I’m no music Guru, my few years of Piano lessons as a child is hardly enough to consider myself musically gifted. Not to mention, my best friend of 20 years happens to be a very talented musician with a voice of an angel, so early on I knew I wasn’t going to be the next Celine Dion. Though if you ask her, she’ll tell you I’m not so bad, but I reckon that’s the unconditional love talking. Even my 20 something days of following DJ’s around can’t really count. After all, I met David Guetta at his own show and didn’t even realise it was him until he came out on stage and everyone started cheering. Our introduction went something like this, “Hi I’m Dave, who are you here to see?” without paying much attention, I say, “I’m Catherine, and I’m here to see David Guetta…” Admittedly, I’m not somebody who knows all the newest artists, song titles, or Drake lyrics, and my iTunes is certainly outdated, but I love music and I’m not alone in that respect.
Music is a universal joy that creates a contagious positive vibe that’s nearly impossible not to pick up on. Plus, it brings people together. That’s one reason why so many of us love watching live music, attending music festivals and listening to our playlist throughout the day. Sure, preferences will vary depending on your taste. You might like Dance, Electronic, Rock, Jazz, Country, Folk, Blues, R&B Soul, Reggae, or perhaps you appreciate a combination of everything. It doesn’t really matter, because the end result remains the same – you enjoy listening to it. Music makes people, smile, dance, act silly, sing, laugh, and even cry. Music allows people to let their guard down, however that looks to them. It might be by moving with the rhythm of the beat, sitting back quietly taking it in, singing like you mean it, or balling your eyes out. Who cares? There are no rules or restrictions around how you should experience music, because it’s your experience. That’s part of the beauty of it.
As a child, music played such an important part of my up-bringing. Even today, hearing songs that I would have listened to at my 3rd or 4th birthday party (Mermaids Soundtrack/California Raisons) bring me back to those fond memories. According to Oliver Sack’s, our auditory systems and nervous systems are exquisitely tuned for music. He explains in his book Musicophilia that “we have an extraordinary tenacity of musical memory, so that much of what is heard during one’s early years may be “engraved” on the brain for the rest of one’s life.” This also applies to our later years of life when songs are attached to nice memories, ultimately adding a profound emotional experience while listening to it. Hearing a song from the past can bring you back to a specific moment in time with your friends, family or partner. It could be a wedding, road trip, night out, birthday, Christmas holiday, funeral, or any other moment you felt something real that was attached to a song. As Sack’s quotes, “music reproduces all of our emotions of our inner most being.” Essentially, it’s an extraordinary neural function that still remains somewhat mysterious. That’s pretty amazing!
In addition to spreading positive vibes and igniting memories, the meaning behind the lyrics in music is also highly influential. Song lyrics often hold raw, deeply honest and moving emotion within them. It’s almost like a short story that’s a part of the musician’s life. Some of the best musicians of our time, like Bob Dylan and John Lennon, wrote songs about their dreams, aspirations, love and day to day challenges that a lot of us can relate to. Today, it’s great to see some female musicians gaining more and more respect by being authentic to who they are with their music, such as Lorde, Adele and Taylor Swift. These ladies are well rounded, intelligent and talented artists that bring positive light on women. Like Adele said, “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.”
Plus, now more than ever, Top 40 hits are starting to lose street credit as people are starting to see threw the sell-out artists who sing what their told and more often than not, use derogatory language that usually encourages ridiculous behaviour. While all music has its place, and top 40 can be a good contribution to fun nights out and road trip sing alongs, it’s an unlikely place to find the real deal.
Ultimately, music brings us joy and I’m a big fan of that! As Oscar winning composer, songwriter and singer David Byrne wrote, “music can get us through difficult patches in our lives by changing not only how we feel about ourselves, but also how we feel about everything outside ourselves. It’s powerful stuff.” Thanks for reading!
Ps. My inspiration for this entry came from a Folk and Blues Music Festival I went to last weekend in the Blue Mountains.
Two of my favourite acts included Perch Creek & All our Exes live in Texas (links below):