By Tina Zhao:

Whenever we travel or take an adventure to somewhere else we’re not familiar with, our minds subconsciously have a theme that associates with the place. Whenever I go back to school, I constantly have the theme of Zigeunerweisen in my mind. When I go on road trips and see things that I’ve never seen before, the theme of Romance in F runs through my mind, as the airy and lovely melody travels through, just as the different settings that I see.

I’ve been on many road trips since our quarantine started. Many of these road trips consisted of me plugging in my AirPods, and listening to new music that I haven’t before. Whether its pop songs, like a Shawn Mendes album, or a classical piece such as Bruch Concerto in G Minor, I realized that, often, the settings outside would correlate with the pieces I was listening to. If the weather was gray and had a lack of sunshine, I would listen to slow songs, such as Circles by Jeremy Zucker. If there was rain pouring and hitting the windows violently, I would listen to a fast paced and energetic song, such as Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance. In Houston, the rain is relentless. The sky turns black, and morning can turn into night in a second. So whenever I go to Houston and see the rain, I think about Russian Dance. However, in Florida it’s a whole different story. Florida’s weather is usually sunny and hot, and whenever Florida pops up into my mind, I think about Summer by Vivaldi. The energetic yet cheerful melody always makes me smile, just like how Florida comes into my mind. The next time that you travel somewhere or want to go on a trip down memory lane, what song comes into mind? What song do you think about when you think about school? What about home? If there’s an immediate piece that comes up, then that is proof that we all associate a piece with different settings.

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