Friday, August 19, 2011

The Music of Pride

Music. Ah, music. I love music. Always have. Still do. I like to listen to it. I like to write about it. I like to discuss, dissect, and debate it. I collect it. I have records, cassettes, CDs, mp3s, VHS videos, and DVDs (but no 8-tracks, just because I don't have a player). The first thing I do in a new car is set the radio presets. I like having soundtracks to my memories. I like measuring distances by how many songs I can listen to before I get there.
And a lot of people can probably say similar things. But why me? Why do I love music? That is the question that was posed to me by a friend today. Why do I love music so much? Especially given the following: 
  • My personal music experience consists of the half year in the elementary school band (although I am not sure the valve trombone really qualifies as an instrument).
  • A little over two years of piano lessons which led nowhere.
  • And there was the six months I owned a cheap electric guitar where I played it exactly twice before selling it to someone else (and making a tidy profit, I might add).
  • Music was not prevalent in my childhood (my father didn't listen to music, and while my mother liked music, it was never a big deal around our house). 
  • I have no discernible musical talent.
  • I have no rhythm.
  • I couldn't carry a tune if my life depended on it.  
So why do I enjoy music so much? Why were mixtapes my favorite gifts to give as a youth? Why do I still make mix CDs and different playlists for people? Why do I spend so much time making mix CDs and different playlists for my own enjoyment? Why did I spend countless hours and years making "favorite hits" collections of 224 different artists? Why did I spend a good portion of 2010 creating 117 different "mix" CDs based on various moods/themes/etc.? Why did I create 40 CDs of music from around the world to compete in some sort of "music olympics" created in my head? Why is it that I try to not let a day go past without listening to some music, any music?

I have given a lot of thought about that throughout today. And other than the regular reasons people normally give (Music is universal. Music is primal. Music is romantic. Music is rebellious.), I was having a hard time coming up with something that made sense.But I think I figured it out. Kelly Clarkson.

That's right, Kelly Freaking Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson is the reason I love music.