The rhythms in my bones: The eclectic music collection that reflects me


   The soundtracks of our lives range from the grinding rhythms of country roads and city streets, to the harmonious notes of a carefully composed orchestral piece. Music both heavily influences, and is a byproduct of the way we work, the people we like, our taste in culture, and our identities as a whole. It may not represent every aspect of ourselves, or be the best way to identify which Myers-Briggs personality test result we are, but it is a strong indicator of our upbringings and how we process information in our current lives.

   The exact origin of music is not known. It is rather difficult to describe the effects of music through fossils, or to properly depict instrument usage through cave paintings. While it is possible that music’s reasons for existence have remained consistent from its origin until now, it is not necessarily able to be proven. Even now, the exact reason we listen to music is not known. It is a biopsychosocial issue, as are most aspects of our individual characters, meaning that there is a biological, psychological, and sociological explanation behind why we enjoy music, but one type of science is neither broad nor specific enough to fully explain the human desire to listen to music.

   While there are a wide range of hypotheses surrounding the reasons that people listen to music, I believe that my own reasons come from a combination of the music my family members enjoy, my time as a dancer, and my desire to ponder my thoughts with exciting accompaniment. In other words, I believe that my own musical interests fit into the various biopsychosocial reasonings.

   From Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj to Frédéric Chopin and Andrew Lloyd Webber, my music taste is an eclectic mix of incompatible genres and artists. As of right now, I have well over 700 songs in my Apple Music collection and several more on my Spotify playlists. That number will almost certainly grow within the next couple of days. 

   I typically enjoy all genres of music, with the exception of country and any variation of metal, which I believe to be unlistenable. I know that they are genres widely enjoyed by many, but I cannot, no matter what I try, enjoy them. I tend to enjoy songs that have intricate wording, as do many people, but even the most lyrically engineered country song or most implicit metal song could not capture my full attention. Of course, I don’t believe that people who enjoy these genres are incorrect in their perspective on music. I simply wonder what it is that makes it appealing to them, and repulsive to me. This is not to say that if someone recommends a country or metal song to me I will not listen to it, but I will certainly watch what I say about the song, as my personal bias may overwhelm my ability to enjoy the sounds that I would appreciate in another genre of music.

   I am not a particularly disorganized person, but my music-listening patterns are quite disorderly. I switch between songs without a purpose, searching for the one that I will repeat for several loops. I will switch from the most aggressive Eminem rap to the calmest Louis Armstrong song without considering how the sounds of the songs clash. This is an accurate representation of my cognitive processing, as I tend to switch between projects, work, thoughts, and emotions in a split second without considering the way that the ideas clash with each other. Within the chaos, I am able to concentrate on the task at hand, be it homework, exercise, or just plain thinking. It is almost as if I am at my most focused when the pressure of constant, unpredictable change is encompassing me. That may also explain why I do my homework with no less than 50,000,000 tabs open at all times.

   While I may not have the “best” taste in music, I feel that my eclectic mix is representative of my thought processing. I believe that I don’t have to listen to the most acclaimed songs in order to appreciate music, nor do I have to listen to the most underground of indie artists to have a unique taste. Music, to me, is a motivation, distraction, accompaniment, aid, addiction, and representation of my cognitive processing. Music allows me to choose the soundtrack to my own life, and I must say, my soundtrack is incredibly confusing, contradictory, and at times, an absolute lifesaver. At the end of the day, however, it is my own soundtrack that no one else has to hear. (Other than the people who are standing right next to me when I have my headphones turned all the way up, of course).