Sunday, August 2, 2009

I'll take the emotional music category for $200, Alex

When I got to the local pub for breakfast this morning, I briefly sat with a man who was paying his bill. I wanted his table, so I asked if I could sit down. He said yes and we chatted for just a few minutes. He said he had previously interviewed Pat Murphy of Gaelic Storm who (he said) thinks music should not be categorized as Rock, Celtic, Classical, etc. He thinks it should be categorized by how it makes you feel. Not an uncommon way of looking at music, but it brings me to a post I had in mind all weekend.

Why do I like this music?

I like what is called Celtic, Gaelic, Irish music, yes. Yes, I do. But not solely for the reason you may think.

I like the way it makes me feel sometimes, but it is as frequently sad as it is happy and I prefer music that makes me happy. There is a certain sound I listen for, so not all of it qualifies even if it is genuinely Irish. It's the sound of elementary school and it reminds me of my dad, too. First, my dad used to listen to bagpipes and bluegrass. Also, I went to an elementary school for about 4 years in Dayton, Ohio that, in my memory, spent a good portion of every year teaching us about ... well, about our heritage, I guess. We learned square dancing and reels and jigs (like many kids) and our music teacher spent a lot of time teaching us Appalachian folk music and the art teacher taught stuff the same way - little dolls and crafts from Appalachia. Every year we had an event on the school grounds in which we did pioneer/Appalachia type things. I always wondered why and figured it was because our school was Shenandoah Elementary, but I never really knew for sure. I remember dyeing clothing in goldenrod flowers and baking bread and various other skills. I remember the music, mostly. I suppose a lot of it came from Ireland.

2 comments:

Aunt Becky said...

I think I like the explanation of emotional music. It seems to fit more than the standard labels, although, of course, it would be subjective. But, I suppose, what ISN'T?

dsmcaron said...

So true, the older I get the less objective everything seems. I have considered spendy a rainy/snowy day realigning my iPod playlists although they are generally lined up this way to begin with.