Music is found in every corner of the planet, from the most isolated tribes in Africa and aboriginal tribes in Australia, to the palaces, courts and music halls of modern day. It is the heartbeat of every known culture, for all time, and existed long before recorded history. Just as different types of music has defined different stages of the human race, each person can also define memories and their own personal history through music; through the changing circumstances in their lives, to the changes in the type of music, these associations are very strong.
Sara B. Geekier, in her study on “The Effects of Music on Memory,” stated that “music has an amazing power to influence man’s emotions and behavior. It has been found to affect and stimulate many different parts of the brain and body. Psychological study of music is based on this reason. Studies have found that music can reduce stress, aid relaxation, alleviate depression, and help store and recall information among other functions” (Geekier, 2001). In my personal life, there are very specific times which I associate with different types of music.
There are also very specific memories that can be recalled by simply hearing a specific song. Musical Life Story: Childhood During my childhood, the majority of the musical influence I received was through my parents, and what they listened to. This is probably very similar to many other people, but the kinds of music each may have experienced may differ simply because we don’t all have the same parents, and they all didn’t grow up in the same place, or are the same age. My parents in particular enjoyed much of the influence of the ass’s ND ass’s, particularly the music of the Battles, Fred Astaire, and many others.
I remember my father singing along to Elvis, Johnny Cash, 01′ Blue Eyes, The Pips and many more. He would turn up the radio in the car for “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’, “California Girl”, and “Tequila! ” I believe I have such a broad appreciation of music because of my father’s influence. He showed me that you didn’t have to listen to only one genre. Musical Adolescence During my adolescent years, the musical influences changed dramatically. Not only as I now influenced by my siblings, both older and younger, but my variety of friends had very different tastes in music that exposed me to a whole new world of musical vocabulary.
My early adolescence happened at the end of the sass (disco) into the sass (punk/alternative). I grew up watching Killed the Radio Star”, Zigzag Stardust; “People are People”, Erasure; Men Without Hats; Bee Gees?to By experienced single “Too Drunk to F#! @”. It was my introduction to punk music, which wasn’t quite as interesting to listen to as it was watching my parent’s response to the album cover. However, I listened to the alternative pop band Depth Mode as a staple during my musical adolescence.
I owned all of their full releases on 12″ vinyl, and several of their singles as well. I still own Depth Mode’s white vinyl of their “101 Tours”. Growing up in the greater Seattle area also had an effect on my musical vocabulary. The garage band movement was enormously popular and fueled by many local artists. Seeing a very young Nirvana playing at a local community college with four other bands for $5 and my cousin dating one of Sir Mix a Lot’s ‘posse’ were interesting moments that are recalled whenever I hear their music playing.
Negative Musical Memories It’s amazing how not only can hearing a piece of music recall specific memories, they can also recall distinct feelings. For me, it is not any particular song, but Christmas music in general fills me with a feeling of dread. For many years with young children, Christmas time was not about remembering a baby in a manger, but the disastrous battle of trying to find the right gifts for family, friends, satisfy the kids, and attempting to soothe my ex-wife.
Even though my life is much less chaotic now with my children much older and me finally in a much more stable marriage, I am still filled with blabs© feelings any time I hear Christmas music. Positive Musical Memories In comparison, there are a series of artists and specific songs that bring back fond memories, and good feelings. In particular, one of the best concerts I attended was Allophone. Allophone I was an event held in Nuclear, WA?a suburban area near Seattle?where a multitude of bands and vendors came together for more of a musical event.
In the days preceding the concert, Nuclear was inundated with an array of musicians, roadies, ‘freaks, geeks and sluts’. When I hear Cane’s Addiction “Been caught stealing” all of the events of that week come flooding back. Conclusion Music has incredible powers to influence our lives. It’s surprising when you really pay attention to how music affects you, and the kinds of feelings and memories that can be recalled. The human race is surrounded by music; in the grocery store, at the gym, during movies, commercials, television, radio, even at our desks at work, and moieties even when we sleep.