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Commentary, Opinion, and More

The Music of Your Life

by Nyssa

Your Very Own Personal Soundtrack

Who writes the melodies that speak to you?

If you could only listen to the music from one composer for the rest of your life, whom would you choose? For the sake of our mental exercise the likes of Rogers and Hammerstein or Lennon and McCartney or even Gilbert and Sullivan will be the same as one composer, a team effort that will count as one.

For myself, I’d choose Johann Sebastian Bach. The shear number of compositions he wrote guarantees that I would have a healthy supply of music from which to choose ranging from concertos to fugues to religious music, both vocal and instrumental.

When you toss in the many transcriptions and performances where Bach’s work for one instrument or group of instruments have been arranged for a different instrument or even an entire symphony orchestra, you’ve opened another Pandora’s box of possibilities. Test it out. Listen to the original, impressive Toccata and Fugue in D Minor composed for a massive pipe organ, then switch to the same piece arranged for a full symphony orchestra by the incomparable Maestro Leopold Stokowski. Be prepared to be blown away!

Ah, but what if you can’t face going with only one composer? How about if you’re allowed to choose one performer instead, again counting a group or band as one, not just an individual performer? Would that make things easier? Or more difficult?

Of course, you could do as I would and cheat a bit by choosing a specific orchestra that records and performs a whole bevy of different works from all sorts of composers, genres, and eras. Or choose a band that does a lot of covers of other bands’ hits. Who would it be for you?

Let’s loosen the restriction even more and allow you to choose one genre of music. Pop, classical, big band, classic rock, country, heavy metal or something else? Would you get tired of just one type of music? What is the type of music you most often choose to listen to while you’re going about living your life?

From my choices of composer and performer, you’d most likely guess my preference would be classical for my one genre. But that’s my choice, what would yours be? No doubt it would different than mine for each and every one of my musically-based questions.

And that’s the whole point. Your choices, your preferences for the various aspects of music that you would choose will be different than mine. Different than your neighbor’s. Most likely different from your parents’ or even close friends’ choices in some detail or other.

Our music choices can be influenced by many things such as the region in which you grew up or now live, the era in which you grew up, and to what types of music your family and friends listened when you were growing up. But those are all simply influencing factors and can and do change as you age and as you experience new or different music styles.

At the end of the journey, what you end up with is your own unique, personal music.

The music that is the accompaniment to your life.

And it’s like no other.

What were your answers to the musical preference questions? Composer, performer, genre? How did you arrive at those choices? Who or what influenced you in your musical journey?

We’d love to hear from you! Any feedback or comments on this or other topics on our website are welcomed and appreciated.