This week’s assigned film, Alive Inside, showed people re-discovering music that had been meaningful to them at a much earlier time in their life, and explored how music deeply shapes our memories and identities. Although the film focused on dementia patients, music has this power for all of us, helping form our sense of self, and creating powerful shared experiences with others.

Imagine yourself 50 years from now, and choose two songs, one that you think you will remember as being  meaningful from this current time, and another that was meaningful to you during your childhood or an earlier period of life. They could be songs that you especially enjoyed or identified with, or that you associate with an important memory, place, or people.

For each song, write a paragraph briefly answering the following 2 questions:

1  Why do you think the song is especially meaningful for you?

2  How do you think those meanings relate to song’s sonic qualities? (i.e., not just the lyrics/words)

In other words, in addition to telling us why the song matters for you, try to connect that emotional experience of the song with the way it sounds. In describing sound, you do not have to use the terms discussed in the Levitin reading, though you may do so if that helps. Describing the sound of music can be difficult, but just do your best to listen carefully to the way the song sounds, and then say something about how you think that affects what it means for you.

Label the 2 paragraphs as “Current song” and “Earlier song,” and provide a link to each song if available. Also, please do not criticize anyone else’s musical taste or feel at all embarrassed about your own! We each experience music in our own ways.

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