LISTEN to your music

Music constantly surrounds us. We always have our headphones plugged in as we walk through the hallways, our radios tuned to our favorite stations during car trips, and our phones and iPods on shuffle as we work. I myself am currently listening to Highway Don’t Care by Tim McGraw as I write. It’s funny because the words seeping into my brain are different from the ones coming out of my fingers and appearing on this computer screen. There’s something a little too mechanical about the process.

I guess my point is this: music is too frequently used as filler for empty silence or as background noise amid other preoccupations. We take it for granted.

It’s those late nights when the entire house is quiet and I can’t sleep, when I can listen to songs—I mean really listen. I can hear the quiet background beat, the hushed rhythm of a piano—those lovely sounds that are unfortunately overlooked most of the time. They may seem like minor details, but sometimes they can make a monumental impact on a song.

We too often judge only the main lyrics blasted at us or how “catchy” the main beat of a song is to determine its quality. However, looking beneath the surface and really listening to songs can bring deeper understanding and a much more pleasurable experience. Though I’m no musician, I know that every component of a song has a purpose. When you recognize all those components you can truly appreciate the music.

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