Influence of music on musical minds


The choir concert performs numerous pieces with genres such as gospel and jazz, displaying harmony. They performed on Mon. March 6.

Music is influential to its listeners and can affect an audience’s mood based on the beat, rhythm, or genre of the piece. Similarly, music affects the mood of the singers and performers as well. Musicians and singers alike have preferences in the music they play and sing. Furthermore, how they perform can reflect how they feel about the song.

Senior Sydney Huynh plays the viola in chamber orchestra. Her preference consists of classical music, but she also points out that the instrument a musician uses can influence the songs they like to play. Since the viola pairs best with classical music, it has had an influence on Huynh’s preferences. She dislikes instrumental Irish pieces due to its repetitive nature. Additionally, Irish music usually matches better with violin.

Junior Anvita Limaye, who plays the cello in chamber orchestra, has different preferences. Limaye explained, “I really like the ones that incorporate more than just playing on our strings.” For this semester, chamber orchestra is playing “Lion’s City” in which cello players are able to implement various techniques besides strings. On the other hand, Limaye dislikes slow songs that require many shifts. For cellos, it is inconvenient to reach down on their instrument.

In choir, instead of instruments being an influence, vocal ranges of singers can determine song preferences. Sophomore CJ Morazan is a high tenor in the jazz and concert choir. He prefers jazz and contemporary gospel with a strong dislike for country music. Morazon’s preferences are not influenced by his vocal range, but his own personal preference.

Vocal range may not determine song preferences as strongly as instruments do. Choir teacher Jameson Staley was not certain on whether it would have an effect, but it is plausible. Staley mentioned, “It is pretty common that people tend to listen to voices that are close to their own.” Students also would not enjoy singing songs that were out of range for them, which could contribute to their preferences.

With less students attending the school throughout the years, choir students perform certain parts when necessary. Therefore, Staley may assign students to sing outside of their vocal range or part. Morazon noted,  “If he needs more people on a lower note in a harmony, he will put people who aren’t basses into the bass part if they have the range for it.” Morazon has had a good year regarding his parts, although, in his freshman year, he had to sing outside of his typical range, making it less fun for him overall.

Both Limaye and Huynh admitted that musicians are more passionate and emotional when playing songs they enjoy. Limaye commented, “When you like a song and you really want to perform it well, you can see the emotion and feel it through the song.” In contrast, Morazon had a different standpoint.

For choir, despite their personal feelings toward the song, they perform passionately. Morazon mentioned, “I feel like we give it our all.” While Limaye and Huynh noticed a difference, he did not recognize a difference in performance.

Staley encourages his choir students to always sing songs the same regardless of personal feelings toward them. Singers all have split opinions on songs they like or dislike but he does not want their negative attitude towards a song to ruin the experience for other singers.

On another note, though, if Morazon had to perform a country song, he admitted that it would be irritating, but he would get through it nonetheless. Performing songs that do not align with the musicians’ tastes can affect performance or at least their mood.

Additionally, for choir, performing in harmony can affect how they sing. Staley pointed out, “Singing in a group improves people’s moods because it’s harmony. I like to harmonize. It’s more fun.” Moreover, singing in groups can be easier for introverted singers and give them more confidence. It is an opportunity for singers to perform comfortably under less pressure.

For singers and musicians, singing outside of their range or playing songs that do not pair well with their instruments, along with other factors, can be an obstacle. When it comes to music, the genre and how that song will be executed through their voice or instrument can have an impact on the musicians themselves.