about everything that can be said about life in few sentences. I also like the fact that country, rock, and folk help me connect with history and they celebrate the common people. In addition, they also talk about human emotions which are important part of us.

What music do you associate with comfort? How do these songs help you deal with disappointment or stress? The type of music that I associate with comfort is.

The music I associate with comfort is the classical and jazz music. One of the reason we enjoy the sounds in the nature such as waterfalls, singing birds, and rain is not because they have melody but because they help us connect with our natural environment and provide us with soothing feelings. This is not very different to my experience with classical music that may not have any words but it provides soothing feeling and puts me in a comfortable mood. Classical music also fascinates me due to its timelessness. Its popularity remains alive even after centuries which says something about the talent of the composers such as Mozart and Beethoven.

I have read articles that mention how some true classical music connoisseurs have fainted upon listening to some of the masterpieces. When I listen to classical music, I put myself at ease and I don’t usually do in case of other music genres. Other music genres require active listening but classical music is best enjoyed in a quiet environment. As a well-written article points out, classical music such as opera and symphonies do not exist in recording form which works in their favor (Mellor, 2010). This explains why they can be interpreted in so many different ways, according to the style and preferences of the performer.

What music do you associate with happiness? Why?

Given my other choices it is a surprise that I may associate trance with happiness. In addition, I only listen to trance occasionally and that, too with my friends on social occasions. I was introduced to trance through some friends from Europe who were in America on a student exchange program. Few trance songs may have lyrics but most rely only on music. Trance focuses on beat like rap but also on dance-able tunes like pop music. Trance is also unique that it is best enjoyed in the company of people and mostly in social settings rather than in isolation. I equate trance with ‘celebration’ music because it puts you in dance-mode.

When I am happy, I want to share my joy with friends which naturally makes trance music an appropriate choice. Trance music usually doesn’t have lyrics but it still lightens up your imagination, just like classical music does. It’s no wonder it is called ‘trance’ which means detachment from physical surroundings, as in contemplation or daydreaming (Dictionary.com). But while classical music is best enjoyed in calm settings, trance music is best enjoyed in a room full of people who are energetic and in a celebratory mode. Since trance music cannot take advantage of well-written songs, the artist has to take full advantage of electronic music instruments and the advancements in music technology has allowed them to push the boundaries of their creativity. Trance is still not popular in America but I think it may change over time because trance is relatively a new music genre.

References

Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Trance. Retrieved March 30, 2012, from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Trance+music

ElvisPresley.com. (n.d.). Official Website. Retrieved March 30, 2012, from http://www.elvis.com/about-the-king/

Mellor, D. (2010, April 2). Why classical music is superior to popular music, and always will be. Retrieved March 30, 2012, from http://www.audiomasterclass.com/recordproducer/?a=129

Y108. (2011, October 6). Country Music Is Real Life & Family Friendly. Retrieved March 30, 2012, from http://y108.cbslocal.com/2011/10/06/country-music-is-real-life-family-friendly/

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