Music in every day life

Below is a log of all the music I was exposed to in my day to day life for a week.  It was interesting to notice just how much music is around us all the time, although we are often not aware of it.



Purpose and my reaction

Telephone call  Jazz  This upbeat, ‘happy’ music was played to me over the phone while on hold.  Normally this sort of music goes quite unnoticed, although I can sometimes get irritated when the same short segment of music is repeated over and over again in this situation.
Ice cream van  Children’s popular song A fairly simple purpose – to let people know the ice cream van has arrived!  A very mundane every day occurrence that normally I wouldn’t even notice.  It can sometimes have the effect of bringing back memories from my childhood.
In the gym  Pop The purpose seems to be to motivate people for their exercise routine, but the majority of people bring their own music to listen to anyway.  I not only don’t enjoy the music played there, but can’t wait to leave to get away from it!  You can also frequently hear several different songs playing at the same time (on the gym floor and in the studio classes), which I find extremely distracting.
Aeroplane  Ambient On a flight back from a short trip to Amsterdam, I noticed music being played on the plane as it was being prepared for take-off.  I think this is designed to relax and calm passengers, and I’ve described it as ‘ambient’ as it was very much background music, extremely repetitive with not much in the way of melodies that you could extract from it.
TV  Theme I’m not a big TV watcher, the main music I noticed in this context was the intros to programs such as the BBC news.  This sort of music sets the mood for the particular program it is written for, so in the case of the BBC news it has a very urgent, serious feel.
Radio Classical My main exposure to radio music is in the car on the way to work (often radio 3).  My experience of the music is very much affected by the situation – e.g. whether there is somebody with me, or if I am thinking about the day ahead.  Sometimes it is just in the background and I am not too aware of exactly what is being played, and other times I am listening quite intently.
Theatre  Operatic Donizetti’s opera ‘L’elisir d’amore’ is a comedy, designed to entertain the audience.  The music is an essential part of the performance as in opera almost all of the story is conveyed through song.  I really enjoyed listening to it, and the music was at different times lyrical, emotional and comic.  I also particularly enjoyed the live aspect of the music; being close to the performers and seeing their expressions and movements adds another dimension.
Mobile phones  All sorts I must have heard at least half a dozen different mobile phone ring tones.  They have a very simple purpose, but these days you can find almost any kind of music being used, from TV show themes to classical melodies.  The effect on me is often one of annoyance, especially if I hear the same tune being repeated over and over again!
Orchestra rehearsal Classical This is one situation where I am actually taking part in making the music – in this case as a cellist in my local symphony orchestra.  It requires a much more focused relationship with the music, involving both technical concerns (what fingering to use etc) and interpretation (where are the climaxes, how loudly or softly to play, and the interaction between the different sections of the orchestra).  This is one of the most rewarding experiences of music for me.

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