Music is an intangible subject to discuss. Everyone enjoys music to some degree, whether they live and breathe it or are a passive toe-tapper. From the wealthy and privileged to the poor and uneducated, music is an integral part of art and culture all over the world.
So when I’m beginning an acquantaince, one of the first things I ask about to truly begin sketching your personality is ask you what kind of music you like. The response varies from “Oh, I listen to whatever’s on the radio charts” to “Oh you wouldn’t know them.” The variation in opinions and emotions expressed astound me. They astound me because they are an example of how a subject that seems so trivial, so unnecessary can be such a great equaliser in a world where we all feel as though enjoyment of ‘The Arts’ is a romantic, frivolous activity enjoyed by the upper tiers of privileged society.
To a degree this is true. As a member of the working class, I find that collecting Impressionist oil paintings and Post-modernist sculptures is something that is a little above my means in the way of being a hobby!
The more I think about it, the more fascinated I am at how music is created. Just think of the context of a music artist crafting a single song. An artist dreams up melodies, rhythms and lyrics. The artist records the musical piece. The artist releases their work. After that what happens? The audience is then in the position of control. This singular piece of art which lasts on average for three and a half minutes is loved, hated, critiqued and dissected.
How overwhelming it must be for a music artist to comprehend that this song they wrote and recorded in their dingy, dark basement is now no longer theirs, but instead now part of the soundtrack to hundreds, thousands, millions and billions of people’s lives. Imagine they could see and feel what people see and feel when listening to their music the first time on the radio, on their morning jog, on their wedding day, after a break-up. These melodies and rhythms which make up so many memories and bring back misty nostalgia every time they are heard. Imagine they could experience the way their song affected others.