Why do we like much more the music from our adolescence years than the one playing these days? Dare you to see if you can tell my adolescence years ….
Nostalgia, the "melancholy sadness originated by the memory of lost happiness" dominates music tastes. In general, it dominates us at all levels. Any past time was better becoming truly universal when talking about certain groups or when on a personal level we choose to choose the best pieces of our youth to produce an impeccable story. The festivals determine to go to the old glories that still have a wide tour and base of followers. The media speak long and hard of discs of the past. Day-to-day conversations focus on distant issues and not on the present. Nostalgia, the yearning for yesterday, the melancholy of the past, controls us. Why?
Pop music, in a journey defined by the constant search for its own roots and the youthful effervescence, has always sought itself in yesterday. From the arrival of Blues in the mid-twentieth century to the constant imitations of past genres of the 21st century, through Punk, Glam Rock or Grunge, talking about music implies talking about emotions that always find referents anchored in memory. Under this tendency, present at an artistic level, there is an irrepressible personal and emotional impulse: our natural tendency to sweeten music that we enjoy in the youth of each one, in adolescence. We formed there, and that is our “prison”.
How is this built in our brain? Various scientific studies have shown that listening to music releases various chemical reactions in our brain. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, substances that are also released when we try a food that we especially like, when we see a film that touches the sensitive fiber, when we go back to talking to an old friend from whom we do not know anything, etc. The process is common to all of us and there is nothing we can do to escape it. It is useless to resist: music is specifically created so that we add memories, feelings of the past and emotions to come. If we ripped it off, it would probably be useless.
The fun part, which links nostalgia and music, comes now: adolescence is the time when the release of these chemicals, in the face of external reactions or stimuli, is greater. Our hormonal growth between the ages of 12 and 21 is remarkably rapid in proportion to the other years of our life. In addition, our identity is forged from then on.
Adolescence is one of the most important moments of our lives because our identity is forged from then on. And music is almost always there, directly or indirectly. Growing up during adolescence involves many decisions, conscious or not, that will mold us when we are young and adult. Political affiliations, tastes, models of thought. It is true that many of these issues evaporate later in time, but so too do many others survive. It is one of the most important moments of our lives. And music is almost always there, directly or indirectly.
And what is the result? Our teenage songs are our Songs. Nostalgia, therefore, is not a mere cultural imposition or an industry trend, it undoubtedly sits deep in our brain, and from there it is impossible to resist it. That song first heard when you were meeting the one who would later be your boyfriend, or that first girl you met on a Mediterranean beach, barely fifteen years old, while talking about that group that you liked so much about young people, are the first steps in an autonomous life. These are very important moments.
Listening to those songs, groups or records is therefore transformed into a powerful hindsight exercise. For some you can literally get back there. Like the smell of the favorite dish that your mother always cooked on Sundays, the 10,000 Maniacs record that marked the first years of your adolescence now keeps you in a special corner of your memory. It is no longer what it was, true, but you will always defend it to death. Oh, that summer when parents took us all over the peninsular north, by car, with a compilation of the best songs of The Beatles. What time those, eh?
The phenomenon is universal. So much so, that there are those who have ventured to create The Nostalgia Machine, the machine of nostalgia that quickly and accurately brings you to the best hits of the year that you feel like. Did your first goal with the team of the institute mark you, say, in 1975, 1985 or 1995? Maybe watching the songs that were popular in 1975, 1985 or 1995 do feel like crying.
However, this theory, which puts adolescence in front of all subsequent life experience, fits in with this theory. Surely more than one you can identify a lot of songs after your teen years that you set fire to the present. In some cases, for example, the songs of late teen years weigh more than the adolescence itself.
The difference? It resides only in the emotional impact that each one may have suffered, younger or older. It seems clear, however, that there is a pattern among all of us: the songs of our youth, be it when it wants to be, impel a certain nostalgic drive, that walks between melancholy and the apology of the past, that no later song, present or future is capable of creating.
From a psychological point of view can also be explained. What we really miss, as some studies have shown, would not be a concrete fact, a day, an act, as we have enumerated above, and yes, a time, a feeling.
What we really miss, as some studies have shown, would not be a concrete fact, a day, an act, as enumerated above, and a time, a feeling. It may be that when we listen to a certain song we are not thinking about the February exams, or the second exam in September, and yes in the four or five years in which we moved between the pages of the University.
Or that we should not miss that stupid way of drinking with friends, and those days of apparent absolute freedom in which we still drank in parks. Feeling versus fact, from the concrete to the general. "The miracle of memory", or how we can remember a song that we have not heard in years and we are not able to think about what we had dinner two nights ago.
Perhaps here we can explain the boring tendency of the average Rock fan to denounce all music of the present and sweeten the past exaggeratedly, putting any group from this same year to Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones or The Police. Should we blame them for being slaves to their own emotions? Maybe not, but of course there are those who are making a profit out of it. How to understand but that The Kinks in the eighties, with some two decades of production behind them, seem like dinosaurs, and that U2 still continue to publish discs and filling stadiums, with great expectation of mainstream and public criticism, more than thirty years later of having formed as a group. The industry has been able to take advantage of the nostalgia of the generation that today can afford to pay tickets over sixty euros.
Nostalgia and music are terms that go hand in hand. From the psychological, the neurological, to the purely compositional. There are many genres that today live in a permanent state of melancholy for yesterday, transmitting their visions of the past to their young followers.
In the end, we can scarcely blame music groups when we ourselves fall, by tyranny of the brain, in the same defects. Music is a result of who we are and what we are, it seems, is a lot of chemicals affecting the different spaces of our head. In that, nostalgia has always moved the Pop music and we move. Perhaps, even being aware of all this, we cannot avoid, in a few years, to speak ill of the music of today and to praise all those groups that accompanied us in the difficult years that were from childhood to youth. We cannot really avoid it: we are, biologically, destined to do so.
Are you into this type of topics, plus others like science, technology, human state, politics? Keep the conversation alive …. UPVOTE & perhaps, RESTEEM, and in addition you might want to click on the FOLLOW for further interesting posts. I do appreciate your comments,