The Mythology of Music

Running Lights – Sally Purrington
Shakira Qian

Remembering creates meaning.1

We expect pleasing haromines,

not      j                                                                                                  o

                 a                                                                                      s        n

                                r                                                                    s                a

                         r                                                                      i                           n

                                          i                   g                           d                                   c

                                                   n                                                                               e     …2

But it’s not just about the good.

Music can provoke other feelings, too,

such as  



                                     or even                                           ANGER. 2

Composers and producers walk a delicate tightrope, needing to tweak expectations to just the right degree. 2

Correct beats and measures?

Good note placement and chords?

What type of genre are we looking for?

And so on.

But it’s not the whole story. 2

Connectivity will replace repetition. 1

What seems like “nostalgia”

                                           might just be a form of 

                                                                               low-grade experience

                                                                                                                   that amplifies the value

                                                                               of the listening event. 1

                                       Because that seems to

make the most sense. 1

Music evolved as a social glue for the species.

But it’s growing more and more important to create one’s own cocoon of sound. 3

How could that be the case

When listening to music


our ability

to recall other stimuli? 3

And any pop song


overall performance 

for both extraverts and introverts? 3

Is it because what

music steals

in acute concentration,

it returns to us

in the form of good vibes? 3

Science says we’re full of it. 3

In a wreck of people

and activity

Two plastic pieces connected by a wire create                            an



                                                                                                          privacy. 3

A small, invisible fence around our minds. 3

And a shield is created.

That’s the triumph of headphones,

for they make their own rules of etiquette. 3

Although music evolved as social glue for the species,

headphones allow music to be enjoyed friendlessly. 3

An oasis of privacy

in a public space. 3


1 Klosterman, Chuck. “Nostalgia on Repeat.” ” Nostalgia on Repeat, 6 Oct. 2011,

2 Ball, Philip. “Will We Ever… Understand Why Music Makes Us Feel Good?” BBC Future, BBC, 18 Apr. 2018,

3 Thompson, Derek. “How Headphones Changed the World.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 30 May 2012,