I know that silence is a part of meditating, but having grown up in the kind of quite found only in the middle of nowhere, I find total relaxation in loud thumping music. I have always slept with music on at night and worked with the sound of something in the background. My mind just works with distraction. Silence is like a blank computer page--hard to find inspiring with that little blipping cursor incessantly insisting "do something!"
There's something to be said for considering environment when deciding how to relax. Sure, I can find silence in a second come nightfall when thousands of stars arrive above, but the real uplifting, smile-inducing moments come from those favourite songs that get the toe tapping and the body moving. When does one feel more free and relaxed than those musical moments?
The beauty is that after I've found complete happiness in music, I can sit in the silence and feel that happiness still reverberating all around me. Meditation through noise and silence, all in one fell swoop.
I agree that music can sometimes spin its own meditative web, especially depending on what it is. I love the piano music of Satie and some Native American drumming when I just want to relax. But I guess I don't see "meditative" moments as necessarily amounting to happiness or the aliveness I feel when I'm listening to my favorite music. I think those moments are wonderful as well, and can sometimes be meditative in ther own right, but I don't think I've ever felt the depth of awareness I associate with meditation outside of silence.
I absolutely love music myself and often have it on when I am working. Sometimes I will also play some while going to sleep, but it is usually the meditative kind of music. (Things that get my foot tapping are not things I sleep easily to.) But I do think there's a value to being able to meditate in silence. There are those who can't even handle sivasana at the end of yoga class. And I really do believe that the excess overstimulation we have in our lives (computers, music, TV) contributes to the epidemic of ADD we are having.