Editorial Notebook

Universal language

I believe that music is the ultimate expression of emotion, not just for those that perform it, but also the listener that indulges him or herself in it. Just from the genre of music that that person is listening to, you can understand what kind of mood or stage of life they’re in. English, which has a Germanic root, is not the most musical or romantic sounding of languages. Therefore, most Americans, myself included, resort to music to let ourselves go from whatever issue or matter we’re dealing with at the moment.

When I was in middle school, nine long years ago, I mainly played video game music songs, classical music, and jazz. During that time, I didn’t really know myself, and I kind of just went with the flow. Socially inept and bullied for my awkwardness, I retreated into my video games and respective music to get away from it all. Classical music and jazz gave me structure; they gave me logic throughout those upsetting times. It helped me cope with the environment, and I think kept me from going insane. But middle school still scarred me, and I’m sure many RPI students can relate.

However, where you all may have chugged along and went on to high school without much problem, I was still Disturbed (haha, get it?). Though everyone around me changed and stopped picking on me, I hadn’t gotten over how I was treated in middle school. So, as before, I resorted to heavier music—metalcore, heavy metal, punk, and the like—to find refuge. Avenged Sevenfold, Dir en Grey, A Day to Remember, especially their album What Separates Me From You, were what I listened to regularly. That’s right, I was a real stereotypical, hormonal, angsty teenager. Go figure. Now for those that don’t listen to this type of music, I really think that it spoke to me and released my frustration well. But you know what? While this music holds a special place in my heart (and ears), it’s from a different time in my life, and I’m [under and] over it. Since then, through high school and thanks to my music, I’ve grown up and calmed down quite a bit.

Cue college. Now a sophomore, almost a junior, I’ve massively expanded my musical tastes. I’m pretty much open to all genres of music, except country—sorry, not sorry. Old skool, hip hop, pop music, electronic music, I listen to it all. And I think that this reflects upon my outlook on life. I’m much more calm now and am open to all points of view. I’m not saying that I’m the most mature of people, but I rely on my composure to deal with stressing situations. I always tell myself, “Chris, ‘Life Goes On’”(Tupac’s not dead!).

Music’s a way for people to escape. A way to express their emotions. A way to grow up. For me and maybe one of you out there, it was all three. Music is the universal language. And that’s real “Poetic Justice.”