Music is defined differently for each individual. It is the universal language that speaks to us all, but in different ways. It is one of the few genres that can instantly transport a person back to the past. Music is also an art of sound which expresses ideas, thoughts, and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony. It is the design of giving structural form and rhythmic pattern to combinations of sounds produce instrumentally and vocally. To me, music brings a sense of calmness, happiness, and peacefulness. Music is the absolute bread of life because it feeds my soul.
I was raised up in church, but I was associated with R&B, Blues and Gospel music. I remember my parents playing music all the time. My father would play from time to time R&B and Blues which consisted of artist like BB King, Marvin Gaye, The O’Jays, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, The Staple Singers, Percy Sledge, Bobby Womack, and Sam Cooke. On the other hand, my mother would listen to what my father played, but was more into Gospel. From my mother I was associated with artist like Shirley Caesar, Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mother), Rev.
James Cleveland, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and The Canton Spirituals. I mainly stayed with my grandparents because my parent’s jobs required them to travel. Back then, leaving with grandparents and going to church four days a week, the only music one would have known was Gospel. When I was with my parents listening to these various artists made me feel different each time I heard them. It really depended on the mood I was in. I liked listening to the Gospel more than the R&B and Blues. The Gospel songs just seem to uplift my sprit more and the R&B was music to dance by, but the Blues sound sad.
As a child it was a good experience to be exposed to different music because it showed me to appreciate all music. My adolescence years were when I was introduced to Hip-Hop and Rap music, but I did not forget my roots of Gospel that I listen to when my heart was burden. I played volleyball and softball. Before and after a game, I would listen to music to give me that calming effect. I also would listen to music and sing when I did my homework. At this stage in my life, music was my bubble. I listened to a variety of artist like George Clinton, Commodores, and the Jackson 5.
I was a big fan of the Sugarhill Gang and Ice Cube for the steady beat that their music brought. I would not say that this choice of music was a way for me to fit in or was it a way for me to rebel. I just liked their style of music unlike how it is today, which is “glorifying violence and drugs and expressing intolerance toward women and homosexuals (Janaro & Altshuler, 2009)”. The music that I relate to for comfort depends on the situation at hand. If I am in a situation that I know only God can see me through it, then I lend to Gospel. Most of the time when I am listening to music it is Gospel that I choose to listen to.
However, when I am feeling depressed or upset about something I just turn on the radio and listen to whatever is being played or I might pop in a CD of my favorite artist. Music speaks to my emotions. After, listening to it from being depress or upset it soothes and relaxes me. The music that makes me happy is Gospel. I love being in the choir box on Sunday morning singing for the Lord, as the bands plays along. I also love to hear all the different bands that we have at my church. I especially, love the month of October, because this is when all of the bands in the North Carolina district compete.
They compete for who is the best, but not for money more on what we call ranks. In summary, music is the bread of life that feeds my soul. It is the only language that I feel is universally recognized and ultimately understood. It takes me back to the past, whether it is good or bad, but it also brings me back to the present state. Most of all music heals me in so many ways like being calm, happy, and at peace. Music is indeed, truly spiritual. Reference Janaro, R & Altshuler, T. (2009). The Art of Being Human: The humanities as a technique for living. New York, NY: Pearson Custom Publishing.