The Nostalgic Power of Music

I recently bought a wonderful album called Final Symphony. It's one of the best arrangements of Final Fantasy music out there. Hearing the Final Fantasy VII movements gave me goosebumps. It takes me right back, not only to the story of the game, but also where I was in my own life the first time I played. That is the power of good music.

It can be very emotive when a piece of music from the past crops up unexpectedly and fills you with emotions and memories.  Music can become so connected to moments in your life, and that's a great tool for you as a writer, especially for YA writers whose own teen years are only growing ever more distant. Pieces that remind us of moments with friends, or the hardships we went through, or just that one summer when everything went right, can be useful tools to remembering how it feels to be a teenager. The way I viewed the world when I was a teenager definitely isn't the same as I see it now, but if I wrote a fifteen-year-old with my level of world-weariness and cynicism, they won't come off as particularly believable. That's why I like to use the music connected to my past to remember how it felt to be in my teens.

I'd like to pretend I had a supremely awesome taste in music as a teenager, aaaah, but I'd be lying so hard. Although this is when I started collecting soundtracks so it's not all bad. However, every now and then one of these songs magically reappears on my iPod and I'm like "O_O It's 2002 all over again and I'm about to take my GCSEs."


Or the song that had my Year Nine class debating the meaning of the lyrics. Yeah. *coughs*


...I have no idea what that music video is...

Oh and the level of angst in some of the music I used to listen to makes me cringe in my adulthood, but as a seventeen-year-old, this spoke to me.


And, going further back into the mists of time, I cannot listen to anything by Genesis without remembering being in the car with my family on rainy weekends.


So if you ever find yourself worrying that your teenaged character sounds a bit old, why not engage in a nostalgic and musical trip down memory lane and see what inspires you from your past.

Comments

  1. I'm not sure I've ever left my nostalgic-teenage-music-taste days. Just put on My Chemical Romance and watch me hit peak angst, haha.

    EIFFEL 65'S BLUEEEEE. That was the first cassette tape I ever bought, and I regret nothing. Such a catchy, catchy song even if the video aged terribly.

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    1. Some music from my teens I will always love. Some of it though... Yeah, I can't help bit shake my head at myself.

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  2. Sometimes I like to put entire iTunes library on shuffle, which is always an experience because I still have everything from even back in middle school in it. And right now, making a playlist for that contemp idea I'm playing with, I've got a lot of country music on it because that's what I grew up listening to and it puts me back in that frame of mind.

    Also YES to that Holly Valance song. I loved it so much back in the day!

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it cool that iTunes can hold quite literally your lifetime of music? Wow!

      Hah, me too ;)

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