The last few weeks, I’ve been exploring the little things that make up a big, wonderful, refined lifestyle. Filling our lives with inspirational moments and things is the easiest way towards a refined life. We already discussed the books we read and the television we watch, so now I want to look at what we hear – more specifically, the music we listen to.
In my opinion, music is an extremely personal connection. The power of music can be awe-inspiring. Anyone who has listened to Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” should agree. For me, I was raised on Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead and Joe Cocker and we didn’t listen to popular rap music in the house. My CDs of choice included Blink 182’s Self Titled, Sum 41’s Does This Look Infected?, Nirvana, The Offspring, and Weezer.
I know, your jaw is on the floor. I. Know. Today, my tastes have modified slightly to include the Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, and so on. This shocks most of my friends because refined, conservative Christine likes to go to punk rock shows.
I would never suggest we change our taste in music. I could never live in a world without Alex Turner crooning into my headphones. When I reflected on how to make my music choices more refined, I decided the best thing to do was add, not subtract.
Now, I’ve started adding classical, jazz, opera, and swing music to my everyday routine. Music makes every experience more alive. Instead of reading in silence, I play a Bach compilation. When I am cooking breakfast, I enjoy 1920s jazz. I’m still true to my musical roots – when I do a 15-minute tidy up, I put on an upbeat playlist that gets me dancing around – usually a punky alternative mix.
Here are some other ideas for a new musical experience:
- Set your alarm to Mozart
- Play some fun salsa music while you get ready in the morning
- Put on a 1940s radio station at lunchtime
- Try different operas on your ride home
- Listen to Chopin at dinnertime
- Parisian accordion albums go nicely with dessert
- Relax to the sounds of monks chanting before bed (seriously – try this!)
We all have music that we absolutely love, which touches our souls and our psyches in a magical, wonderful way. Here’s my question – is there music that is just too unrefined? A certain Nicki Minaj song comes to mind. Is a good beat and catchy tune worth spreading an unsophisticated, and sometimes harmful, message? Are shocking, scandalous lyrics worthy of our refined lifestyles? What do you think?