I don’t know about you, but I love music A LOT.
I love listening to music. I love to sing. I love to hum.
Music can make me feel certain feelings. Or relive certain memories.
And I think it runs in the family. My grandpa, to this day, still listens to music from the ’60s and ’70s every day on his walk. My dad loves the ’80s, ’90s, and current pop music. He keeps up even with Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande.
When I was still driving a lot (once upon a time), I loved listening to the radio. But now I relied on Spotify to find me my next favorite songs.
Every Monday, they would give me the Discover Weekly playlist. Then on Friday, I would get my Release Radar. Sometimes I would add several songs to my ‘Liked Songs’ list, but most times, I had no luck.
Spotify’s algorithm works in line with what the science says, that our brains search for recognizable patterns. They recommend us songs similar to what we’re currently listening to, that’s why the algorithm becomes more accurate the more songs you like. We’re basically teaching Spotify to act like us, to find us the songs we would like, based on our history.
The whole experience is so convenient. So easy. Hit play. Hit pause. Skip. Add to playlist. Share playlist. Search for similar songs.
Compare that to when my dad was a kid.
This was in the 1970s.
My dad was still 10 or 11 years old. He did many things we don’t do anymore now. He wrote and received letters (actual letters) from his pen-pals, he biked hours and hours to watch movies.
He also enjoyed listening to the radio. Sometimes he called the radio station and submitted song requests.
No, it’s not that simple actually.
He had to wait for the time window that the radio started to receive requests. Then, because he didn’t have a phone at home, he had to go to the nearest coin-operated payphone (about 1.5 km from his home). With his (I imagine a much higher-pitched) kid voice and a 10-rupiah coin in hand, he dialed the radio station number and submitted his song request.
Two hours later, the song he requested would be played on the radio, and his name would be mentioned as well.
Listening to music is proven to generate dopamine. Unless you’re a music anhedonic, you’d get a dopamine kick from listening to your favorite songs.
Today it’s easy to put your favorite music on, but it’s not always been the case.
I wonder how the different experiences and efforts needed to just simply listen affect the appreciation and enjoyment you get from music.
How about you? Do you love music?