“Vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.”

Story Time:

I grew up listening to music it was also my escape. Both my parents enjoy listening to music yet both have very distinct tastes. I myself have my unique taste in music. I did not want to be the typical person that goes through musical phases but I did so without realizing it.

The one bedroom apartment would get filled with music so easily after my dad installed the surround sound and subwoofer. At times I felt like I needed to escape the music and hear silence. My parents like doing everything with music. Instead of an alarm my dad would wake my brother and I up with songs from the radio until I protested and said that was a rude way to wake up. I guess I had very convincing argument or he was shocked I brought it up but the following day he used a cellphone alarm. That morning I woke up bittersweet.

While I walked or took public transportation to my middle school I listened to music. My mom used to drop us off and take away my music with her. One morning while I waited for the train to come I was listening to my Walkman. Since it was a fifteen minute commute I only brought along one CD and it was inside the player. That morning I chose a CD my aunt from Ecuador made for me. I remember being taken away by the songs and singing very low, almost inaudible. Then the inevitable happened, one of my favorite songs came up, “Livin La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin. I remember I put the volume up and still singing under my breath, towards the last chorus my mom tapped me and told me I was yelling the song’s lyrics. I blushed as red as a tomato and turned off my Walkman yet I kept my headphones on pretending I could not hear the fellow passengers’ laughter.

That Christmas my dad gifted me an IPod Classic (fifth generation), which I still have and has nostalgia downloaded in it. I remember unwrapping it and feeling amazing he knew I was tired of having to haul around a Walkman, let alone a portable CD case. It was then that I was able to make my own playlists and listen to a variety of artists. I kept a log of what I liked to listen to the most throughout the years. This year I was into rock, punk-rock mainly. My playlists included bands like Paramore, All American Rejects, Matchbook Romance, My Chemical Romance; and all had one thing in common, the songs included the emo teen theme.

Throughout my short college experience I got to grow my repertoire. I met people who listened to things that I had never heard of and never thought I would like. I was oppressed musically, along with the fear of losing your child to one of the poorest neighborhood, my parents did not approve of hip hop let alone rap. This was not just limited to the English version but also the Spanish. Much to their surprise I enjoyed the Spanish kind when I was young and now as I grew older enjoy the English kind.

It was a weird transition for me as I was still in the emo-punk rock phase and then I switched almost completely to Hip Hop and Rap. I enjoy the complexity of the beats, the thought provoking lyrics. What I enjoy the most is the fact that I wanted to stay away from it as I was raised to think of it as being unmoral yet it this genre sends such powerful messages that mostly go un-noticed.

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