Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That song in my head

I often wonder how music gets replayed in our minds. People often say "Damn, now I can't get that song out of my head!". And sometimes playing something else doesn't work because tunes can get too catchy, especially the most annoying ones. Companies capitalized on this phenomena by creating jingles to sell products - Empire carpets even managed to get a phone number in theirs so we might just call them "Today!"  I have a book by Diane Ackerman that I'm looking forward to reading that explores the science of why this happens. 

But I think there is something more to it. I experience a great deal of sensory input throughout the day but music is the one thing that overrides what I see, touch and taste. I can go to a museum and see beautiful works of art, but they don't seem to stick with me as much as music does. Music has such a strong emotional impact that its hard to argue that it is one of the reasons why we compose it, need it, play it, write lyrics to it (especially about love), and share it. But consider this question: if there is a song that we like that keeps replaying in our minds, are the lyrics teaching us something? or better yet, tell us something that we know but hasn't surfaced into consiousness? 

There is a song that has been replaying in my mind for a few days now with certain lyrics replaying in my mind more frequently. Soon I realized that this song paralleled my personal experiences on a deeply emotional level, both the lyrics and the emotional quality of the music. Sure, songs can be cathartic or uplifting, but so what??  The "what" is the missing piece of the puzzle that is a lesson I could learn from it.  And I'm still trying to figure that out.  

1 comment: