Monday, July 13, 2009

The Power Of Music

Have you ever been gobsmacked by the emotional power of music? By that I mean that the music that is the soundtrack of your life is somehow imbued with the power to evoke the emotional feel of the events that were happening when the music was playing. Confused enough yet? I suppose a more succinct way of expressing my thought is that music has the power to act as the trigger to recall emotions and feelings with a fidelity that normal reminiscence lacks. And those trips down memory and mood lane can be quite vivid and rewarding.

Tonight I have been listening to the music from my "neighborhood" in By virtue of whatever algorithm uses to associate my musical tastes with a neighborhood, I get to rediscover a lot of music that was a big part of the soundtrack of my life at various stages. The interesting part is that the music is not necessarily what I would choose on my own. I am pretty much a creature of my formative years with some later influences. Thus my normal selections might have a lot of Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly, Cream, Eric Clapton, etc. But at the same time, artists like Norman Greenbaum (Spirit in the Sky) and The Everly Brothers (Dream) and ... all are capable of pulling up memories and events. Without something like my neighborhood, I might not hear them for years.

Via the power of the neighborhood, I listened to Tommy James and the Shondells (Crimson and Clover), The McCoys (Hang On Sloopy), Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin doing insane things with her voice), Vanilla Fudge (You Keep Me Hanging On), and even some {*gasp*} Archies (Sugar, Sugar). Each and every song brought forth a stream of events and feelings and emotions that at times was overpowering and yet rewarding and comforting.

So as I head back into the emotional cloud of my neighborhood, I'll leave you with the questions:
  • Do you get the same trigger effect from the music in your life's soundtrack?
  • What is some of your trigger music?
A parting gift of the map of musical island interrelatedness for your perusal from - if you click it it will take you to their playground and some references as to how it was built.


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