Painted piano at the Gawler Fringe Festival 2016 Image by Marie Vonow
I do not play a musical instrument but I feel pleasure when listening to music of my choice. Sometimes I listen to music as I fall asleep. When I get up in the morning I often put on some music. I listen to music when I am on the computer. Now and then I experience live music, perhaps a busker, a free performance at a festival or else I buy a ticket for a performance.
There are numerous types of music I don't like and various songs that grate. Everyone has their own taste in music. For music to bring me pleasure, it has to be something I like.
Various studies have shown the benefit of listening to
music. Even before I read about the benefits of music I was aware I felt more relaxed and happier when listening to my favourite tunes. That's why I frequently put on a CD or listen to music stored on my computer or a flash drive. I want to feel happy and uplifted or am looking for the way good music helps me get through some boring task.
Dopamine, a feel-good chemical is released by the brain when a person listens to music he/she finds pleasurable. Even anticipating the rush of pleasure from favourite music or particular parts of a song will bring about a release of dopamine. It has been said that listening to favourite music is 'addictive'.
Music can be closely linked to certain memories, both good and bad, happy and sad. Sometimes you remember the first time you heard a piece of music. You may have been in the car listening to the radio or at a friend's house. Later you may recall details of the occasion, such as how warm it was that evening.
Beautiful pieces can give one 'the chills'. Music can move one to tears. Sometimes an event you associate with a particular singer or song will always bring tears to your eyes or the opposite, a smile to your lips.
These days there are numerous ways I can enjoy music and many of the gadgets are so portable. This is different from my childhood when music was listened to on the big radiogram in the lounge room or a solid wireless sitting on the shelf in the kitchen. By my teenage years there were also transistors, some small enough to hold to your ear. Since then there have been many inventions to enable us to enjoy our music wherever we are.
At the time of writing this, the Fringe Festival is in full swing in South Australia. There are numerous opportunities to attend events where music is played. Some are free events, others are not. Free events give everyone a chance to experience some culture, even if their finances are restricted. Sometimes emerging musicians get a chance to become better known by playing for free.
Listening to my choice of music is one of the pleasures of life. It brightens my day.