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Hitting the High Note

Like finding your perfect sweater, experiencing music is one part taste and another part environment.
July 15, 2021
By Sarah Jacks

It hums in the background as you work, wails as you grieve, uplifts as you celebrate. Find it through nature, on your way out to seize the day, or in between breaks...

"Music is the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity"

- Merriam-Webster

Music intersects everything you do, whether it distracts, sets the tone, or attracts attention. You listen to your favorite playlist while powering through work, hear the somber backdrop at a funeral, or rock out during a concert.

Music amplifies each experience, making for a memorable time. Get comfortable in your favorite sweater so we can appreciate, admire, and maintain the magic in music through this article.

📸 by Soundtrap

What to expect from different types of music

What purpose does your favorite musical "playlist" serve? Is it similar to the organ amplifying grief at a funeral? Or is it closer to a rock band amping up a crowd at a concert? What do you expect from different types of music?

I expect a light, fun, energetic playlist while working or studying so I can focus on the task at hand, as opposed to a song with lyrics. Deep song lyrics detract my concentration while upbeat background noise maintains it.

Sometimes, I prefer songs' instrumental versions or go iconically classical (Mozart comes in handy when catchy lyrics occupy the mind).

Music should accommodate its audience, allowing us to feel through our emotions, rather than mask or contradict any.

For instance, funeral music typically conveys solemn respect (this differs per culture), so deep, dismal undertones come as little surprise to me. People seldom attend funerals in high spirits.

Live music at concerts, on the other hand, vary immensely (dependent on music genre and band). Their atmosphere falls anywhere on a wide spectrum. My expectations flirt in-limbo because live music events rely on much more than music alone... the venue, performers, and audience affects the experience.

📸 by John Matychuk

Finding Your Rhythm

Despite the situation, music presents itself in daily life — whether to distract or connect. It serves a unique purpose, respective to everyone’s needs and context.

For example, some people play music they hate when working, to accomplish tasks faster. Others prefer a silent workspace.

Some people [and cultures] believe funerals should celebrate life — expecting upbeat music to “liven” the crowd.

Still, some attend concerts because they must follow their favorite band’s shows, while others seek a night or day out for fun.

We, as humans, can perceive music or its genre very differently in similar situations and use it for different reasons.

Like finding your perfect sweater, experiencing music is a personal journey. Look inward to discover what you value and outward to your setting. Both your preferences and surroundings play key roles in your journey.

Sarah is an on-again-off-again writer who keeps returning to the craft. Sarah's always searching to learn something new whether it pertains to writing itself or life in general (fun facts welcome, too).

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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