Make Music Make Sense

They say smell is the sense most tied to memory. A whiff of some scent can send us years into the past, to an emotion long forgotten. But there’s another sense inextricably linked to memory — at least for me. The sense of music.

Naysayers in the audience will object: “Music isn’t a sense, dummy! There are only six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and dead people. No more, no less. And music is not, never was, and never shall be, one of them. Music is perceived through the sense of hearing, and does not constitute its own sense.”

To which, I reply: This is why I hate naysayers. Can’t you allow for a little poetic interpretation? Why must you rob life of all its beauty? Metaphor is a necessity of language, my friend. Even you, sayers of nay, use it in your daily speech. For example, have you ever said, “Things are looking up,” “There’s not enough time,” or “I’m a purple elephant dancing under the sea”? Of course you have; these are things everyone says every day. And all of them are metaphors.

And my poetic metaphor simply takes this practice one step further: beyond the practical to the emotional. So you see, I don’t necessarily mean we perceive music in some undiscovered way (although I bet we do), but simply that I am going to discuss the perception of music.

There. Now that we have that sorted out, I forgot what I was going to say.