Ode to Music
Unlike other genres of creative arts, music is uniquely immortal.
Nowadays, there are less and less people who read literature for their primary entertainment—or even on a monthly basis. Even those that love to read often spend time on platforms such as YouTube. On the other hand, I’d have to rummage through my mind just to find someone in my generation who doesn’t watch TV, movies or the previously noted YouTube videos. I wouldn’t say that film and videos have kicked novels and books out from the limelight, but it sure has left a massive impact on our daily consumption of media. How many times have you heard a kid say they wanted to be a writer, and how many times have you heard a kid want to be a YouTuber? I find film and videos fascinating, as they combine writing, traditional art, acting, CGI and—something other arts rarely incorporate—music to produce a sort of jack-of-all-trades, master of all entertainment. Which brings me to the topic of music. It is one of the those traditional arts, among the oldest no less. Yet today it is still as prevalent and influential, if not more so, as it has ever been. Film brought writing to a new frontier, capturing the attentions of our entire modern generation, but it has left reading novels to become a tiresome task assigned by teachers for the prospect of a good grade. I am not saying kids don’t read anymore, but I believe kids don’t read as much as they indulge in film and videos. Yet, music has remained strong, perhaps become stronger, in the modern age. Music can make a bad movie passable, make you feel like you aren’t alone and connect to the audience whether it’s in the shower, the kitchen, the dining table, the bedroom, etc. Today, music is not limited to select talents; anyone can make music, whether or not they know how to play any instruments! Even free programs like GarageBand provide the basic tools for bangers that bring in hundreds of millions of plays on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. As my cousin often tells me, songs help us remember the time when we first hear them. We were in Australia when “You & Me” by Marc E. Bassy and G-Eazy and “Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammer first graced our ears, and now it’s impossible for us to hear these songs without reliving that trip. Everyone has different tastes in music, and while some people enjoy the smooth, broken taps of jazz, others—like my weird friend—find the clamor of metal appealing. There are people who follow bands and artists, but there are also those who stick to genres and different moods. A sad song might help you understand a bit more of our confusing world, while an uplifting one can gather up your confidences. What’s even more amazing is that music can be enjoyed whether it’s in an unfamiliar language or there are no lyrics at all. Melodies can transcend language barriers, communicating emotions and messages wherever it reaches. As my final thoughts are rounding up, I wanted to touch on one last topic—a topic that seems to permeate the medium regardless of culture, language, region: LOVE. A lot of traditional music tell stories of morals and life lessons, yet nowadays it’s like the only thing we know to write songs about is love.
Why is that? Well, personally, I think it might be because we write music (lyrically speaking) about what is important to us. And now that many societies’ main concern isn’t starvation, but rather getting an A on the next exam, we no longer relate as much to the old lessons of hubris or when to harvest crops. Instead, as one of the few primal instincts most of us still hold salient, love is a force that almost any culture of any region speaking any language can relate to. Love may be a dream to many, a hope for others, a passion and perhaps even our answer to why we exist. That is why I believe love is ubiquitous to the point of redundancy in music. This is not to say there aren’t modern songs that aren’t about love. Some not-so-popular favorites of mine, along with my favorite line from each, are: • “Stan Smiths” by Cannon “Someone I was is someone I ain’t.” • “Playlist” by Kid Quill “I do whatever I want; you do whatever you can.” • “Good Day” by Surfaces “Everything we're given is enough.” and of course the guys over at AJR, who find success and never once have written a love song.
Anyways, I do hope you are all healthy and well, and thank you very much for catching up on what's on my mind.