Music is one of the most important things ever, without a doubt. Think about a world without music. It would be completely different from the one we live in today. It would be even more dreadful to walk into work, school, or anything you dislike without absolutely bumping to “Don’t Stop Believing” in the car beforehand.
What’s odd about the concept of music is, why do we like it? (“Duh Eric, ’cause, like, it sounds good.”)(Ok, voice in my head, shut up! It’s bigger than that) Different people are attracted to different types of music; that’s well known. What I’m curious about is why do we enjoy, say, the sounds of music but not a lecture? Why do we enjoy having our ears bombarded by varying frequencies of sound?
What I’ve found is quite interesting. Music can make us feel different emotions (“Lol of course it does.”)(I don’t need this right now, voice. Cool it.) A sad song will bring up memories associated with sadness and the feeling is not necessarily due to the lyrics of the song. We recall a certain emotion when we listen to various genres. Generally, happy emotions are applied with pop or upbeat music while sadness could be in blues or easy listening. There’s even science behind it. When we listen to good music, the limbic and the paralimbic areas of the brain stimulate the euphoric responses. The same effect is felt when we eat good food or uhhhh….how do I put it….when a boy and a girl wrestle.
I asked some teachers which emotions they attached to certain songs. Mr. Perry associates Shiny Happy People by REM with the carefree days of college. Mrs. Lisa Green attaches sadness to the song Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton and, trust me, that song, which Clapton wrote after the death of his young son, makes you feel many things. Mr. Brown’s heart of cold-tempered steel is melted by the Happy Birthday song, which surprised me greatly considering I believed the only things that made Mr. Brown feel were the hymns of the battlefield.
Students I spoke to said music may pump them up before a game (for me, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen has this effect). Others feel inspired, like Sophie Morril when she listens to Ave Maria. Greta Barry and Maggie Fuller feel sad when listening to Forever and Always by Taylor Swift. “But only the piano version,” they said. Tyler Anderson feels “trippy” when listening to Laplux’s Without You.
“I wouldn’t be as happy without music,” one student told me. “It would be as if a whole part of my life would be ripped out.”
Music gives us a safe and responsible escape from the world, and we all need it to function no matter who we are.