The world is full of music lovers. Music seems to be the driving force for many. Working on a computer? stream the music; driving car? turn on the radio; travelling in train? portable media players to the rescue; music has become essential part of people’s lives. Every now and then I come across updates on social networking sites comparing music with oxygen. Sometimes I wonder why music is so important for so many people.
I don’t hate music. I do, sometimes, listen to songs, but I am not a music lover. I don’t have a favourite artist. I don’t even know many bands. When someone asks me about my favourite song I blurt out any decent song I can recall. Most of the people wouldn’t believe that I don’t have a single song in any of the devices I own. I think my lack of interest in music is due to two main factors: passive nature of the activity and distaste for multitasking.
Listening to music is a passive activity. You are just consuming content, there is no interaction (fiddling with equalizer doesn’t count). I find it difficult to sustain interest in passive activities. Be it attending non-interactive lectures or watching movies. I can’t just sit and be an observer. I have always liked to play with things. Probably that’s why I prefer games over movies. Reading seems to be an exception but it often involves visualizing, enough to keep me engaged.
The thing I have noticed about music lovers is they often use music as some kind of noise cancellation system. They like to listen to songs while they are doing some other task such as programming or driving. I can’t do that. I am not good at multi-tasking. I like to focus on one task at a time; anything in the background is a distraction. So even at the rare moments when I am listening to songs I don’t do anything else. I just sit and enjoy. In this age of multi-taskers, I am a single core system. I don’t really regret it. It allows me to focus better on things at hand, so it’s kind of useful.
Well, I do believe that music is an awesome form of art. When the chips are down, good music can cheer you up. Many things will get uninteresting if music is not part of them. Someday I will probably learn to play an instrument. I might even like it. But till then I will be an outlier in the world of music lovers.