Word of the Voiceless

Continuing on the theme of examinations today, I believe some people enjoy revising while listening to music, while others need complete silence to study. I belong in the latter camp, though not so much that I must be in quiet surroundings (I cannot bear revising in the library for example) but that I will get distracted by the song and end up singing aloud instead of concentrating on my study material.

The solution to that, people have advocated, is to listen to instrumentals. However, I do not have a large supply of instrumentals to listen to, and I’m pretty poor at identifying instruments and keeping to the beat anyway. So I generally choose to avoid instrumentals and just not revise when I listen to music, haha.

That said, I do know of a few instrumentals you may be interested in. The first instrumental that I ever heard and fell in love with is Rey za Burrel’s piano instrumental of Omokage. Gundam Seed Destiny fans should know what I’m talking about, since it was apparently played in the show during one of its earlier episodes. I haven’t watched the anime, but I heard the instrumental and alas, it strikes a chord with me and sends my heart stirring with pleasant emotions.

I shall refrain from speaking about ALF’s opening instrumental, since I haven’t heard the full version and I think my love for it is only because the show’s terrific. But you know, it is still something to consider.

2 other instrumentals that I like listening to from time to time are Married Life — the theme music from UP — and The Merry-Go-Round of Life — the theme music from Howl’s Moving Castle. Sometimes I must agree that instrumentals are like an art form all on their own, a separate entity from commercial songs. They allow you to transpose your own mental images, experiences and stories on the tune, much like a well-written book ought to do. Good instrumentals carry you to a different world, make you stop whatever you are doing, and just lean back, relax, close your eyes and reflect and reminisce. Maybe it is the angst I’ve been feeling recently, but instrumentals seem to bring a whole new meaning everytime I listen to them. On happy days I pay attention to the light-hearted, perky instruments, and on sad days I pick up on the low bass and the hidden tones that add depth to the music. It’s like re-watching a movie and noticing the background scenes you didn’t see before.

It feels like an insult to listen to them while doing anything else, such as revising. Surely it can only be nothing but rude not to fix your fullest attention on the message it is conveying to you. Even though I still prefer songs with vocals, I do set aside some time once in a while to appreciate my favourite instrumentals and listen to the word of the voiceless. Because if pictures speak a thousand words, then surely the ebb and flow of music speaks much much more. And we just have to listen.


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