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Does Music Define You?

Music can obviously serve many purposes. It can make us think, feel and act. It can be a deeply meaningful and profound experience that leaves us pondering life's greater mysteries. And sometimes it's just entertainment, in the way a sitcom is entertainment, or a video game, or anything else you enjoy doing purely for fun, like reading a spy novel.

I love the power of music to inspire people and to provoke. I love to see people get passionate about the music they love and dislike, and to hear why they feel the way they do. (See some of the comments in yesterday's post about American Idol). In the end, there really is no right or wrong perspective, just opinions, and there's no accounting for taste.

I suspect we get as worked up about music as we do because we believe it defines us — that music says something about who we are and what we believe, perhaps in ways more illuminating and honest than we could ever conjure on our own, since words alone often diminish the grand ideas and feelings we have inside.

So that's my question: Do you think music defines who you are or who others are? If so, how?