Music Literacy

As a child and even into early adulthood, I had a comprehensive grasp on what I thought were the best three genres of music: Choral, Show Tunes and Christian Music.

If you were to look at my cd collection (or my parents, for that matter) you could categorize each album into one of these three categories. Written by John Rutter, Beethoven or Benjamin Britten? check. Sound of Music, Wicked or Forever Plaid? check. the more obscure, the higher the probability that we owned it. Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith or Audio Adrenaline? check check check.  (if you were to look at my parents’ cds, you may also find a Reba McEntire  or The Best of the 70s album, but they were the exception, not the rule)

I have distinct memories of driving in the Riverside carpool in middle school (to get to choir to sing Choral music) and having Q104 on and truly not knowing any of the songs. I began to suspect that my genre knowledge was perhaps incomplete.

So, I bought some Mariah Carey and N*Sync and called it a day.

Truthfully, it wasn’t until after college that I actually began exploring other types of music by artists with strange names like Radiohead and Over The Rhine and Rascal Flatts and Lady Gaga (seriously. are you not allowed to have normal names if you’re not a composer?) And I found out something surprising – I liked it!

In general, I like music that tells stories. But I also like that all genres are capable of that, and I enjoy following the artist as she unfolds a word picture of a day or a lifetime or maybe just a moment. Music is transcendent and carries with it more emotion than the spoken word alone.

Thanks to those who have labored to expand my music repertoire. Keep up the good work.

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2 thoughts on “Music Literacy

  1. go to youtube and listen to Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More”. new fave. they have so much energy and depth. and a mandolin. 🙂

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