Music is life


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Confucius

I’d probably be a totally different person if not for music. It has always been alongside me, it has always made my days feel better, it has inspired me, it has calmed me…it basically did everything which it could possibly do. Any more than that and it would’ve been a person. And people are not always reliable, they are easily changeable, they might make you feel bad…while music never, never makes you feel bad and it always stays the same. You can diversify your tastes, but what you liked at some point in the past stays the same so you can always enjoy it just as it once was.

When I say music, what I’m thinking about is a huge range of styles, periods, bands, ranging from the medieval court music to the newest experiments. To say you only listen to a genre is to limit yourself greatly. Yeah, you may be a fan of rock, but if you only listen to rock, you’re not a music admirer, but merely a rock admirer. A music admirer, a music fan means much more than sticking to a genre, as if your ears are reduced to being able to hear just a limited range of sounds. They are not reduced and would welcome the change, if you’d let them!

Music is timeless. If it can be called music, quality music, not just any gathering of sounds, then it will be listened to hundreds of years after the composer or the one interpreting it are long dead. Music which is not powerful enough (melodious enough, in fact) will die with time. An example of timeless music would be classical music. For most of us, from what I gather, classical music is dead, because we choose to be ignorant towards it. For a lot of people it’s too old to be any good. But those who listen to it, and even more importantly, those who play it, have formed a cult, a very stylish cult which rewards excellence. If you really know how to play an instrument, an orchestra will take you on and if you’ve enough talent, you may be respected worldwide. Not by so many people as would happen to be cheering you if you were part of a pop band or something, but numerous enough, and what’s more important, dedicated enough.

This of course applies to every genre of music, but classical music takes it to a whole new level. You’re not in a band, with brainless 15-year-olds fainting in front of you, but in front of people who know how to appreciate culture. And no, not all of them are ‘seniors’, thus ‘old-fashioned’. There are young people who admire classical music, but the act of convincing most of them out there that it’s all worth it takes some effort, that much is true. The beauty of it is, odd enough, that passionate youngsters who choose to play an instrument and who love classical music don’t need to be convinced of anything, like most others do. They just do it. Passionately.

And the best of them become really appreciated. When they reach a certain level of excellence, they’re really something. If you’d reached such a status, you’d wear a frock, you’d play in operas and only the best of other locales where one might listen to good music. You could be invited anywhere, as opposed to some sleazy band who’d ruin the atmosphere with their vulgarity: in their words, in the way they dress, in the way they act… A twenty-year-old playing a flute would never have such issues, as it happens.

The thing is that I find it difficult to live in a world where there’s only classical music. There has to be music which molds itself after all possible moods of a person and all possible situations. Classical music, no matter how powerful it might be rendered by its ‘old age’ and stylishness, is not the answer to all moods and situations. That’s where most of the other genres come in handy and have the chance to prove their worth. Be it rock, pop, dance, techno, country, rock & roll, beat, jazz, all the range towards various soundtracks from movies or video games, everything seems to fit to an occasion. If it’s quality music, it fits, somewhere, sometime. And has the quality to make your mood feel moodier or less moody, depending on whether or not you enjoy being in a certain mod or not.

At a certain point in your life, you might have a special inclination towards specialized music, on a certain theme, from a certain country or region, to fit a mood which comes who knows from where, but which surely is intent on staying, at least until it gets saturated. One such example of a temporary, but powerful and fulfilling craving is my love for Irish and Scottish music which is happening right now. It just came to me some time ago and now it’s in full motion. Could I explain why this is happening? No way, but it feels great, ’cause these Irish & Scottish bastards have some great music, if one wants to investigate further upon the subject. And fans of such music are hard to find outside the UK. There’s not so many of them out there. So…yay, at this moment I’m a little more unique. 🙂

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” Henry David Thoreau

Sounds are everywherebeauty is everywhere (despite the sustained efforts of some to make it disappear and be replaced by bad taste, in, well…everything), so it’s only natural that music, aka beautiful sounds, is also everywhere. It’s not like I’m the only one who feels the same, that not only is music everywhere, but that it is indispensable, in many ways. I could probably find a lot of people who agree with me on this. The only aspect making me stand out of the crowd is the immensely wide range of music genres I listen to…and which seems only to widen more and more with the passage of time. Most genres have their black sheep, but each have their stars as well. So, is it enough to stick to a genre? To be a ‘specialized fan’? I don’t think so.

My goal is to make as many people as I possibly can realize that sticking to a genre and being a ‘fan’ does not mean that you can’t listen to other music…all music, as well. Being a fan does not mean, like some seem to believe, that you should listen only to your favorite music and that’s it, no experimenting. There are people who limit themselves greatly by listening only to ‘new music’. God forbid it’s older than a year!… or in some more fortunate cases, a decade, at most.

Oh come on, you can listen to any kind of music, of any genre and even if it’s from centuries ago, as long as it’s music and not simply noise. Being old but still good is a quality which should attract people. Those who run away from music because of the stupid reason of it being ‘too old’ are clearly narrow-minded who think that each ‘going-backwards’ means involution. It does not, it means widening one’s understanding of music. And it applies to everything, not just music. You don’t need to read only the newest books, you should taste the whole variety literature has to offer. Listening to some Chinese music centuries old while reading Confucius makes you widen your perspectives, it does not make you outdated, unfashionable or anything of the sort.

Apart from those sticking to a certain genre of music, there’s also a lot of people which listen to a broader range of music, but part of which, despite being wider in terms of style, in fact, resembles noise, not music. If there was some sort of equipment for measuring the particular qualities and properties which make sounds be so melodious that they can be regarded as music, then a lot of ‘music’ would be called noise. Simply noise. And noise is poison. Noise is even part of the syntagm noise pollution! Why the hell would someone want to be (sonorously) polluted continuously and of their own volition, is beyond my comprehension! It’s like pouring radioactive stuff in your ears through those headphones you’re using and feeling ‘euphoric’. I’m not saying that I know exactly what the threshold between noise and music is, but I’ve a pretty good idea…

I too sometimes listen to more ‘noisy’ music, more ‘trashy’ music, but even then said music is at least a little above simply being noise. And besides, I only employ it because it fits to a certain aspect of what I’m doing. While playing some game where you bang cars against others in a complete mayhem, a symphony of destruction, you wouldn’t listen to certain types of music, as they would be plain inappropriate. That sort of games, which can be really fun, either have their own ‘appropriate’ soundtrack, or you can use your own to spice up the fun. In such situations, music should sound ‘noisy’, it’s only natural. Not that it should be utter noise, it should be just noisy.

There are a couple of exceptions when music might be allowed to be noisier, but most of them time, music should be the exact opposite of noise. It should be soothing, it should be harmony incarnated. The sad part is that there’s a lot of noise which pretends to be music and which poisons the minds of a lot of people, especially of children. And that said music gets too much coverage, everywhere. I don’t know what should be done, but one thing would be to stop inviting non-valors, non-bands, non-singers to TV shows, thus transforming these in free advertisement for such non-soothing sources of music/noise. Apart from that, a lot can be done, but it would certainly be more difficult and undoubtedly won’t be done merely because I think it…or say it…

Anyhow, it does not matter what the media does. We don’t have to listen to something because it’s fashionable. These days, fashionable might equal pure bad taste. Of course, that is not always the case, there are bands who sing very, very well and are immensely successful, but more often than not, the best bands are not all that known. Gems are hidden everywhere, and with the Internet, they sure can be discovered by anyone of a curios nature. So be curious!

Listen to music, not noise! Nurture yourselves, don’t poison yourselves! There’s tons of good music, already made or in the making! Just search for it!

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow