Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Music - The Language of the Soul?

Ok, so I couldn't come up with an original post title, but I do have some thoughts on the subject.

I really enjoy a good story. So much so that I think it directly contributes to the amount of roleplaying, the massive number of books I own (and yes, have read), and even what video games I end up enjoying. I love hearing about daring deeds, love at first sight, or really anything dramatic and interesting. The biggest area where this predilection of mine comes up is in music. I love story-based music. This leads to some odd tastes.

I love almost any piece of folk music, since they are basically only story. In the car, though, I can't generally get a folk only station, so I switch to Country. I love a good sad/happy country song (check out "Skin" by Rascal Flatts to see what I'm talking about). Sea shanties have the same quality as folk music - almost everything tells some kind of story. You'll, of course, notice that I haven't mentioned any type of music that would allow me to stay in the "cool" crowd. At the end of the day, I have favorite songs in almost every category of music. Even heavy metal ("Master of Puppets", "The Gods Made Heavy Metal"), electronica ("Winter Born" by Ethernaut), and even dance music ("Tarzan & Jane").

But, you'll never find me listening to certain kinds of music. Despite what I consider a fairly wide ranging collection, I have absolutely 0 tracks of classical, and very few instrumental (I delete them whenever they sneak in).

Because most of my music tells stories, I normally group them based on what I'm feeling like right then. If I'm happy then I want to hear happy, high energy songs, if I'm angry, well its time to crank up the volume and descend into some rock music (though musicals have a good selection of that kind of music as well). I love the effect this has. When I really hit the correct emotional note, I almost instantly drop into that "zone" that programmers talk about so often. Rocking out with code is evidently synonymous with rocking to the beat, at least in my head.

Perhaps I can share with you some of my favorite lines from songs I love:

  • 'So this is Beauty's finish. Like Rodin's "Belle Heaulmière"' - Lies by Stan Rogers

  • "How did we we get here? How the hell?" - Halloween in Rent (musical)

  • "Now is the time to sieze the day!" - Seize the Day in Newsies

  • "They say the sky's the limit, but we both know its the ground!" - Pirate Bill & Squidly by Heather Alexander

  • "I still feel your touch in my dreams. Forgive me my weakness..." - Every Time We Touch by Cascada

Music is so much more than just words sung to notes, its very interesting that it can cause dizzying highs and hellish lows. What is it about notes and words that make us want to shout to the heavens?


Anonymous said...

Now I know why you disregard instrumental music.

Ben said...

Indeed :)... Some people say that instrumental stuff tells a story, but I just don't see it, so I've never really been able to get into it at all.

soloban said...

I always did my best programming when I would crank up some Metallica.

Some of my best work was done listening to:

* Call of Kthulu
* One
* Santitarium
* To Live is to Die
* Orion

Ben said...

Yeah, 100% agree... These days, if I'm really angry about some programming I need to crank up I switch iTunes to my "Angry" playlist and crank it up... It includes, I believe 'Master of Puppets'... Also 'Winterborn' by Cruxshadows, which is very cool