Wanted: Music — Genre, Artist, Age no bar.
How music influences our work, emotions, and ultimately personalities!
Music is a feeling. You can try to verbalize it. It really just hits you or it doesn’t. – Gene Simmons
Sound familiar? You’re in a cab heading to work / Waiting for a friend in a cafe / Out for a brisk walk to stay healthy. By default, most of us would plug into our earphones to either hear music or podcasts.
In this post-covid (or even pre-covid) era, when people were/are working smart but still clocking in longer hours, I asked a few of my friends how they managed their mental peace. Unsurprisingly, one of the common answers was listening to music. In any form. In any genre!
My earliest memory as a baby was hearing music on tall, modified tower speakers at home. My dad would leave me by the side of the speaker, of course at an acceptable volume level, and let me fall asleep to the music. Since my maternal grandfather was an Indian classical music fan (I’ve heard Bhimsen Joshi nearly every day) and my dad was, actually still is, a Bee Gees/Santana/Black Sabbath/Def Leppard superfan, I grew up with an appreciation for the old and new, the classical and modern!
The earliest days of music collection began at home with the advent of cassette tapes but we also had a Vinyl player for which my dad searched local shops to get records by Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, ABBA, and of course Hindustani Classical ones. As years went by, my music taste was influenced by the friends I met in school, college, and the workplace. From pop to hard rock to heavy metal to hip hop to EDM, there was no particular musician/band I took to heart because I was absorbing the nuances from every possible genre. For the longest time, I even considered playing the drums just for the sheer energy and sound it creates!
While working on repetitive tasks, I find that listening to something you love elevates the mood, decreases stress/pain, makes you exhilaratingly confident (some songs make you want to head out and conquer the world, I swear!), and makes long hours seem shorter. Some songs even sound different when your moods change - listen to the same song you love when you feel a bit down. You might understand and connect to the lyrics a bit more!
Some relationships and friendships even begin with a love for similar music. Most of us have asked ‘so what are you listening to these days?’ to a person we met on a plane, an informal meeting, online chat, or even some party. Isn’t it a thrill to find something common to talk with a stranger? Mothers will also concur that children will often stay quiet and eat their food when accompanied to something they hear, either on TV, music player, or even a handheld tablet. Haven’t some of us picked up jingles faster than we learned ABC in school?
From listening to cassette tapes to vinyl records to CDs to mp3 players to smartphone playlists, we have all been there, done that. All of us have at least one such music device at home and get nostalgic about it.
So here’s my spin on the classic quote by Jane Austin—“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a human being in possession of good music, must be in want of a happier state of mind.” Play. Rewind. Repeat!
You are definitely what you listen to — a person evolved by their own music taste. Here are some lists I compiled for online radio stations, and top music sites for listening, some of which you might already be familiar with. Bookmark these for yourself or share them with someone who loves music.