Back in urban connectivity, I'm ready and happy to look at this week's QOTW by @ecotrain: What Is It About Music? And given the current topic, of course I picked Monday to post a reply. It's the relic of an ancient tradition (of maybe two years ago), when bloggers on the previous blockchain liked to post certain themes on certain days. Still, it lets me tie in seamlessly with my old series Monday Music, so you can check out my previous music related posts, all related to this one in some way. But first, let me address the question:
Sorry, What Was The Question Again?
What music means to me. Oh boy, this is not even that easy to answer! I guess it's an amalgamation of past memories, feelings, dreams, and hopes for the future. It transcends time and space, and opens a window to other worlds. Is it from some distant childhood memory? Or from a fantasy, as we picture another place or time? Or is it an actual divine spark transmitted from another world? It could even be a combination of all this, and we may not even fully know it. Here is a song I remember from my childhood, and just as I looked it up it brought tears to my eyes. Not in a sad way, but certainly making me feel the feeling.
The emotional view music offers is never clear and distinct, but made up of vague sentiments, shadows and reflections of things, people and places, all soaked up through a highly subjective filter. So no matter what it ever means to me at one time, it will never be the same for someone else, or even for me at another point in time. However, it is always going to mean something, provided it is good. In other words, if it means something, it has to be good, no matter if it never meets any other guidelines.
Could I Possibly Be Any Less Clear?
I almost clicked on everything I've written so far to delete and re-write it. But why should I? After all, these confusing terms and barely etched out ideas illustrate exactly what music means to me! Still, for my readers' sake, I'd like to continue with a few more concrete thoughts. The kind that I also enjoy reading myself. But first, here is a sea shanty that also happens to stir something deep inside me:
Good Music - The Rhythm of Our Heartbeat
Though I have no way of proving it, I would say "good" music matches our heartbeat. This may be slower or faster, depending on our mood and situation we find ourselves in. When I'm happy, in love, excited, or even angry, I enjoy music with a faster beat. The same is true for performing physical activities, such as riding a bike up the hill, or pounding tires. This could be punk rock, gypsy music, metal, or bluegrass. The genre is not even that important, if it has the right pace.
On the other hand, when I'm reading, writing, relaxing, or trying to keep from getting too upset, some slower paced music can do wonders. The loud and stressful environment in Mexico City has gotten me into enjoying a lot of dream pop, reggae, and certain dark/goth tunes. Sometimes I get caught in a melancholy mood, and then I bliss out on listening to slow music. Sometimes I even feel the sound wash over me, filling my senses with a pleasant calmness.
Let It Grow - If You Don't Know Yet That You Like It
A great part of liking music is nostalgia. Can't help it. I remember how there were two types of music I used to dislike: Country Music and Hip-Hop. However, being exposed to both genres at certain times at my life, got me to feel differently about them. When I was an exchange student in the US as a teenager, my host-mom would constantly listen to the local Country station in the kitchen and in her van. No escape from the torture, I thought. Once I was back home in Germany, however, something funny happened: I started missing it! The same thing happened when I was in college, where the soundtrack of the dorms, as well as campus eateries, etc. was Hip-Hop. Before I knew it, I was hooked on it. Even though I haven't kept feeding it, whenever I hear a whiny country song or some rap hit from the late 90's, I can't help but feel a burst of nostalgia.
Human Connections - The Search Goes On
One of the nicest thing about music is that there is sooooo much of it. And as you enjoy listening to the same songs you've always loved, you will inadvertently meet people who may also know and like it. This gives you both an instant connection with each other. You may not associate the same emotions with it, but whatever it is, you could get excited about sharing it. Another possibility is that you don't know the music, but like it. In this case they've expanded your musical repertoire, and this will make the encounter between you even more memorable. Even the third option, where you neither know nor like the new music, it may be just a matter of letting it grow on you. In the end, you might even discover how great it actually is, particularly if it happens to match your heartbeat.
Take a Look at the Previous Posts in my Monday Music Series:
The Sound of the Hungarian Zither
Obligatory Line-Dance at Mexican Parties - El Payaso del Rodeo
Floating Into the Night by Julee Cruise
Classic Canadiana - Stan Rogers
Party Like There's No Tomorrow, Cry Like Everything Is Lost - Hungarian Gypsy Music
The Harder Sound of the Middle Ages - Corvus Corax
The First Hip-Hop I Actually Liked - Things Fall Apart by The Roots
No Prophets in Their Own Land - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Beyond the Boundries of Styles and Genres - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Accordion-Rock You May Not Know (But Really Should) - Los Tabascos
Songs of the Mexican Revolution - La Adelita
Memorable Weirdness - What Do You Want A Japanese To Do Again?
Gloomy Sunday - The Hungarian Suicide Song
Party Tunes from the Wild East - The "Russendisko" Experience
Folk Songs from Your Home Village - Hungarian Regional Sound Archives
Polynesian Salt Water Music
Images Conjured up by Tom Waits' Music
In Country: Folks Songs of Americans in the Vietnam War
Somebody Tell Me - Translating a Hungarian Song Into [EN] and [SP]
Somebody Tell Me - first trial & live performance [HU] [SP] [EN]
Horst Wessel in Mexico
Playing for Change - Old Favorites Played Around the World
Soothing Tunes and Gentle Rhythms of Mali Music