Music Association

Music seems to have deep, personal meaning to me. I can usually associate a particular memory with a particular song or album that I am listening to. It might be the first time I listened to a song, might be a particular time in my life, or it might be something entirely different.

For example, I am currently listening to The Final Cut by Pink Floyd. I have plenty of memories of listening to this album in the dorms in high school. I also have a scrawling in the yearbook by a girl that quotes lines from the title track. Earlier today, I was listening to Factory Showroom by They Might Be Giants. While this is a newer album (by my standards anyway), I have a memory of me driving to a friends house while listening to this CD. I was coming back from my high school reunion and it was pitch black. Pretty much anything by The Eagles reminds me of my dad because my first singing in public was with my dad singing an Eagles song when I was three. I barely remember it now, though.

I seem to be fairly reluctant to listen to newer music, or at least music from artists that I don't know. Maybe it's because I don't have memories to associate to those songs or artists, making them have far less meaning. It might explain why I like some songs at certain times and not others—depends on what I am trying to remember or forget at the time. Music seems to be that kind of gateway for me.

My wife has somewhat different tastes than I do. She also, as near as I can tell, doesn't listen to all that much music. At least not anymore. Some of my musical tastes aren't child-appropriate. As a result, most of my music listening occurs when nobody is home or in headphones at night. Usually, though, it's not at all.

I recognize the need to bring more music into my life. The question becomes: how do I work it in? Having iTunes at my fingertips seems to help a lot, at least for the past few weeks. I need a strategy for this that is doable.