Monday, December 1, 2008

Putting In My "Two Cents"

This topic of whether or not music should be influenced by personal preference has been going on since the very start of this class. I thought I’d put in my “two cents” for the last time on this endless discussion topic. In life, almost all human actions have a subconscious level of personal preference to them. From when they’re little, people choose to be right-handed or left-handed because they have more control in one hand and would rather use that one. More people are outside on sunny days than rainy days because being dry is preferable to being wet. Many people marry because they would rather have a life-long companion than live a lonely life.

Often times humans do things in life because of their own personal choices, but remain unaware of this. How is music any different? When I am driving I automatically flip the station to something I want to hear, sometimes without even realizing what I’m doing – almost as if my body is programmed to fulfill my desires. So in music, why would a person want to entirely separate personal relations from the music. A human cannot be complete without a soul, how can music be complete without some form of connection between the artist and his masterpiece? When the artist adds his feelings into his music, he gives life to the “soul” of his work.

Naturally people have always been drawn to the idea of finding a purpose or reason for everything in life. Buddha spent years of his life to discover why there is suffering in this world. John Cage appreciated the Buddhist beliefs, and yet the core of that religion results in a man looking for a purpose – a connection in life. That is what the listener does when he hears music. He looks for that relationship in which he can find understanding and be able to develop some form of attachment with the artist and his music. Music must contain personal additions because without them, there is no purpose as to why someone should listen to it.

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