Tuesday, August 1, 2023

FKR: Music

            My first reaction to this chapter was that I’m 99% sure I’ll offend any music teacher out there when I say that my music theory isn’t as boring as talking about half-notes and treble clefs.  So to all you music teachers out there, I’m sorry.

            Anyway, apologies aside, I was certainly onto something on this chapter, but compared to what I know now about this subject it is much deeper than when I first wrote this. This could be because music is easier to have now. When I wrote this chapter YouTube was something that wasn’t widely known, and I never had any device capable of playing music outside of a portable CD player in my car. It wasn’t until 2011 that I got an iPhone that could actually play music and since music has taken on a larger role in my life.

            I’m still protective of my music choices because I was right in this chapter that music is a pathway to the associative memory system. If I admit that I like a song it’s like letting you in on all the memories associated with that song so for instance if I said I like song X then you’ll know song X equals airport Y when I was going to race Z and then you’ll know every thought, word, and action from that trip and it’s not like anything odd, weird, or wacky happened on that trip, but in my mind, being all or nothing, there’s no end to the amount of knowledge you’ll have about me.

            With the advent of the 256GB phone I now have 3,000+ songs on my phone and many of them are, well, to take a phrase from the previous paragraph, “odd, weird, and wacky.” The oddest selection I have on my phone is a 10 minute remix of the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish ad. You know the one, the fish is on the wall singing, “give me back that Filet-O-Fish, give me that fish…” To anyone that has heard it you’ll know 10 seconds is too much, but try 10 minutes! FUN! Anyway, funny story about that song, just over a year ago I was in southwest Missouri many years ago with a coworker, and I was riding with her to a presentation and this coworker loved giving me a hard time. It’s all in good fun so I thought I’d return the favor by slyly starting that song on my phone without warning. I did so and she was unfazed by it. She simply gave a half smile and said, “Aaron, if that song isn’t silenced within a few seconds I’m dropping you off on highway 60 right here and you can find your own way to your presentation. If you don’t make it I’ve seen your presentation enough that I can do it. Got it?” I did, and I believed her! Then she asked me, because she knows about this associative memory system, “Aaron, what on earth does that song represent and right there the defenses went up and I uttered a half-believable, “I don’t know” because again, if I give just one percent of the story she’s going to know the whole story and then some.

            This chapter may seem small, or almost irrelevant, but what it represents is much larger than music itself and maybe someday I’ll give a full rewrite to this chapter to give it the impact it deserves.

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