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I can’t figure out why memories of my childhood disturb me so much. For one thing, whenever my parents mention moments from my youth, I get tremendously defensive and upset. But the music from my youth seems to upset me even more in some ways. When I was in Sacramento in July for my last chess tournament, I brought along several CDs, one of which contained some of Boccherini’s cello sonatas. I used to listen to that CD while trying to fall asleep when I was a little kid (in elementary school and junior high school). I almost started to cry in the middle of one of my games while listening to this CD, and I can’t explain why at all. Then I woke up this morning to Vivaldi’s Gloria on the radio, which was another piece I listened to a lot, and I felt quite uncomfortable hearing it. I can’t explain it. Hearing Dvorak’s American String Quartet on the radio after that was far less painful for me. Why do I feel so upset about listening to the music of my past?

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About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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3 Responses to Next Post

  1. rippledance says:

    I can’t and won’t claim to understand it, but I know the feeling. When I reread some of the books that I used to treasure as a child… In my case, however, it’s not feeling uncomfortable. It’s an indefinable sadness – almost poignant.

  2. mathfanatic says:

    Hmm, that’s funny. I’m the exact opposite: when I listen to music I used to listen to when I was younger, it brings back old memories. Like hearing Counting Crows’ first album, or looking at old pictures of me, or remembering old friends. But I sometimes feel sad when I see pictures from fourth grade, because I’ve always wanted to be a 4th grader again. If I were a 4th grader now, I would rule the entire 4th grade class! Yeah! =P

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