Music brings people together. It reflects traditions. It creates memories.
Music means something different for everyone. For some, music is an escape or an avenue for expression. For others, it brings back memories of the past. For me, it is a way to relax or change the mood. Whenever I am sad, I can put on a fast paced song that I can sing along with and suddenly I forget why I’m upset. Music also is a a way to connect my friends and families. When we go on car rides or road trips, we all take turns putting on different songs. Now with Spotify and different streaming sites, it is so much easier to bring back old songs to explore more and more varieties of music.
A few years ago I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was a new experience and getting to be a part of a new culture was eye opening. One of the major differences I noticed was the music. While they are very involved and up-to-date in American pop culture, they also have their very own expression. When I walked down the streets with my host family, I constantly heard music that is associated with tango. You could stop at any corner and find people dancing the tango. To them, this music was tradition and represented their country. I loved how music is different for everyone. I think it’s important to have an appreciation and understanding for other cultures because it gives you perspective.
Music has surely changed over the generations, but overall it has the same power as it did before. I interviewed my family members and asked how music influences them.
Mom: “When I put on my old albums from my youth, it takes me back in time and spurs up good memories. The B-52s remind me of college. Jimmy Buffet reminds me of the time after graduating from college and was my escape from the real world.”
Grandma: “Music calms my soul whenever I am feeling down. I turn on Johnny Mathis and he makes me feel young again.”
Grandpa: “Music can really affect the mood. I am 83 years old and listen to Adele singing about lost love, which makes me feel very melancholy. On the other hand, I listen to the soundtrack from the musical “Hair” and it changes my mood and I become more cheerful and nostalgic.”
Dad: “Growing up I played the clarinet, which sparked my interest and joy for music. Being able to play an instrument really connects you to the music and gives you a new appreciation for it.”