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On the radio this morning they were advertising a show discussing how music can be used therapeutically.

I think most people naturally enjoy music from a young age. I can remember dancing to Kylie’s ‘The locomotion’ when I was in playgroup! When I got older, I’d learn the lyrics to whole albums and sing along with them over and over. When I left university for good (and simultaneously broke up with my first love), I insisted on listening to a particular CD on the journey home and it left me in floods of tears.

Now I have albums and tracks that I play to match or create specific moods – but how long do these moods last after the music has stopped? Does it matter?

If I listen to an album that makes me happy, does that mean my brain has extra endorphins spinning round, even hours later? How much difference can a song really make?

I’m intrigued by the idea that music could affect your mood – and possibly also your behaviour – beyond the length of the track. And since musical taste is subjective, how do we know which music to choose to promote a specific benefit? Will Slipknot relax some people and make others tense up? Will country music irritate some people but make others want to dance? Will Tibetan throat singing inspire confidence in some, but a murderous rage in others?

What music makes you feel happy and confident?

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As I wrote that title it occurred to me that I couldn’t be entirely certain of its accuracy. If you know of any pop songs that seem to celebrate, focus on or empathise with Aspie qualities let me know! In the meantime…

I heard a song on the radio this morning about some “crazy chick” who was out of control, staying late at parties, enjoying loud music, spending time with large groups of friends, (OK, they might have been a small group – I guessed large because of the other lyrics) and teasing the lead singer by flirting with him and ditching him.

I’ve noticed many other songs with lyrics about girls with active social lives, who are always having fun and are – perhaps – a bit quirky in a way that’s only vaguely explained. I guess she needs to be quirky to show that the bands are ‘deep’ and that they really care because (shock) they love her even though she’s quirky.

Different but not too different

It’s OK though – her quirks have nothing to do with being asocial, awkward in company, having problems with spotting a joke or emotion, or anything else that gets in the way of having a good time. Phew!

So I guess I must be fed up with modern pop music because it didn’t bother me so much a few years ago. I was just happy if there was a catchy tune and I could understand the lyrics enough to sing along. Now I find a lot of pop songs irritating because they’re always about the same fantasy girl and it’s always someone who sounds unrealistically perfect and very much non-Aspie.

What would an Aspie pop song be about?

I love the way she ignores me, she’s never at my party

She doesn’t seem to know I care, I guess that’s why she’s never there

Never mind, there’s always jazz, classical, rock and even folk* music which are usually less offensive.

*I use the term folk apprehensively as I know there is a lot of folk music which would drive me up the wall. However, there are some very nice folk songs and singers in the UK now, although it’s possible you could argue the genre in many cases. Often they seem to cross pop, folk and other elements.