Throughout my life, music has always been a major influence. It has the power to change my mood when I'm feeling down, but the thing I find most intriguing about music is that it doesn't always end up improving your mood: like all forms of art, it imitates life, which is not always portrayed in a positive light. The musicians that I admire most have the versatility to induce several different emotional responses in the same piece. This quality is present in most of the wide variety of music I listen to, from Russian composer Dmiti Shostakovich, to Chicago jazz band Tortoise, to California pop/rock sextet Mr. Bungle. Music is far more than the sum of its parts. It can be thought of in a highly mathematical sense, which leaves one in awe of the seemingly endless combinations of rhythm, tone and intervals that a good musician can produce. Admiring music in this way is a lot like admiring an intricate snowflake, or shapes in the clouds; it's beautiful, but at the same time very scientific, based on patterns. All of the aforementioned qualities of music have one thing in common: they can be defined with numeric, specific values. However, the greatest aspect of music lies elsewhere, and can not be specifically defined with words. It is the reaction that each individual has when they are confronted with their favorite (or least favorite) kind of music. There aren't many words to describe the emotional reaction I get when I hear certain songs, even those that don't have the "complicatedness" of some of the more skillful artists. Music can be viewed from many different perspectives.
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