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An Appreciation for Music

Soothing for the Spirit

When I’m down and feeling low, I must admit music is the way to go. For as long as I can remember, music has always been the ideal quick fix for a sour or negative mood. I can sit quietly and enjoy ballads while stress melts away. Or, I can allow the music to flow within me as I follow along by dancing around the room.

There is an old saying that says music soothes the savage beast. As a child, I never understood what that saying meant because it seemed only natural to enjoy and appreciate the sound of combined instruments playing collectively to create harmony and sound, vocally or instrumentally; also known as music. Music is defined as vocal or instrumental sounds combined in a way that produces harmony and expression of emotions. During my childhood, there was no specific genre of music that we listened to in our home and I learned to enjoy them all. From the sounds of country music singer Glen Campbell to rhythm and blues singer Stevie Wonder, I began to appreciate how the sounds of different genres of music were performed. The sound of music has always had a calming effect on me, especially when I was feeling sad or upset. Listening to the sounds of different instruments delivering entertaining music allowed me to forget whatever negative feelings I was experiencing, especially when I knew the lyrics and could sing along with the song.

Record players, cassette players, and 8-track players were the common devices used to listen to music during the 20th century, and around the country, most households with music lovers owned at least one of those electronics. In my family’s household, we had both a record player and a cassette player. The first time I heard music from the Jackson Five, I instantly liked their pop and rhythm and blues style, with Michael Jackson leading most of their songs. Although he had been the youngest member of the group at that time, Michael’s youthful voice stood out with every lyric he sang, commanding the attention of music lovers around the world. Like many teenage girls of that era, I developed a brief crush on Michael Jackson as a member of the Jackson Five because I saw him as handsome and super talented. I was not at all surprised when Michael Jackson ventured from the group to become a solo artist. He was so talented and destined for fame as an entertainer which is what he ultimately achieved.

But, as much as I admired the talent of the Jackson Five, I also admired another musical family group of the 1970s called the Sylvers. Like the Jackson Five, the leader was the youngest brother, Foster Sylvers. This group had a unique sound that could almost be compared to that of the Jackson Five. Unfortunately, the Sylvers time in the spotlight didn’t last as long. Such was the case for a lot of male groups that came on the scene during the 1970s and 1980s.

Despite my appreciation for rhythm and blues, I still enjoyed artists from other genres of music, such as pop and rock and roll. Specifically, Huey Lewis and the News, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Rick Springstein, and Madonna. Each group and artist delivered a beat that I could snap my fingers to and dance around the room to. Music, the result of different instruments playing collectively, is really entertaining and has always filled me with a burst of energy. There’s something about the sound of music that creates excitement inside of individual music lovers, myself included. And although I’m older now, I still appreciate the sounds of music from different genres.

For many artists of the 21st century, much of the music seems to be a remake of songs from artists of the 20th century, with an upgraded or updated sound. Loyal music lovers know that the sounds of the 20th century cannot be imitated or duplicated. Admittedly, there is a similarity in the remake of music which includes the original lyrics and a different, yet talented artist is performing the song. However, many music lovers find it difficult to appreciate new artists who often remake music from artists of the past because it is likely perceived that a new artist is attempting to get credit for a song that was written and produced long before their music career began. Still, I listen to old and new music whenever I want to relax.

Music is all around us and with the advancement of computer technology and the popularity of the internet’s various music websites, like Youtube and Spotify, there are more ways to listen to your favorite artists of different genres and different generations. The best part about it is that it is virtually free for online music lovers across the globe. Feeling down and low, listening to music is an ideal solution to quickly boost your mood, if only for a little while. 

Nathonia Smith
Nathonia Smith

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, inventor and online published writer who recently completed studies at Ashford University earning a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management. Writing has always given me such joy and fulfillment.

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