The search for beautiful music

By: Tom Rupp
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I am playing tonight with one of the best Christmas gifts I ever received — the iPod that came into our home in 2005. Even more than six years later, there is still 20 percent of free space left on it. Along with music, I also download free classes, talks, language lessons and radio programs like “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Armstrong and Getty.” Usually I just listen to them and erase them, although once in a while there is a keeper. Then, of course, there is the music. The cool thing about iTunes, for me, is the ability to select what songs you want to purchase while not paying for the ones you do not like. In the “olden days” we bought the LP or CD and it was all or nothing. The going rate seemed to be 14 tracks, two or three really good songs, one or two good songs, and the rest were forgettable. Now, the only exceptions are for artists that you already like. For instance, I am a Springsteen fan. He has a new album/CD coming out in two months. I will probably go ahead and buy it sight unseen. The downside is that musicians begin to sound the same over the years. It gets old. It is difficult to stay fresh. Just ask most of the musicians who were famous 5 years ago and nonexistent now. Think of it — Dylan, U2, Jason Mraz, anyone. They have a distinctive sound that is both their strength and their weakness. Oh well, I try not to be a music snob. Music appreciation can be a thoroughly subjective issue, can’t it? Our grandparents bemoaned Elvis and the Beatles, so now it is our turn to rail against (fill in the blank). I recently heard David Crowder’s final release, especially liked one of the songs and downloaded it. Our worship leader, however, does not care for his style. That is OK. I like Johnny Cash but not George Jones. I like Foo Fighters but not Nirvana, Everclear but not Coldplay, Integrity but not Hillsong. It’s all a matter or personal preference. My favorite hymn? Probably “Be Thou My Vision.” My favorite popular song? I once took a bracket test and after all of the steps the final song standing was “Float On” by Modest Mouse. It’s time to stop writing and go back on a search for more beautiful music. What’s your favorite song? You can contact Tom at trupp