Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is your favorite type of music?

"What kind of music do you like to listen to?"

When I'm asked that question I never really know how to answer. I tend to respond mentally with, "You know, that's a good question."

I don't care for most pop music (yes, there are a very, VERY few pop songs that I enjoy, but most pop music is a real turnoff for me).

Absolutely no rock, rap, or anything resembling them.

Hymns? Well, yes. But only if they are done right. (The Wilds, BJU choir, and similar groups are what I consider "Done Right"

Classical? Well.... Not USUALLY. As horrible as this sounds to many of my musically inclined friends, I find the vast majority of classical music boring. Maybe I've just never heard the right stuff. Maybe Classical 101.1 (the main radio station I've listened to the past 5-8 years) just doesn't play the right stuff. Or maybe the "right stuff" only plays after I've tuned off.

So what DO I like?

I love music that tells a story--that picks me up and takes me to another place. Movie music is the best I've found, though it depends on the movie. Right now I'm listening to a piece from The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe. Ahh..... lovliness. The music tells the story--even though I don't know exactly what is MEANT to be happening with each musical phrasing, I can picture it. I can imagine the noble heroes and heroines as they battle against evil--I can tell when the evil seems to be winning, I can hear the moment of triumph as the foe is vanquished.

My favorite part of story telling music is that I'm not tied to the same story the music was written to tell. When I listen to the anguished but determined strains of "I will Find you" by Clannad (Last of the Mohicans), I'm not bound to think of Hawkeye racing to save his beloved Cora. When I hear the notes of Danny Elfman's Black Beauty theme, playful and serious rolled into one, I'm not bound to think of a black horse--or even a very pretty black horse. The story can be whatever it wants to be.

My brothers and I used to play a game--we would turn on a random song and guess at the story. We'd all take turns, and would come up with the funniest, fantastic, most random plots. This game was only a visible extension of what I've always done with music. I either use it to tell myself a story, or I let the music tell me it's own story.

Listening to music is to me like reading a book.

Because of that I have to take care about the kind of music I listen to. Some books are best left unread. Some music is best left unlistened to. Some stories are best unthought of. Any emotion I can feel, any sinful temptation, can also be contained in the story music tells. I can't give a list of rules that says what is okay and what isn't and why. I just know that some music tells of anger, some of lust, some of bitterness. How did it get there? What qualities make it bad? I don't know. I just feel the darkness in the story--so I turn it off. Some stories are best unheard.

Equally, every good and noble quality can also be contained in music. It can tell of courage and love, bravery against all odds, noble sacrifice, joyful exuberance, innocent delight, patient waiting. It can tell of green meadows, rocky cliffs, shadowed forests. It can tell of Gods holiness, grace and love.

And that's why, bookworm that I am, I love music.

Even if I can't tell you "what kind" of music is my favorite. :)

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