Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Seyma Says: Music has no boundaries.

"Hey Seyma, what kind of music do you listen to?"

"Hmm, well I mostly listen to J-Pop (Japanese Pop)

"Wait, are you Japanese?"


"Do you understand it?"

"Not really, but I'm working on it..."

"Then why do you listen to it?"

Other very common questions are:
  • "Are you ashamed of your culture?"
  • "Do you want to be a different ethnicity?"

It angers me so when I encounter such an ignorant person like this one. Is it music's only purpose for us to be able to understand it completely? When I ask this question, the answer I usually get is: "No.. but what's the point of listening if you can't understand it?"

That's like asking, "What's the point of listening to a teacher's lesson when they're often saying things that we don't understand?"

The possible answers are the same:

  1. I want to learn.
  2. I like the challenge of having to piece things together.
  3. I enjoy it.

Now who the hek enjoys listening to a teacher talking for hours without having a clue on what they're saying? Well, let's not get into that. This blog post is about music not teachers.

Music is art. Art is diverse and abstract. Drawings, writing, photography, and graphics are all forms of art.

Is it so easy to understand every single piece of art? Can we extract the meaning of every painting as easy as dissecting every single sentence in a book? Can we comprehend the structure of every photo as easy as finding the propaganda of an abstract graphic?

The answers are no, no, and no. It's impossible to understand every single piece of art. Therefore, it's impossible to understand every piece of music you hear.

We understand a piece of music because we, as people, are able to interpret it on our own.

May it be a different genre or a different language, the only barrier that prevents us from understanding music is ourselves.

Music does not speak to us through language. It speaks to us through sound. And so in this case, language does not act as a barrier. Instead, it is one of many instruments alongside vocals and various other mechanisms that help create it.

Is it so uncommon for someone to listen to music that they don't completely understand language-wise? Is it so unusual for someone to be listening to music that's not common in their area?

Just because I listen to music in a language other than my own doesn't mean that I'm ashamed of my culture or ethnicity. My reason is because I love being exposed to different languages and cultures. I can learn many things about them just by listening to their music.

So I hope you understand my points:

  • Music does not have any boundaries.
  • Language, culture, religion, and heritage should and does not matter.
  • We should not judge others based on their music preference, no matter how 'unusual' and uncommon it may be.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you Seyma. I listen to just a little bit of K-Pop, but my sisters listen to it more often than I do. My parents often get angered at them because they feel like they're betraying their culture or something but that's just ridiculous. There's nothing wrong with listening to different music, even if you don't understand it.