Musical Musings from a Radio News Anchor

notesandneurons

Musical Musings from a Radio News Anchor

by Zach Quinn

 

I don’t listen to a lot of music. Whether that is because I don’t have the patience for it or am slowly going deaf, I am not quite sure. I do know that when I do listen to music, I do so to provide an escape and an outlet. My favorite time to listen to music is when I study. My favorites are Gustav Holst’s The Planets, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ English Folk Song Suite, and Johannes Brahms’ newest single, “Hungarian Dances.” I think I am most enamored with classical music because I appreciate how much work goes into crafting the perfect chord or coordinating an orchestra’s sudden dynamic changes. My favorite musical experiences were my high school years during which I played French horn, trumpet, and mellophone. I think you really can’t appreciate the complexity of music—or really anything—until you attempt it. The best thing about instrumental music is that it is so open to interpretation. You could listen to a great bombastic piece early in the morning to get you through that last hour of essay writing, or you could be listening to that same piece after being a little upset by something and become even angrier. Moods change as fast and as unpredictably as song tempos and dynamics, and I think that is what the best composers capture: the raw humanity that makes music a popular medium. The root of music is muse, which means to inspire, which means we are literally looking for inspiration every time we actively seek new music, we’re really looking for a new source of inspiration and a new emotional experience. This is why movies have mastered the art of the soundtrack. The soundtrack can be used as a tool to reinforce audience expectation or totally subvert it with surprise moments. The bottom line is: if you control the music, you control people’s emotions. That’s why I DJ at the Blaze, because I feed off of your emotions.

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