COLUMN: Music provides memories

Martin Chang, Opinions Editor

What is the power of music?

It captures moments in time. It gives people something tangible to remember when they look back in their lives.

But it is so much more than a picture or an object you can put in a shoebox.

It captures an emotional memory, something that captures what you felt, what you believed about the world. It just stays with people.

For the past few months a song by the band “Fun.” has seemed to stay permanently on the radio.

It’s called  “We are Young.” I originally kind of liked it because of its catchy chorus, but now I’ve come to love the song.

It’s the type of music I’m talking about.

This is a song that’s going to stick with people. It has that inspirational, highly emotive feeling that will mean a lot to people.

For millions of people in America, their memories of the spring and summer of 2012 will be forever connected to this song.

When I think of all of the proms, the first loves, all those small moments that make up people’s lives, that will be connected to the song, I smile.

I smile because I know that the power of music will sing through the song. It will make those lives so much better.

It will give people a real, solid thing to hold in their heart, something to make the colors of their memories that much brighter.

Music can also do something for the darker side of the human experience.

The power of the distorted sounds of alternative and punk rock has shocked me out of countless funks, taken me out of the darkest mental holes.

When my world gets heavy and I feel that it’s hard to go on, it’s the passion of Nirvana’s music that gives me the strength to go on to the next day.

In Kurt Cobain’s distorted guitar notes and everyman voice, I can hear and know that I’m not the only one that has gone through this pain.

It gives me strength to fight on to the next day.

What I get out of Nirvana’s music is another thing that music gives people.

When people also go through something in their lives, loss of loved ones, devastating breakups, those feelings can really pile up and seem insurmountable.

It’s at these times people turn to music.

Music becomes a friend, something to console you, something that you can keep inside and make you feel less lonely.

It’s that much easier to get through those hard patches when you know you are not alone in what you are feeling.

It’s why people growing up seek so much solace in music. The pain and challenges of adolescence can make you feel like you are a freak, that you are the only one going through things.

It’s in the lyrics and music in bands like Green Day that help them get through those hard times.

Their songs of boredom and lack of self-motivation tell kids growing up that they’ll make it. I know it helped me.

Green Day is not the only band with this power, I just point out Green Day because it’s a band I know. It can be any band really.

Music is just one of those things that really mean something to people. It is the sounds and feelings that make up people’s lives.

It is the most human art form because it deals with the feelings that make up the human experience.