Music Association Music and Personal Association What Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Music Association

Music and Personal Association

What music do you associate with childhood? How did/does this music make you feel? How do your choices reflect your childhood experiences?

There is not much that I can recall about my childhood in detail. My memory tends to be unreliable at best. That is why I find it so incredible that the music of the Beatles remains a vivid and constant presence in my memories. Indeed, even before I remember knowing that red means 'stop' or green means 'go,' I knew all the words to "Yellow Submarine." It was almost as if I was born with the melody to "Hey Jude" in may head. In fact, since my parents were such devoted listeners to the Beatles, I have little doubt that this was the soundtrack to my gestation.

The constant presence of the Beatles would have an indelible impact on me. There are few songs in their catalogue that don't send me into a spiral of nostalgic feelings. "Help" reminds me of an old house that I lived in with my family and moved out of when I was six. The opening strains of the tune conjure fragmented pictures of a place that used to be my whole world.

"With a Little Help From My Friends" strikes me not just as a beautiful sentiment but as a philosophy for how to live one's life. If I can suggest that my choices today are impacted by any of my childhood experiences, the ideologies of the Beatles most certainly permeated my subconscious. I believe in the messages that drive "All You Need is Love" and in the angst that drives "Helter Skelter." And I have also had an eccentric open-mindedness to the creativity of others, a
...Though I had grown up listening to my parents' music, and though I would return to this music later in life, I spent my early teen years attempting to define myself apart from my parents. Therefore, I began to explore much of the punk, metal and hard rock that had come out in the last couple decades. Bands that I found resonated with me in particular at that time were Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

The Seattle grunge sound of a few years prior turned out to be just the remedy for the pressures of growing up. This music balance an aggressive, guitar-heavy attack with cerebral lyricism and intensely emotive singing. Additionally, messages of anti-consumerism, pacifism and struggles with psychic pain are preeminent in the best recordings by each of these bands. I would also find this type of value in albums such as Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips, The Bends by Radiohead and Alice in Chains' Jar of Flies.

The last of these records in particular, even today, helps to summon a feeling of uncertainty, of stupid exuberance, of youth that makes me a little sentimental for the past. I can recall this album as a soundtrack for many of my most distressing moments. Teenage breakups, bad days at school or fights with my parents would usually send me to this particular set of records. Their worldview would be nothing short of cathartic for me, as would be the heavy guitar playing driving such records as Pearl Jam's Ten and Nirvana's In Utero. As a boy just on the cusp of a teenage awakening, I would find that these recordings served well as part of a self-directed therapy, helping me…

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