There was whistling in the library the other day and I couldn't help but follow the tune. The whistler and I started chatting. He told me there's always a tune in his head. I mentioned, sadly, that I never have one in mine.
That experience has spurred me to read more about music, talk more about music, and to try listen to more music.
The popular literature about music and the brain is fascinating. Healing at the Speed of Sound by Don Campbell provides examples of how music can make one more productive, relaxed and healthy. Oliver Sacks in Musicophilia describes how people have had music induced seizures. Dan Levitin's This is Your Brain on Music is on my nightstand. Levitin is a neuroscientist and musician and his book explains the connections between music and emotions.
Talking about music is hard to do. Fewer people talk about music than they do movies, books or talk radio. "Like" and "Dislike" seem to be the primary words people use. I was reminded by the book, Why Music Moves Us by Jeanette Bicknell, that music brings people to tears. It makes horror movies more frightening. It evokes past memories. And maybe for all those reasons, it is just too complicated to talk about casually.
Listening to more music is technically easy. It's accessible in many ways as the library provides digital access and physical CDs. The Freegal music service allows Des Plaines cardholders to download and keep five songs a week chosen from a catalog of 5 million songs. hoopladigital, another library service, allows users to stream an album for seven days.
I've acquired quite a playlist from Freegal over the years, but I only listen to keep my cardio workout going past five minutes. It's time for a better diet.
Here's to a musical 2015!
Meet the Freegal Expert on Friday, January 16th 3PM - 6PM - 3rd floor. Demonstration and tips to get the most of your Freegal music downloads. Raffle for an iPod shuffle too.