“Music is a moral law.” –Plato
01 Oct, 2012 - Jake Armerding
I love music because it can’t be conquered. No one will ever get to the end of music, solve it or master it, although it can be dumbed down.
I love music because it is only occasionally black and white. It deigns to be black and white only because it represents all colors, and black and white technically qualify as colors. Music has no more desire to be black or white than it does chartreuse.
I love music because no one should make it because they feel required to. I don’t mean musicians don’t have a responsibility to make it; rather, I mean anyone who isn’t making it because they love to, probably shouldn’t be. Music is there to be made, or not, just as you please. It is the opposite of bills, jogging, taxes, health insurance and laundry.
I love music because it’s such an easy way to get happy.
Music is good for you. What some people do to music can be bad for you, but music itself is good and does not require moderation. It is good for weekdays, the weekend, holidays, Sundays, cloudy days, sunny days, fast days, slow days, work or play, alone or with friends, home or traveling, relaxed or serious, weddings and funerals and Tuesdays, year-round. And it is especially good for boredom.
I love music because it is free and unregulated, and anyone can make it.
I love music because it is never offended by incompetence. It’s very patient with my pitiful efforts.
I love music because it’s like food: after you’ve made it, you can enjoy it. Also like food, music can be complex or simple and still be delicious. It’s also better than food: once made, it can’t be used up.
I love music because no one can spoil it. It can be insulted and abused, adulterated and prostituted, but music is never harmed for good. It still exists in its pure form, ready and willing for somebody more humble to visit.
I love music because it is not of this earth. It has its own dimension. We hear ourselves in music, but we also hear something else, something we can’t quite wrap our minds around. It is beyond us.
I love music because it is better than I am. It is more beautiful, cleverer, stronger, truer and more creative, and I have to respect that.
But most of all, I love how music makes no sense. Life is terrible when it is made up only of things that make sense. In this way, music is both an escape from real life and a glimpse of what life is really all about. Music is impractical and pointless and absolutely vital to existence. Perhaps the best observation of this is found in Oscar Wilde’s introduction to his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, when he declares, “All art is quite useless.”
Music would never make the traditional list of basic human needs: food, shelter, clothing. But just see how long you could get along without it.