When I’m at home and I want to listen to music, I almost never use headphones. I play my music for everyone to hear. (Which isn’t actually very loud—I do want to keep my hearing past the age of twenty-two.)
My brothers, on the other hand, almost always use their headphones. (Which is strange, because we all like the same music.) The moment they play music, the headphones come on, and then they’re in their own world. It’s like they don’t want to talk anymore or anything.
Which is probably the point.
As I see it, for my brothers, music is a personal thing. It’s a hideout, a resting place, a place where they can unwind and relax—preferably without anyone else bothering them. Basically, it’s a form of retreat. And they’re not the only ones.
But to many others, and many cultures, music is a form of communion. Traditional music is played in during cultural events, you have campfire sing-a-longs, and almost anywhere that there’s dancing involved, there’s also music.
The same medium, and yet wildly different ways of enjoying it. In one view, music is just another way for people to bond, and in another, music is the end goal. Personally, my enjoyment of music comes from the prevention of awkward silences. (Just kidding.)
What do you think music is?