Are you in tune with these Harrisite tunes?

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As Townsend Harris students walk through the halls between classes, music permeates the air to signal the change between bands. Whether it’s from the loudspeaker, headphones, or the phone of a student rushing past, music is a large part of a Harrisite’s day. The Classic spoke to students as well as teachers in order to gauge Harrisites’ music taste. 

 For the students of THHS, certain genres are more played than others. Over recent years, Korean music, in particular K-Pop and K-RNB, have become extremely popular. Indie music, or music produced independently from commercial record labels, has followed this trend and also increased in student acclaim. Less popular genres but still recommended by students include Broadway songs, rock (including alternative rock), and classical music.

Freshman Sophia DiRienzo said that one of her favorite songs is “The Stranger” by Billy Joel. “The lyrics have some truth to them and the rhythm to the song is so good and the way Billy Joel sings some of the lyrics is so satisfying,” she said. She also expressed her love for other songs such as “Honeymoon” by Lana Del Rey. “The song has such a beautiful melody and the vocals from Lana are just perfection.”

“Punch Me in the Face” by iamnotshane, recommended by junior Adeebah Zaman, features calming vocals and sticky-sweet melodies. Adeebah recommended this song, saying, “It’s just a nice song and I think some people would relate to the lyrics.” She recommended the song to Harrisites who want to listen to relatable lyrics about needing love from real friends rather than fake ones.

In similar calming beats, junior Han Ma has been listening to “she likes spring, I prefer winter” by slchld. He said, “This song feels rather warm and it has a medium beat, which doesn’t make me feel too sad or too hyper. It relates to me because it feels as if someone is giving my heart a warm blanket.”

As an alternative to modern cultural phenomena, Harrisites have been listening to songs from the last few decades as well. Junior Tiffany Cheung’s favorite song is “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates. She said, “It’s a very 80s, vibey song with some nice saxophone. I think it’s a perfect balance where I can dance, sing, and relax! Hall & Oates are really good in general because of their lyrics, voices, and overall instrumentals.”

Junior Sean Zhou likes K-pop, particularly the song “O.O” by NMIXX. He said, “[O.O] is my favorite song right now because of its exciting beat and high notes. I also like that the members of NMIXX are really strong live singers as they perform.”

Freshman Susan [Zuzia] Smologa shared a similar sentiment in regards to her enjoyment of K-pop, stating how she likes bands such as Stray Kids and BTS. She said that she likes them not just for their music, but because of a deeper connection. “I find them comforting because they helped me through quarantine and they stuck with me through that hard time,” she said.

French and Spanish teacher Paola Sierra agreed that music often goes beyond the surface of what we hear. She is a fan of the way Shakira “explores herself through many genres.” Recalling the first time she heard Shakira, she said, “I became a fan when I was nine years old, when she released her first album, a rockish genre that I enjoyed.”

On the other hand, sophomore Iris Li has chosen R&B as her all time favorite genre. However, she also likes the mainstreet artists such as Olivia Rodrigo and Keshi. She said she likes them for “the vibe they give off,” particularly because “they are usually slow songs which I enjoy listening to.” 

For students looking for music to listen to while studying, junior Carrie Leung recommends “Counting Stars” by BE’O (비오). She said, “My friend recommended it recently and I really liked it. It fits with my music taste, which are songs I can listen to while doing homework.” For doing other daily, more mundane activities, Carrie recommends “Blue Hour” by TXT. She likes listening to the song while working because, “the song is upbeat so I like putting it on in the background while I’m doing work or cleaning.”

Assistant Orchestra Director Juliana Grant feels passionately about the classical music genre. “I love classical music, it’s something that I have always loved,” she said. Despite her enjoyment of classical music as a whole, she particularly loves Antonín Dvořák’s symphony No. 9 in E minor, otherwise known as “New World Symphony.” “He wrote this beautiful and powerful song—the melodies are amazing. I have loved this song since the day I heard it.”

Similarly, senior Abby Mars has been listening to Sonata Op. 10 by Ludwig van Beethoven. She said, “I think [classical music] gets unfairly stereotyped as boring, but it’s really not.” She said that the song represents all her moods as the piece is “soothing yet powerful at the same time.”

In reference to Townsend Harris’ production of The Little Mermaid, senior Lynda Irizarry recommended the song “She’s in Love” by the Little Mermaid Broadway Cast. She said, “I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat to prepare for our spring production. It is such a bop and for sure one of my favorite songs in the show.”