The Power and Beauty of Music



Music conjures the pathway to a world of creativity and bliss.

Janet Charqueno, Club Member

I’d like to believe that I am a connoisseur of music; in reality, music taste is subjective. It varies with genre and artist, along with one’s ethnic background and events that demarcate one’s life journey. In my eyes, no one has superior music taste than another individual. Everyone is entitled to listen to whatever their heart desires.

Memories of past events characterize who we are and who we will come to be. More often than not, our life journey is reflected in the music we listen to; they are tethered together. Everyone has a playlist of their life.

Flashbulb memories are highly detailed accounts or ‘snapshots’ of a moment that is deeply linked to a strong emotion. It is a memory that triggers the amygdala: the sector of the brain that is responsible for emotional arousal, whether that be positive or negative. For many, or at least for me, a chunk of my flashbulb memories is each assigned to a song.

The analogy of a flashbulb is that we can recall precise details of the setting we were in when the memory occurred. That pertains to our location, our feelings, and our physical state at that particular moment. For me, that flashbulb, that indicator that ignites the recollection of such a memory, is the blend of fixed and distinct pitches, paired with patterns of sound and silence that conjure a song.

Timestamps of one’s life can easily be confined into a song. The melody that transports me to my eighth-grade graduation flashbulb memory is Eye of The Tiger by Survivor. The first novel that completely shattered my heart and led me to cry a river is Atonement by Ian McEwan. It delineates how one lie can negatively modify the timeline for true lovers in a time of war. The tune that I designated to this further intricate diegesis is Another love by Tom Odell. While No Crezcas Mas by Tercer Cielo marks my passage from girlhood to womanhood that is symbolized by the number fifteen.

Most significantly, music holds the power to shine light in the darkest of times. There were periods in my life where I was enclosed by all-consuming darkness and immersed strictly in my academics. I was detached from life and became a victim of academic validation, yearning to obtain a purpose in life. Music boosted me onto a higher cloud where rays of light shattered the blackness charged with self-doubt.

Envision the soft sway of branches against a window accompanied by delicate rainfall that begins to pick at the layer of desolation tainting your soul. A sense of tranquility infiltrates your mind, smothering any insecurities and worries. For a moment, your headspace is no longer running a mile a minute. It is at ease like an ocean that gently breaks against the shore under illuminating clouds. This is what happens when one listens to music. The melody brings you under a wave of bliss, feeling weightless yet empowered. With your eyes closed, you float with the progression of the song. Up and away you start to go, slowly wandering through clear blue skies.

The beauty and power of music are that it has no restrictions or particular ways of interpretation. It all comes down to a dispositional or rather individual outlook. A conviction that music taste and analysis are products of personal meaning and identity.