Monday, December 29, 2008

Four Sets of Earphones

We're not always early technology adapters in our household, but it was a pretty techy Christmas for us. Mrs. D and the kids all have received new mp3 players in the past week. I was setting up all the tunes today and downloading various things to their respective players tonight. The kids only wanted Beatles and a mix CD that their beloved Uncle Stinger made for them a few years back, while Mrs. D wanted her usual assortment of classic R & B, Stevie Ray Vaughan and a few other faves, leaving room for a few podcasts.

As the family music obsessive, I view this development with some ambivalence. The good news is that the family can choose the music they want and don't always have to listen to my random selections -- my mp3 player is liable to deliver Peggy Lee and Run-DMC back to back at any moment. Still, there was a moment when all of us were listening to our respective mp3 players and that meant that four different songs were playing in our house. Musical taste is idiosyncratic and utterly individual, but hearing music is a communal experience. It's why people go to rock concerts, to the symphony or even gather around a talented busker on the skyway. It's why some of my favorite memories in college were sitting around on a lazy afternoon with my friends as we spun vinyl records. Music is an experience to share and the best music can bring joy to just about everyone. In fact, if you ask a musician what his (or her) primary purpose is, chances are that the response will be something about sharing the joy of performance. So while I'm delighted that everyone in my family can now take their tunes to go, I hope that we don't forget that the wonder of music is in the sharing.


kingdavid said...

Ahhh, the Classics, you can't beat them. Way to start your kids off right.

Night Writer said...

As a stocking stuffer for the Reverend Mother, I gave her a CD of iTunes entitled "What I Like About You"; a collection of songs that all describ her or our relationship. The songs were:

1. What I Like About You - The Romantics
2. Come On Get Higher - Matt Nathanson
3. She's So High - Tal Bachman
4. Iris - The GooGoo Dolls
5. With Arms Wide Open - Creed
6. Man Beside You - Steve Baskin
7. I Slept All Night By Lover - Greg Brown
8. If I Never Spend a Morning Without You - Andy Stewart
9. Good Morning Coffee - Greg Brown
10. Your Song - Elton John
11. Pretty Amazing Grace - Neil Diamond
12. Maybe I'm Amazed - Bryan Duncan version
13. In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
14. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley version
15. Storybook Love - Willy Deville
16. The Book of Love - Peter Gabriel version

I did another collection for her last Valentine's Day; I'll share that list and the meaning of those songs this February.

Mark Heuring said...

Thanks, kd. The more Beatles they hear, the better.

What a great idea, NW! I think I may need to do something like that for Mrs. D.