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Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Truth Behind Music And Who We Are As People...

Me, a few years ago.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an authority on the topic of music.  Even though music has been a highly integral part of my life since my early teens, I do not claim to be of any hierarchy concerning my ability to play, compose, or dissect it.  Though, I do claim that the things we hear and experience in life have a way of shaping us as individuals and allow us to connect better with others.

This whole blog idea started for me when a friend of mine mentioned how music connects so many things in her own life, which is a conversation her and I have on a fairly regular basis for nearly a decade.  Music connects people to each other and there is no other medium of expression anyone can have which allows us to show thoughts and emotion on any level, from the most simple to the extremely complex.  What I mean by this can be taken as an object of comparison between two entirely different genres.  Allow me to explain a bit further.  


One of the greatest composers, in my opinion, was Mozart.  Anyone who appreciates music and understands a little composition here and there will be able to pick out exactly why the work of this man is still just as brilliant and relevant today as it was when originally composed.  Speaking of one of his most well-known pieces, consider Piano Concerto No. 24.  This amazing piece of music took him around six months to score and was written specifically for eight different classes of instruments.  Having something like this spring from your mind and be scripted onto a piece of paper is mind-boggling to say the least.  Every classical composer goes through a similar process and time frame if they are serious about their work;  such is the way of the trained musician.  I love every bit of that.

Moving forward and into the modern day, the legitimate classical music audience has been getting thinner and thinner as the years go by, because as with anything else, music evolves with time.  People have more thoughts in their heads currently than they did over two-hundred years ago and the songs most hold dear to them are not half-hour concertos, but usually popular music lasting under five minutes from start to finish.  During the time of Mozart, music was something you trained to do and was a life-long investment of your present and future.  Music was something enjoyed in concert halls and instruments were only ever picked up by those who wished to make the practice their livelihood.  Today though?  Peter Buck (of the band R.E.M.) once said:
 "If a song takes more than twenty minutes to write, it probably wasn't worth writing."
One of his most famous works is titled "Losing My Religion" and was written from beginning to end in about ten minutes.  

The freedom of expression and wanting to do what we enjoy with our time has become a very important part of my Millennial generation and a few coming before it.  Music travels anywhere and everywhere with us and is no longer something we are treated to once a year or less via a concert hall in a huge city.  Music has become less formal over time, sometimes in a bad way and sometimes in a more positive fashion.  The melodies and lyrics we listen to both define and connect with us in ways we have not seen before in any similar activity throughout the whole of history.  

All music is not good, but all music is also a matter of opinion, so we have the ability to either accept someone's effort and motivation or move along to something that does strike our fancy.  

Music shows every emotion and instance in life we wish, as I said before.  The music we connect to varies deeply and as far as I am concerned, the more diverse an artist is, the more accepted they are by myself and some others.  
-Rappers who only speak about money, cars, and women get old very quickly for me.  
-Musicians who live in some bubbly happy place continually (why I never cared for Christian music) follow the same suit of quickly losing interest in my book.  
-Singers who carry their falsettos obnoxiously get under my skin (ie: every R&B singer who performs the National Anthem). 
-Those who cannot enunciate their lyrics properly are the worst, however.
All of the latter are my opinions and feelings about the music I like as an individual;  music at it's very core makes my opinion valid and accepted even if not everyone agrees.  In what other form of expression can that be said truthfully?

Diversity is what I am conveying here, and that is exactly where my influences and attractions stem from.  Nobody wants to hear the same thing over and over, which is why music is so great as an expressive tool.  As a musician, songwriter, or just an enthusiast, we can connect with the energetic songs just as well as we do the songs written in a darker time.  Music allows you to dance, be joyful, enlightened, and can even make you cry;  sometimes all within the same album.  

There you have it.  I have personally connected with more people through music than I can count.  There are just certain songs and certain artists who bring up the best parts of people or at least bring out who they really are deep down at a level not experienced by any other medium of creativity.

Sometimes we crash and burn while needing a good cry.
Sometimes we are happy and just want to dance.
Sometimes we need a little personal, mental healing.
Sometimes we want to share common ground with a stranger.
Sometimes we just want to write.
Sometimes we want to perform.
At the end of the day:
We.
Always.
Have.
Music.

Grace and Peace,
    -Drew

TwitterL  @JDrewSilvers


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