What Is Music?

Music is memories. Music is listening to that one song while going about daily life, only to suddenly be pulled back to that road trip down to the beach with your closest friends. It's being transported through time to your first slow dance in middle school with someone you met briefly in passing between classes, as well as the first dance to the same song at your wedding reception. It's reliving the earliest memories of playing freeze dance in grade school, remembering the dance party in your college dorm room with friends at 3 am, and every single little experience in between.

Music is history. Music is the Revolutionary War and soldiers singing to the tune of "Yankee Doodle." It's slaves being worked to death day in and day out to the sound of their own spirtual medleys. It's the creation of jazz to rock and roll to hip hop to pop. It's recognizing key figures years upon years ago who composed songs that changed the course of history and made us who we are today.

Music is connection. Music is growing closer to someone you barely knew before because they also listen to Adele's album on repeat. It's introducing each other to new artists and broadening horizons through new genres, styles, and perspectives. It's relating to an artist's experience that they put into song to share with the world, feeling their happiness, feeling their pain, feeling like you can pinpoint exactly what influenced them to write those words, and love them more for it.

Music is emotion. Music is sitting in the car at 1am after being cut from the school play or a varsity sport and sobbing until it doesn't hurt anymore. It's getting angry at the person who broke your heart because they fell out of love. It's feeling the joy that the holiday season brings when you come home for winter break. It's every feeling on the emotional spectrum put into one verse, one lyric, one word, and accepting those feelings until you press play on the next song.

Music is escape. Music is picking you up and whisking you far away from the stress, the worries, the woes of the world. It's shutting your eyes, lying in bed, and pressing the pause button on life. It's taking you to imaginary lands of both joy and despair. It's reminding you to not sweat the small stuff and forgive and forget the past, for it is the past. It's the stress-relief you've always been seeking, but could never find. Until now.

Music is life. The birds singing as the sun rises. The crickets chirping as the sun sets. The honking of car horns in the city. The chatter among people in the crowd. And also the silence when you stop and absorb the world and all its nooks and crannies. Music is nothing. Music is everything.

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