As I sit here listening to my iPod through a set of small JBL speakers, I’m thinking back to the day when I listened to Wolfman Jack late at night on my little nine volt transistor radio as he rocked the night skies from south of the border. I had a single “earbud” of sorts plugged into the small device so that my father could not hear the music, and I could get him to believe that I was sound asleep. Those were the days that have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Thinking of those days, I take a quantum leap to the time when FM radio was in its infancy. When a radio station like KLBJ would blast 50 minutes of rock and roll for every 10 minutes of commercials. Those were days when musical artists were experimenting with all sorts of synthesized sound, and DJ’s were happy to share it with the world.
By now you’ve figured out that I must be old. Maybe ancient. Well, I’m not too old to appreciate the tonal qualities of a mix of sounds put together in such a fashion that it creates something we call music.
Have you ever thought what the world would be like without music? Even though you may not be a music lover, you’re still surrounded by it. It’s part of the shows you watch on television. There’s a soundtrack to the movies you see at a theater. The lilt of a person’s voice can be musical. The sound of your tires as they interact with the asphalt when you drive down the road can produce a musical sound. It’s everywhere.
The music industry is big business. Millions and millions of dollars are spent each year on music. Whether it be to attend a live performance, purchase a cd or digital download, or even purchase a radio or player of some sort, your hard earned money is traded for sound that someone, somewhere has classified as music.
The kind of music you enjoy (if you do listen to music) may not be the kind I enjoy. The style of music I like may not appeal to the person next to me. There’s enough genres of music that everyone should be able to find something he/she likes to listen to.
It can soothe a troubled mind, stimulate a tired body, even calm jangled nerves. Music can tell a story, create sadness, cause happiness, and, at times, say, or do, nothing at all, while producing a satisfaction that only the listener can feel. And, many times the affect that music has on an individual cannot be explained by that individual.
A question that comes to mind that is not easily answered is one that has been asked from the beginning of time, “Does the artist perform for himself or for the benefit of the audience?” I can’t answer that. Can you? I’m just glad he, or she, performs.