I am four. I’m singing, perched on the arm of the denim couch, pretending to be Ariel on her rock out at sea. I am nine, prancing around in tights to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. In middle school, I’m pumping my fist to the 80s. Freshman year I discover my adoration for Chopin. And at 17, I am still shaking my tail feather, wailing and sighing to music so beautiful it almost couldn’t exist. I believe in music.
Music is the all-in-one. Music creates, molds, prods, heals. It becomes people. Any bum on the street, any power broker, any schoolteacher can tell you about music. They can give you a story.
Music is a story. The fast build, the low smooth sax, the hammering high-hat gets inside you and becomes imprinted on your life, always associated with something special. When I hear Copeland, I remember wintry, Bible Study nights wrapped in chai tea and sweatshirts. And the Sound of Music brings me back to elementary school, those Humiliate-Me days in fifth grade when Mom would rub my back and croon about her favorite things. Gershwin gets the days where I’m shuffling around in my room, hiding, and Explosions in the Sky gets the rainy car rides back from piano lessons or the mall. Every mood, every scene, every holiday is represented faithfully by music.
Music is the meat of all emotion. It was there when I found out what “new puppy” meant, during all those ear infections, when I learned how to drive a stick. It was there when Mom and Dad cried in accusations over the phone. It was there when my best friend graduated. Music will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
If you think about it, music involves everyone. Listeners, players, writers, sellers, buyers, critics, the whole shebang. There are a million jobs out there involving music and a million more everyday scenarios where music is there, but nobody knows. The next commercial you flip through, the next time you’re put on hold by the American Cancer Society, the next elevator you fling yourself into. The shabby bar you get wasted at or the jewelry store where you are making that big decision. Stop and take a listen.
It’s funny. Music is a million moods. They are dangerously influential, tunes and rhythms are. I’ve seen a mother force her exhausted self not to yell at her two-year-old after hearing a tipsy little flute over the speakers in the aisle with the frozen pizzas. A salesman once switched his pitch to a calmer, mellower cream sofa as a few measures of low piano filled the department store. Situations like these may seem simply coincidental. But it’s our subconscious—it’s the music in our subconscious—that is responsible.
I believe in music. I believe in music because it doesn’t take faith. The harmonies are here and everywhere, not hiding, but completely blatant. I’m not a whiz, and music doesn’t take one to connect with.
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