The Effect of Music


“If it is a language, music is a language of feeling. Musical rhythms are life rhythms, and music with tensions, resolutions, crescendos and diminuendos, major and minor keys, delays and silent interludes, with a temporal unfolding of events, does not present us with a logical language, but, it ‘reveals the nature of feelings with a detail and truth that language cannot approach’”(Langer, 1951, p. 199, original emphasis).

Music has been a big part of my life since I can remember. Growing up in a Hispanic household, my parents always had music (mostly Spanish) playing in the house, like Vicente Fernandez (the Elvis of Mexico), Jose Jose, Rocio Durcal, Gipsy Kings, etc. At family parties, there was always singing and dancing (salsa, cumbia, merengue, mariachi, etc.) - if you were one of the few sitting down, one of my aunts would be sure to drag your butt to the dance floor. My dad also absolutely loved The Beatles. If there’s any music group that reminds me of my dad, it’s The Beatles - he always had them playing in the car or at home, or while working in the garage. I know the lyrics to almost every Beatles song because of him. My siblings, who are 9 and 11 years older than me, also had a big influence on me music-wise. My brother would always listen to The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode; and my sister followed somewhat, but also listened the 90s R&B classics like Boyz 2 Men, Mariah Carey, etc. So I grew up listening to an insane variety of music! We all also played an instrument at some point in our lives (mine was the violin-woot!).

According to studies, there is a critical period for learning your musical tastes: It starts at 14 and peaks at 24. In early high school I mainly listened to Green Day, Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, and other lesser-known indie bands. I also went to local concerts with friends - bands that played every Friday night in my hometown. I’ve always had an affinity for music, and today I listen to a wide variety given my musical upbringing. As my opening quote states, “Musical rhythms are life rhythms”. For every part of my day - working out, cooking, working on design, driving -I listen to a different genre. From John Mayer, to The National, and Bonobo - my playlists are pretty random. I definitely lean towards indie/alternative rock and alt/electronic. When it comes to favorites, I have peculiar tastes! Here are my top all-time favorite albums, ones that I can still listen to straight through without really skipping a song:

The National - Boxer
Arcade Fire - Suburbs
Black Keys - Brothers
The Temper Trap - Conditions
Alt-j - An Awesome Wave
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires in the City
Bonobo - Black Sands (great one for productivity!)
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
Kings of Convenience - Riot on an Empty Street (good cooking music!)

What are some of your favorite artists or full albums?


Currently Reading: Educated: A Memoir and C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory
Currently on the Docket: Just signed on 2 more websites - about to wrap up 1!
Favorite Brand: VW (just got one). I’ve always loved their branding and early ads!