The Beat Goes On

Daniel - LaGrange Park, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity

As I drive through the side streets of my neighborhood, I seek music. The radio channels are constantly being flipped, trying to find something to satisfy my need (I am doing this in moderation of course, so as not to impair my driving). Then, as if out of the blue, that one song comes on. It is the song that really gets you feeling good about yourself and about the world. The genre differs, as do the artists, and the beat is constantly changing. These things do not matter, though. Not now. Right now, all I am concerned with is the feeling of it. This is not to say that I never look for these things. As a student of music, these parts of the songs are constantly revealing themselves to me, and most of the time, it is not by will of my own. Music has the power to show itself to anyone no matter if the pay attention to it or not.

To find these things, though, you do not have to be as coerced in the music as I am. I believe that music has the same effect on everybody, no matter the background or upbringing of the person. It is something that is just there. It does not matter if it is the rhythm, the time signature, or even something as minuscule as a few of the words of the song playing in someone’s front yard as you pass by that you can relate with. Music is something that is implemented since birth.

I believe that music is constantly changing and progressing, and in this way appeals to all of us. It is something that has been practiced since the beginning of time, from the early beats of pounding one object to another, to the intricate composing of greats such as Mozart and Bach, to the harsh sounds of the blues greats such as B.B. King and Muddy Waters, to the beats of Tupac and N.W.A, all the way down to the flat-out screaming of some of today’s more popular bands. The great thing about music, in this sense, is that with all of the changes that have already been bestowed up it, it will continue to change in fashions that no one can possibly fathom.

I’m back in that car again, driving around my neighborhood, and my destination becomes unclear. I’ve found the song that I was searching for all of this time. I have to pull over the car and park for a few minutes. It’s an old live version of a Pink Floyd song I’ve forgotten the name of. At this moment in time, it is perfection. I am reminded of why I started playing music, why I started studying it, and why I am writing this paper about it. It is because I know that somewhere else, someone has listened to this, someone else has enjoyed this before me. It is that single unifying feeling, knowing that this one song can connect you to anyone or anything. Nothing else provides that kind of connection. And just as I finish that thought, the song ends, and I continue driving the car, that is, at least until the next great song comes on.