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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

arts music

COLUMN: Sharing music is a love language


There’s a huge green vinyl case that sits across from my bed, next to the record player. My grandpa used to lug this exact case from college to home each summer and share his new albums with the kids in town. My siblings and I have spent hours sitting on my floor, examining the stacks of records in his collection. Some of these albums are more than sixty years old, having been enjoyed by countless people before us over the years. 

To me, inheriting my grandpa’s record collection has always felt like a compelling act of love. It’s like we inherited the soundtrack that played over his entire life, and I can’t think of anything much more personal than that. 

The significance of his record collection reminds me of the ways in which music has been the backbone of some of the most profound relationships in my life, and I believe it all comes down to the true intimacy of sharing music with another person. 

When I say, “sharing music,” I mean two things. 

First, I am referring to the act of learning what kinds of music someone listens to on their way to class, while they’re cooking breakfast or when they miss home. You might share which album your dad played for you when you were little or a song you’ve been playing non-stop for a week straight. The other type of “sharing music” is the act of physically experiencing music, whether it be going to a concert with someone or teaching them new chords on a guitar. 

My best friend from elementary school used to come over and we would make tracks on GarageBand and now we have endless songs made by eight-year-olds to reminisce about that time of our childhood spent together. She continues to be one of my greatest friends, and we are connected through our love of music to this day. 

I attribute much of our friendship’s depth to our initial bond through music, even if it was just making stupid songs on a computer in my living room. 

The power of music is evident in the way that certain songs are attached to people I have loved and with whom I’ve had the opportunity to share music. I keep a playlist with these songs because it serves as a place for these people and experiences to be documented, even if they no longer hold a place in my life.  

The playlist is a peculiar mix because it's representative of the people from each phase of my life. 

I’ve spent nights playing guitar with my friends on patios, getting ready to the sound of our collaborative playlists and standing at crowded music venues on the weekends. The moments kept safest in my memory all seem to have their own distinct soundtracks. Where there has been love in my life, sharing music has been a part of it. 

When a person takes the time to share the music that they love with someone else, it reminds me of the case of records sitting in my room. Sharing music is like offering parts of your life experience to another person to explore.

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