Issue 24

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Tom Clark
Photo: Tim Mossman
Music is the constant in the world, whether it’s a new guitar riff or a new band trying to live off what they can get and make it to the top, it will be there with us to float on.



Tom Clark

From Bach to Van Halen, music has been apart of everyday life and helps people deal with the trials and tribulations that life brings. The struggles are played out in song and the pain can be felt by anyone who listens.

Each person can hear a piece of music and can get a different message about what is being said, sometimes its death, sometimes its life and sometimes it’s the everyday man dealing with the struggles of providing for his family.

Music also shows us the thoughts and feelings of the day. Whether it is a corrupt foreign policy or a message of equality, it can be heard in the notes of each instrument that comes together to create the overall sound.

The soul can be seen in music, the composer lays down the framework for what he sees as truly what is hidden within his souls’ depths. Music is the epitome of what represents mankind’s current struggles, mind set and inner soul.

The struggles of mankind can be physical, mental or spiritual. A lot of physical struggles include the common man roaming all day and night on the box cars because he is too poor to do anything else, such as a lot of songs in the 1930's. Present day physical struggles include the fight for equality and the fight for justice among all people.

Bands like System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine have taken this style to new levels singing about politics and being active in campaigns for ideas of equality. The mental struggle can be seen in bands like Alexisonfire and Atreyu. Spiritual music can be seen in gospel and metal, through the lyrical content and the way that the music is put together.

Music defines itself through notes as each note is played. The notes could be melodic or harmonic and just this simple change in structure could ultimately change the overall warmth and feeling received from those notes. These two types contrast each other in a way that is good versus evil; bands like slayer throw down religion like it is a plague. Black Metal, which is a sub genre of metal, is based around the anti religion theme.

Spiritual music can affect our souls in negative and positive ways depending on what side of the fence you're on, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about religion. During the Vietnam war, music was played while the troops were heading into battle to calm them down and get them pumped up for the pending battles ahead. Though the struggles of man are told through song, the mind set of man is hidden in its background, where you have to be patient and listen closely to what is being said to understand.

Man’s mind set can be seen through music, by race, by religion and even by gender. You can see what each subset of humanity is feeling. By race we see that there is rap, rock, metal, and world music which to Canadians means that it’s just everything else outside of the predisposed genres.

Each song shows us how each type of music affects a certain race, or shows how it feels by its own medium. Each style is based off of the area, past and cultural roots. For Black Sabbath their music spoke to the working man and is the sound of the city which they are from.

For religion, gospel music and hymns represent what they see as hailing Jesus and God. Even with gender there is music that separates us, maybe a boy band or maybe opera, although a lot of the time these are just stereotypes. But even with all that separates us through styles and how we listen to music, music is still a common factor that unites us all in the struggle for something better or causes our imaginations to run wild.

The inner soul of man can be heard in music everyday when someone pours out their feelings and their state of mind into music. Bands like Nine inch nails deal with moral dilemmas, drug addictions, and even sex and is significant because many can identify with the themes presented; this can be heard in the song “Mr. Self Destruct” where Trent Reznor names off many vices and the following line after each of them is, “And I control you”.

This is saying that man is controlled by his wants and those that pleasure him and can't escape. These are the vices and inner workings of mankind, and amazingly can be told through song. With music like rap, greed seems to be something prevalent and how you need to have a nice car and big house. But of course this is a generalization of a genre, as there is also the speech of standing up for your rights and making sure that life is okay.

Of course, there is also metal which deals with the thoughts of death and even monsters exploding from your body. There are also dealings with the devil, but not necessarily from a Satanist point of view-more of the idea that we just want to know more and see him as we would on a day like Halloween. Rock and a lot of its sub genre deal with everyday life, just trying to deal with life as it’s handed to us.

Some people see music as just something that people just listen to and that teenagers take too seriously. But for some, it is their heart and soul and helps them deal with each day of life. It also helps some people concentrate and keep in mind what is important to them.

Music is the constant in the world, whether it’s a new guitar riff or a new band trying to live off what they can get and make it to the top, it will be there with us to float on. All we want to do is try and be who we were meant to be, and learn what was meant to be learnt, and someday say we did something important and thank music for helping us reach that goal.

More Childhood Memories:
Big Kids | Toboggan Rush | My Spot | The Good Ol' Days
Racing the Cars | The Dog I Teased | The Last Days for My Grandpa
First Time Being a Big Sister | Bike Riding | Snow Trek | Stitches on My Eyelid

Uncomfortable Moments:
Santa, Where's My Mommy | My Drowning Experience | Little Green Alien?
My First Kiss | First Kiss

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