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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Music is more than background noise

These days, everyone always has headphones or earbuds in either one or both ears — in the gym, at the library, in class, while reading and even in the middle of a conversation.

Music has, simply put, become nothing more than background noise in our lives.

Music is a stand-alone art form and shouldn’t be treated as something meant to fill silence or temporarily cure boredom.

I grew up in the ’90s with music that had extreme depth and was immersed in symbolism and metaphors. That meant giving songs a close listen and finding connections and meaning within them.

That sort of engagement with music creates memories and emotions that stay with you, and are conjured the second you hear that tune again. Music today has that same effect, but we don’t give it the attention it deserves.

Music has always been an art form that can transport people in a matter of seconds, and kids today are robbing themselves of that feeling by instead using it as elevator music for their daily routines.

As a society, we’ve become so distracted with our smartphones that we don’t give our full attention to anything anymore. Music should be the one exception on that list.

If one is reading and listening to music simultaneously, neither is really sinking in. You’re missing what the singer is singing about, and in turn robbing yourself of a potential connection from which the music was created.

If all music was just created to be something that sounds good and any symbolism or hidden meaning was stripped away completely, then let all bands and singers retire right now and we’ll only have DJ’s making music, and I’ll personally give the eulogy at symbolism’s funeral.

However, that’s not what music is. Yes, there is some music that has disposable lyrics and is meant to be played at night clubs at high volumes. In every decade, however, music has been one art form that has deep meaning, which is completely dismissed when kids use it as elevator music as they distract themselves with an array of activities.

I’m not saying to stop everything completely when you listen to music, because nobody has that time on their hands. What I am saying is save the dance music for when you’re being a busy-body and save everything else for when you’re not so distracted.

Music enriches everyone’s life and a big part of that is the connection we create by listening closely to what the music is saying and it becomes personal to us, rather than just something that sounds good.

One might think that this isn’t a big deal, but it is. Being constantly distracted in every facet of your life takes moments and makes them less significant than they should be. It has always been and always will be quality over quantity. I’d much rather enjoy a small well-cooked meal, over an all-you-can-eat buffet of terrible and cheap food.

Musicians work extremely hard to make great music — something you can apply to your life and help you with whatever you may be going through.

By using these same songs and albums — for anyone that still listens to albums from start to finish — you’re robbing yourself of what music was meant for; to enrich your life.

Life can be pretty rough at times, and music is that one medium that can transport you to an area of joy and memory from when you first heard it. If you never give it a chance to do just that, you’ll never be able to fully partake in what music was designed for.

The funny thing is, making music is incredibly difficult. Out of all the things in this world, it’s one of those things that billions of people don’t know how to do. For those that do make great music for fans, and it’s used as background noise, well, it’s a slap in the face to the artist and you’re only robbing yourself of experiencing something wonderful that will last you the rest of your life.

There are few things in this world that can compare to sex, but great music is one of them. Since there’s only a handful of people in this world that can create great music, do them a favor and give them more of your attention when listening to it, because they’re doing their damnedest to enrich your life.

Follow Daniel Geffre on Twitter.

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