Music, the Lube of the Soul  

rm_harshawj 51M
761 posts
1/27/2006 4:44 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Music, the Lube of the Soul

One of the asked questions on many sites is “What is you favorite music?” and they usually give a list of styles to choose from. For me that is a very hard question, there is so much music that I like and it is all good, well at least for me.

A partial list of musical styles I like: Classical, Opera, Blues, Improvisational Jazz, Folk, Rock, Barbershop, most A Capella, Standards, Oldies, Comedy, Chant, Reggae, some Hip Hop, Quarter Tone (this is experimental with 28 notes to an octave), Electronic, many Asian Influenced Classical, and more.

But why music is important to me is that it is an escape that I can take without having to leave my own head. It calms me, it energizes me, makes me think, urges me to laugh and to cry, and makes me feel. When I a struggling for answers I put in some music and let it take me away and my mind starts to function at a higher level. In fact the more complex the music the higher my brain functions. All this weaves answers to me in the strains of the music.

Interestingly enough psychologist are just now really understanding the relationship to music and higher thought processes. The reason that certain music is conducive to certain modes of though is the subtly of the underlying math. Turns out that the patterns in music are extremely mathematical (in fact they are logarithmic). By exposing yourself to these patterns your brain will start perceiving other patterns around you and throughout your life. This allows a paradigm for your thoughts to process and thus think better, be more creative, relax, or simply escape the constantly repeating thoughts that are prevailing at the time. It is the shift of patterns that the brain likes and that makes music so effective and influential.

This mental lubricant can bring forth fond memories. For me the song “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” as sung by Simon and Garfunkel is an especially strong association. It evokes thoughts of my Grandfather and how much I miss him. I usually end up in tears by the time the song is over and feel so much better for it. I know that when I perform it I cannot do so without getting highly emotional.

Music is the lubricant for the soul. It is also a window into how we think and process the world around us. It is an indicator of our attitudes and leanings, our emotions and convictions.

Have you ever wondered why you do not get along with people with different tastes in music? Well, it is simply that your brain does not function well with that style and if you are exposed to a contrary style you become irritated. It is why when two people begin a relationship tastes in music are so important. I know. I could not stand my Ex’s music and she did not like mine. We had to isolate the other from our music to get along. It was a strain on the relationship certainly.

But to be fair, you can learn to like most styles of music given enough exposure and time. I used to hate Country and Western. It just did not feel right and I avoided it like the plague. But I had a girlfriend who was really into it and over time I came to like it too. To be honest I forced myself into it, but as of now I can take C&W or leave it, but I do not dislike it. The brain is an amazingly adaptable thing.

But whatever the music, it is a reflection of you and lets you process thoughts. We “veg out” to our tunes, let the music release endorphins and make us feel better. We have them on in the background during chores that we dislike, and then they are not so bad because the music takes away the boredom of the repetitious tasks.

Music. We live it, and it is us.

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