Sunday, April 23, 2023

Music Appreciation 101

I was taking a trip down memory lane tonight when I came across something I wasn't aware I had in my possession.  (I'm fairly certain that I shouldn't have it either.)  It's music from my high school band - Greenway RPB (Raider Pep Band).  Our band director was a pretty hip guy, always looking for the latest songs that we could play.  We even had a couple of budding composers who put together arrangements of songs we just couldn't wait to play: "Judy in Disguise", "Pain", and "It's Not Unusual" - to name a few.  

As I recall, it was a lot of fun, especially playing for the high school hockey games.  We had a number of rivalry bands which (quite frankly) couldn't hold a candle to our pep band.  Just sayin'.

Music has changed over the years.  I can't say anything bad about the music of today - I just don't listen to it.  However, if I were to offer a comparison, it would be that the music from my generation was perfect for its time.  It was easy to understand the lyrics, which also spoke to the issues of our time.  I guess all music does that, but the music of the 60's and 70's was stand-alone different.  Perhaps there were subtle messages within the music here and there, but it seemed like that music had a decency to it that is not as apparent today.  I'm not trying to rip on the music of today - I'm sure it has plenty of followers who will make the same claims years from now.

My brother had a maroon Olds F85 which had an eight-track player.  I was sometimes allowed to drive it.  There was nothing like driving in a car with an eight-track.  You had to listen to the entire track to hear the favorite songs from that particular band.  It only made sense that you would drive around in order to hear the music from the track.  I think we called it "cruising" in the day.

Music of any kind really has a dynamic effect upon us as humans.  It can take us back to a specific memory.  It can brighten our day or make us more reflective.  It can move us to action.  According to some medical resources, music can provide a total brain workout.  Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.

Whatever your music of choice, I encourage you to listen to it more often.  Turn off the tv.  Play your cd or your mp3s on your favorite player.  Go cruising to the music.  You never know how it might affect you.  It just might make your day a little brighter!

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