CAMPBELL: Music libraries can tell us much about a person

Carlie_newIt’s often said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I disagree. If you want a window to my soul, you should probably stop staring at my eyes, because that’s a little creepy, and take a peek at my iTunes library instead.

Music is, to me, one of the most expressive forms of art and something many people would find it very hard to live without. Just take a look around campus. How many people walk to class with headphones in their ears? If you catch me on a really good day, I’m probably singing along. I always say my iPod is one of the three things I would take with me to a deserted island, because life without music seems incredibly boring to me.

Let’s take a little tour through my music collection and see what we can learn about me, shall we? There are about 2,500 songs currently on my computer, so there is a lot to discover.

The first interesting item we encounter is my “Top 25 Most Played” playlist. This is something that iTunes does on its own – keeping track of the songs I listen to most often and then embarrassingly lumping them all together into one list for people to laugh at while they are snooping through my library. What you’ll find here is that I like Cat Stevens and Iron and Wine equally and that I spent just about my entire freshman year of college listening to Mika’s album “The Boy Who Knew Too Much.” And now you know too much about this playlist, so let’s move on.

What we find next are a bunch of very cryptically titled lists that all start with an odd combination of punctuation marks, and three in a row entitled “!,” “!!” and “!!!.” No, I am not hiding secret messages in my music; I just really wanted these playlists to be at the very top of the list. You’ll also find one called “aaaaaaaaaa” just below the hieroglyphics.

Next are two of my absolute favorites, appropriately titled “Awesome #1” and “Awesome #2.” These were CDs I burned for myself to play in my car. What you find on Number 1 is a lot of laid-back, calming music (more Cat Stevens and Iron and Wine, obviously) that I like to listen to when I need to calm down or when I’m feeling relaxed and lazy. Number 2 is probably very similar to Barney Stinson’s “Get Psyched” mix. It’s all rise, baby. What you’ll find here is a lot of very loud rock music, including some of the greatest by Springsteen and The Who. A more recent favorite, Fun., makes an appearance, along with Queen, and we might even Come Sail Away with Styx on this playlist. All rise.

Scrolling through the rest of the library, you’ll find a lot of Broadway soundtracks and Disney music. Because I kind of feel like someone in our generation who doesn’t have at least one Disney song in their iTunes library might not even have a soul. You’ll also find a playlist called “You will make it through finals week 2011.” I’m not sure for which finals week of 2011 this playlist was intended. There are a couple Christmas songs, but knowing me, that doesn’t prove much.

Music is timeless and also very telling of the time in which it is created. The music a person listens to tells a lot about the person who is doing the listening. Music means very different things to different people, but it always has some sort of meaning. Music adds meaning to the movies and television shows we watch and can even add meaning to our lives. What does the music you enjoy say about you?

Caroline Campbell is a senior in the College of Communication with a major in journalism and a minor in history. Email her at caroline.campbell@marquette.edu.

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