Monday, 26 June 2017

Guide To Life - Music

I think my views on music can be summed up perfectly by the lyrics of a song by John Miles called, simply, “Music” from 1976:

Music was my first love
And it will be my last.
Music of the future
And music of the past.
To live without my music
Would be impossible to do.
In this world of troubles,
My music pulls me through.

For me, music can change my mood completely and I often find myself turning to it to change my mood for the better. I spend a good deal of my time listening to music during the day. When I am in the house on my own and not sitting in front of the television, music will be blaring out of my computer speakers, no matter what else I am doing.

In fact, as I type this, I am actually listening to the song.

Regular readers will know about my passion for music, and the particular genres I like. However, this post is not about my own taste and I won’t be boring you with references to progressive rock and heavy metal.

Instead I would like to talk about what music means to me.

I once wrote a post about which sense I could lose for a year if I were forced to do so. Here’s what I wrote about hearing:

“Like sight, hearing is a major sense that I simply do not think I could do without. I love listening to noises and conversation and, most importantly, my vast collection of music.

Losing my hearing for an entire year would be like not listening to a single song during that period or exchanging words with friends, strangers and, of course, Mrs PM.

That would be unacceptable.”

The key thing here is music because I think I would probably go insane.

I can deal with most situations and moods but when I struggle I turn to music to help me through. Over the years music has somehow pulled me through many difficult situation and helped to change my state of mind from a negative mood to a more positive and realistic one.
I don’t really know why this is.

If I am angry, I can take that anger on with a dose of heavy metal to combat the rage head on. It may sound weird but angry music actually calms me down.

If I am sad, I can listen to uplifting more sedate songs, which help raise my mood and make my mind think of the beauty and wonder in the world, changing my focus on sadness to one of joy.

If I am bored, for example on a lonely drive to another town, I can lose myself in any kind of music and kick start my imagination to allow myself to ponder life and totally relieve the boredom of battling traffic on a busy motorway.

Similarly the boredom of travelling on a long haul flight can be relieved by listening to my vast collection of music.

I have also said on this mad blog that music for me is like a time machine and some of the older songs in my collection can take me back to happy times when I was a lot younger– kind of like a beacon to the past.

While I may criticize the musical tastes of other people, I only do so to steer them away from those who would exploit the artists. As I have become older, I have tried to stop doing this because I have learned that music is totally personal and to attack their music is almost an attack on them. These days I try to say “that’s not my cup of tea” rather than “you have no musical taste whatsoever”.

Mrs PM is a prime example of this.

Our tastes in music are poles apart and I struggle to listen to her music – and of course the opposite is true. I am educating myself to be less critical and, instead, just trying to find common ground so that we can both listen to music that we both like.

It is difficult though because music truly is personal. A song that may take Mrs PM back to a great time in her life might do the opposite to me.

I also know that no two people have exactly the same tastes in music. I have a very close friend with whom I go to concerts but while we like the same bands generally, there are some bands and styles that we simply cannot agree on. For example, I love twenty minute progressive rock masterpieces and he can’t stand them. He likes modern pop punk songs, which generally bore me.

Nobody is the same when it comes to musical taste but, I think, most people have the same passion for music.

As far as music is concerned we should all appreciate music and not criticize each other’s tastes. I have been very guilty of this in recent years and I am trying to change my attitude and open myself up to understand why somebody would rather listen to rap than rock.

It’s hard but I am slowly beginning to understand.

I will conclude by once again pointing out that there is a whole world of music out there on the internet and you shouldn’t be spoon fed your music by radio stations with a hidden agenda.

I won’t rant about it – it’s just an observation.

Music is precious and shouldn’t be exploited.

To finish off, here is the song I was listening to while writing this post. It’s a nice song.


Elephant's Child said...

I am in the minority here. Music largely leaves me cold. I don't dislike it (with some exceptions) but I rarely seek it out. And very rarely put any on. I don't like it as background. If I am listening to music that is what I am doing. Not listening and reading and talking and cleaning...

River said...

I've often used music to calm down too. Not necessarily angry music, I don't think I have any, but anything with a good strong beat that I can play loud until I feel my mood change then I soften the volume a bit.
Like you, I would hate to lose my hearing, but for me, sight is equally as important, because I read a lot and seeing words printed on paper is a joy for me.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Each to their own. I am the complete opposite and listen to music whenever I can - particularly if I am doing something terrible like ironing, cleaning etc.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Yes - sight is equally important. Totally agree.