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The Art of Music

Posted Jul 10 2010 12:00am
If one picture paints a thousand words, then one song must represent hundreds of images. Music has always had a role in my life. It began with me pounding on the piano begging for lessons when I was 7 and followed with years of lessons. I always enjoyed listening to music and often played my mom’s old LPs. At some point I started buying my own records. Yes, I actually remember and owned 33 and 45 records. There was a turning point when I was ten and purchased my first Walk-Man. For those of you too young to remember before the era of compact discs and iPods, a Walk-Man was a portable cassette tape player. I thought I was hot stuff being able to buy tapes and taking my music with me everywhere I went. When I was 13, I got a stereo with tape deck and turn-table for Christmas and removable speakers. I felt like I had it going on. I seemed to spend all my free time listening or playing music.

Almost as soon as I became a teenager I started to go to concerts. I can’t believe I am going to admit that my very first concert was Tiffany, but more embarrassing is that it also featured New Kids on the Block. However, we did redeem some of our music taste by leaving the show early. My tastes did improve and over the years I have been lucky to attend many incredible concerts including The Grateful Dead, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, AC/DC, Robert Plant, David Bowie, Sting, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, KT Tunstall, Melissa Etheridge, Concrete Blonde, The Cranberries, Phish, Evan & Jaron, The Gin Blossoms, Frank Sinatra, Jars of Clay, The Rolling Stones, Suzanne Vega and Jimmy Buffet.
As you can tell my music taste vary, and I especially love almost all 60’s music (I guess you really can’t take the hippie chick out of me). My collection includes Classic Rock, Jazz, Blues, Alternative, Folk, Christian, Christian Rock, The Rat Pack, Classical, New Age, Blue Grass, Meditation, Inspirational, and some Pop.
Two years ago a friend gave me an iPod as I was recovering from surgery and she wanted me to be able to listen to audio books. This became my most essential item for chemo and other medical related things. . I could listen to my favorite music or listen to a book to help pass the endless hours at the infusion center and doctor’s offices.

Until recently I was a novice iPod user and had no understanding of play lists and how to load my iTunes with anything more than a few albums. I did not have much of a selection and I eventually got tired of the same tired options. When I moved in with my parents, I did not have any room to bring my collections of CDs and tapes, so I spend a couple weeks during the winter loading my 500+ CDs onto iTunes. Then one day an amazing thing happened – I finally understood the concept of playlists and even more so incredible I figured out how to set them up in iTunes and how to use the playlist setting on my iPod.

I have always found that music speaks to me and affects me in many ways. My mom could always figure out what mood I was in by whatever piece I was playing on the piano. Beethoven seemed to be a favorite when I was frustrated or angry, Bach was more my choice when I was sad. I had many happy songs and one of my favorites is Fur Elise. My piano is still at my condo and I only get to play it on a rare occasion, so listening to music has become a required element to my day. Just like the pieces for my piano, I have different music for different moods. I seem to have different playlist for everything (acupuncture appointments, laying in the hammock, general Dr. appts, rainy days, cooking, blogging to just name a few). I am constantly finding new music on iTunes or through friends and I tweak my playlists weekly.

Many of you know I have trouble sleeping and I cannot imagine trying to fall asleep without certain songs as my lullabies. I have an iHome alarm clock and listen to the “Alli’s nocturnal musings” or “Sleepy Time” playlists every night as I go to sleep.

Lately I find myself playing certain songs over and over again. Some are forever favorites, others I have rediscovered and there are many new ones too. Each one of these speaks to me in some way relating to my current life. Over the new few weeks I want to introduce you to some of these songs and share with you how and why the song effects me. Hopefully you will enjoy finding out yet another thing about me and how the music helps me handle the constant ups and downs of my life right now. Maybe you will even find a new song or two that you like or even better recommend one to me.

Since this post is about music, I will end by posting one song. It is the one that just now randomly came up on the iPod. I am not exactly sure what it says about me, my mood or how it speaks to me, but here it is. Just hit play.  Enjoy.

"Love Song" by Sara Bareilles
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