Monday, May 28, 2012

Music and the Savage Beast

I'm a Classically trained violinist and pianist. I teach Classical piano and violin for a living. Normally, people I meet assume that my favourite genre of music is Classical (which is sort of true... I enjoy Contemporary Classical). The truth is, I listen to whatever my mood takes me toward. Currently, I listen to a lot of alternative, alt metal, indie, and metalcore.

Classical doesn't really fit into the picture right now, so it made me wonder... is that why my life is topsy turvy? I've always been concerned that listening to metalcore has been slowly damaging my brain cells, or has been raising my blood pressure, or (insert any damage you can think of). 

So I did some research and the results proved to be .... surprisingly quite in my favour! 

This wonderful 2007 article in the Telegraph actually describes it as being a "comfort for the bright child". The angst and themes of alienation actually help highly intelligent children who have been fringed by their peers to deal with pressure. It reminds me of the release I feel every time I listen to blessthefall or Alesana. Instead of stressing me out more, my metalcore is actually helping me to destress! 

More research by a couple of folks from New Orleans did some study on the effects of hard rock, Classical and no music on people and discovered nothing conclusive. Ok, so it's not quite in my favour, but it's not against! And think of all those times you've been told that loud, angry music is bad for you. mean to say... all the authority figures in my life have been wrong and metal HASN'T been ruining my life? 

One of my earliest memories of rock and society came down to the Columbine High shooting of 1999. I was a teenager then, a hardcore fan of Linkin Park (don't judge!), and I felt really strongly when experts tried to pin the cause of the massacre onto metal bands like Rammstein. I felt so strongly that I wrote a short story of a parallel fictional incident, which highlighted all the socioeconomic disadvantages the students had, and isolation and social problems they faced. Their only salvation was their music, and it kept them alive for those 18 years. (And I knew this all at the age of... 13... shame on those experts!) 

So I'm going to keep listening to my metalcore and alt metal. I once meditated to the sweet sounds of Chevelle, and it was amazing. It was so moving that I was in tears by the end of the session. And I would do it again too. 

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