In our modern world, it seems like everyone fills their days with music. Whether they are driving, exercising, cooking, or relaxing, listening to the radio, playing music from a speaker, or using headphones or earbuds; the people of our day and age listen to music constantly.
Music has become a mundane part of the twenty first century first-world lifestyle but our relationship with music wasn’t always like this. For a long time, listening to music required a live performance. To hear music, you or someone you knew would have to play an instrument or you would have to make out outing to see it performed. Nowadays we have music playing in our homes all the time; imagine how wealthy you would have had to have been hundreds of years ago to have music playing in your house all the time. It’s an interesting thought.
So why was there this switch? What happened in our society to so drastically change our relationship with music?
It was the invention of music playing devices combined with an increase in music being made. From phonographs to radios to walkmans to CD players to cell phones, we have been listening to recorded music for about a century. And now, thanks to modern technology and streaming services, we have the option to surround ourselves with music all the time.
It’s harder to truly appreciate music when it constantly surrounds us. It’s just like anything else: if you have too much of something, it becomes repetitive, boring, and unwanted. Music is meant to evoke emotion, to inspire thought, not to be background noise twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to listen to music in a informal kind of way when I’m doing homework or hanging out with friends. I just think that it is also important to make time to really listen to music, and appreciate it too.