What Example of Music has had a Significant Effect on You? | Coursera Community
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What Example of Music has had a Significant Effect on You?

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Has there been a special piece of music that has had a tremendous effect on your life?
Perhaps when you listen to it, it conjures up memories of the past, of a time and place, a person. You can hear this music and smile . Or maybe this piece of music has influenced you to become a musician yourself, to learn how to play an instrument? Or a piece of music that had a message so powerful that it moved you?
Please share such an example with us and tell us why this has had such a profound effect on your life.
You can share more than one. I'm not sure I can choose only one!

15 replies

I actually maintain a playlist of "theme song" music that has spoken to me with ideals and attitudes I wanted to embody, like Skillet's Undefeated or Imagine Dragons' Whatever It Takes.

Other times I've found appropriate music for a given situation, like Jon Bon Jovi Living on A Prayer around the middle of the semester, for the chorus "We're halfway there, living on a prayer. Take my hand, we'll make it I swear, living on a prayer".

One really funny instance was when I got Avicii's Wake Me Up (When It's All Over) stuck in my head the week before finals. This was actively scary because I absolutely couldnt just sleep until it was over, I had six papers to write and then a round of tests! Thankfully it ended up being replaced by Fall Out Boy's Phoenix, which was actually fairly encouraging.
Hi @Carson Elmore , good to see you here! You have shown us how music has helped you get through your life. The “Wake Me Up” song must have helped you... but SIX papers AND tests, oh my! Just hearing about this is so stressful!

I had something funny happen to me today. I just got a call from someone I knew years ago. He called because he heard the “Today” song and it reminded him of me playing guitar at camp, where we knew one another. That was always the last song of the night.
I will try to post it if I can find it.

This is the Today song, by John Denver. It brings me back to the campfire, LOL.
@Judith That's such a lovely and relaxing song!
I am so glad you like it, @Carson Elmore . It brings back such fond memories of all of us being together round a dying campfire, and enjoying the end of the night.
1990 -I was living in Tacoma, WA at the time and homesick for my home state of Utah. Jon Bon Jovi came out with his song Blaze of Glory, which I believe was part of the Young Guns II movie soundtrack. He chose to film the video for it down near Moab, Utah and Dead Horse Point State Park, also in Utah. MTV aired the video (this was back in the day when MTV still aired music ...) and I would sit for hours, waiting for the song to come on so I could see home. I moved back the next year.

Boy, does this take me back!
@Judith That was lovely. I thought I knew most of John Denver's songs, but i have never heard Today before. Thank you for sharing it.
@Halla , glad you enjoyed Today. It’s easy to play on guitar too, a d to vocally harmonize.
What a fabulous story and video about Utah! It looks like the perfect landscape for a Western movie. The red sands of the cliffs are breathtaking, and the wide open spaces are exhilarating . It looks so beautiful there. No wonder this made you homesick, but how wonderful that you moved back to be home! Thanks for sharing this with us.
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There is so much music I enjoy... Rock'n'roll, Soul, R&B, Country, Rockabilly but The Beatles are my hands down go-to group whenever I just want great, familiar sounds... I was in High School when the Beatles hit America and their music dominated my teenage years. Then, when I just want to relax, I put on Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. His voice and those unique arrangements = pure soul.
Just ran across this in spotify radio: Try Everything by Shakira (Home Free cover) Seemed rather appropriate to the lifelong-learner mentality!
@Carson Elmore , what a fun song, and so appropriate for us all here.This thread reflects us trying to listen to everything too.
I have been enjoying all the musical examples people have been presenting. I look forward to lots more world music examples!
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Thanks @Judith for starting this wonderful thread! Here are some of the songs which affect me a lot:

The Beatles - Free as a Bird
Recorded for their Anthology series but oh gosh! What a wonderful song! It is both deeply nostalgic and melancholic.

The Kinks - Picture Book
A very bittersweet song really...the melodies are poppy and charming but the lyrical undertones are tragic as the now grown old man reminisces on his childhood time spent with parents.

Some Mother's Son
Has to be the greatest anti-war song of all time ...just following the track of Yes Sir, No Sir in their Arthur album, it shows how though a single soldier may just be a cog in the wheel for the army, he means everything to his dear mother.

The Beach Boys - I can hear music
No words to describe it's beauty.....Carl's angelic voice with beautiful vocal harmonies from others practically takes you to a musical heaven.

Another similar Beach boys song - Don't worry Baby

Pink Floyd - Us and them
A very beautiful anti-war song that is very touching to heart. It interestingly questions why there should be a war at all.

CCR - Who'll Stop The Rain
Short, concise but laden with very clever wisdom. Rain (metaphor for problems and struggles) can not be stopped by either age old philosophers, or corrupt politicians or even musicians...it can only be stopped by one who is wanting to actually solve the problem.

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Nice songs here posted. Thanks very much.
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The first LP that I remember playing in the 1960's at a relative's home in Liverpool was the Dave Brubeck's quartet album "Time Further Out". The album had an interesting Joan Miro painting on the album cover. The album also showcased rare time signatures like 7/4. So many great pieces on that album including:

Bru's Boogie Woogie
Unsquare Dance
Blue Shadows in the Street
Charles Matthew Hallelujah
Far More Blue
Maori Blues
Far More Drums
It's a Raggy Waltz

It's so hard to choose a favorite but "Unsquare Dance" in 7/4 time is a classic and includes Joe Morello's laugh of relief that that the group had managed to get through the last chorus. I always smile with him after listening to the amazing rhythm of the tune and his sticks on the rim of the snare drum.

I have never forgotten that album and I bought the music and learned most of the pieces from the album on the piano as soon as I could. "Charles Matthew Hallelujah" celebrates the birth of one of Dave Brubeck's sons. The rhythm in some places shouts out "I've a brand new baby boy".

Of course I learned "Take Five" (In 5/4 time) as well and still play all these songs today.

Also that day, I heard Rimsky Korsakov's Sheharazade which I love for how the music and the story are intertwined. Music truly is the food of love.

I listen this song everytime Im engaged in a project or need to motivate myself: