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No one truly knows the history of music – song predates the written word. I imagine that the original music/song was folklore; unwritten stories passed on to children from their elders, often in the form of poem or song. Back then song likely taught a lesson in an entertaining fashion, like a musical parable.
Music has the ability to impact us emotionally.
Music has the ability to impact us emotionally. I go into greater detail later in this article, but simply put music has the ability to sooth or energize people, to help them relax, focus or be motivated.
Music I Love
I love to listen to rich, easy-going music. New Age and Classical music are perfect examples as well as love songs, ballads and smooth jazz.
New Age and Classical
When I refer to Classical music, I’m not just talking about Mozart, Bach and the other classic 19th century musicians. Yirumi, Tim Janis and David Arkenstone are great modern Classical composers. Okay, David Arkenstone is more of a New Age musician/composer, but that’s why I group New Age and Classical together. They are extremely similar with the difference mainly being the use of classic or modern instruments. David and Diane Arkenstone worked together to create the music in Sterling Johnson’s video of Yosemite National Park.
New Age music is a modern rendition of Classical, often using digital composition and performed by a single person or small group. Electronica is commonly mixed in with New Age, though in my opinion it belongs as a sub-division of Dance music.
Some New Age music contains mellow droning, nature sounds (especially water) and other relaxing elements to go along with the main melody being played. New Age is frequently used as background music for yoga and massage.
I was introduced to New Age music through a 1990 video called “The Mind’s Eye“. It showcases an assortment of computer animated video’s set to music by James Reynolds with David Lanz and Paul Speer courtesy of Narada Productions. Being a geeky fellow I truly enjoyed the video and even bought it on Laser-disc. (How’s that for geeky?) I also really enjoyed the music. I began searching for more music by Narada Artists.
We traveled over 1,000 miles to discover a great performer from around the corner.
I love to listen to a well written and performed romantic ballad. It doesn’t matter if it is “got love” or “lost love” song. Sometimes I’ll listen to the same song over and over. I’m grateful that digital music doesn’t wear out like records and tape did.
I wore out a Van Halen cassette using my auto-reverse tape player.
There are some great love songs that aren’t ballads. Some might call them a power ballad; I wore out a Van Halen cassette that contained “Love Walks In“. It didn’t help that in the same spot on the other side of the cassette was “Why Can’t This Be Love“. My auto-reverse tape player got quite a workout with that album. I’d listen to the one song, then hit the reverse button to listen to the song on the other side.
On the way back from a high school choir trip, I was introduced to The Manhattan Transfer, a jazz vocal cross-over group. My school singing experience combined with the different musical styles which I was exposed led to my eclectic preferences.
Opera and Vocals
Similar to my passion for Romantic Ballads, I love a powerful, well orchestrated Opera or Vocal piece. My main introduction into either segment of the musical world was when I was in my High School musical program – Phantom of the Opera was big on Broadway at that time. I have the Original London Cast Recording on vinyl – two records. This grew into the love of Sarah Brightman and Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon).
A Capella or vocals only is hip in today’s choral circles. One of the biggest players is Pentatonix. My absolute favorite of their recordings is actually a Christmas song. They received an Emmy in 2015 for Daft Punk.
Music I Like or Appreciate
There is a fine line between love and hate. That line is “like” or at least to “appreciate”. Trouble is that there is no absolute. Some of my favorite tracks given above can also be classified in the genres below.
Classic Rock through Modern Pop
I have generalized this genre/classification greatly. It evolves with time. Depending on your generation, “Classic” Rock can be the Beatles or it could be the Rolling Stones or Bon Jovi.
Pop is short for Popular, which is fairly broad itself. Typically “Pop” ranges from the early 1970’s (like BeeGees and Abba) to current music (like OneRepublic and Christina Perri); though the styles of music in “Pop” vary greatly through the decades.
There is a lot of crossover music with the turn of the century. I think that artists learned that diversification improves their chances of success.
I don’t know if Capital Cities is officially a crossover band, but their dance style of their music borders on electronica.
The cows are gone, my girlfriend left me and my truck is broken down. I can appreciate Country music and listen to it with friends, but most of my favorite Country tunes are from bands that have crossed over into the popular.
|Alabama – Angels Among Us
Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow
Electronica is dance or club-style music that is often created with the use of computers or other forms of looping audio samples. To be fair, the original electronica before computers got involved was on vinyl and mixed together by DJ Artists like Sasha and Digweed.
|Enigma – Return to Innocence
Imogen Heap – Just for Now
|John Digweed & Nick Muir – Live Off the Grid
Sasha – Contemplation
After my wife got involved with Belly dance, I began to appreciate the music which she often danced. Middle-Eastern is a broad “World” genre which is often centered around Arabic dance and includes many crossover artists. Tarkan is one of our favorite modern middle-eastern artists.
|David Arkenstone – Song of Sheherazade||Sting – Desert Rose
Tarkan – Shikidim
About mid-October each year stores begin displaying their winter holiday merchandise, predominately Christmas products. Sometime in November, the similarly themed music starts over the speakers and some radio stations. This is the time of year I avoid stores and change the channel. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the music, but I can only tolerate hearing so many versions of the same song.
|David Bowie and Bing Crosby – Little Drummer Boy||Pentatonix – Mary, Did You Know
The Piano Guys – Angels We Have Heard on High
I Like Some Music Less
There are a few musical genres which I don’t like and have difficulty appreciating. Actually hate is a better word for some of it.
Heavy Metal Rock
Hard Rock or Heavy Metal is a style of music that I simply do not like. Please forgive me, but all I hear is yelling and noise. Some of it actually makes me feel angry.
There is redemption for some artists – although I don’t like most of their music. Disturbed put out a great cover of “The Sound of Silence“.
Talk about getting the bum rap. I enjoyed early rap, like Beastie Boys and LL Cool J – Will Smith did a few pieces I enjoyed too. Gangster Rap and modern Rap artists took a fun twist to music and old stories that ranged from being poor and breaking the law to doing drugs and killing people.