Are you a singer?
Not professionally or in that dictatorial TV talent show sense, but, you know; at home, over the sink, hovering appropriately somewhere around piano and mezzo-forte?
What about when your partner walks in and - as if yawning in sympathy - absentmindedly begins warbling the same song?
Do you lock eyes and launch into duet? Or do you clam up, thinking pick your own damn tune as you scrub a cemented piece of cereal from the side of a criminally unsoaked breakfast bowl?
And your musical tastes? Do they live together in perfect harmony? Or does the home stereo promote dissonance and division? A constant conduit for dueling banjos?
Do you even use a stereo anymore? Or, has music become intravenous? Envelopes of sound delivered directly to your cerebrum through earbuds, which may or may not be parasitic growths?
Have you stopped with music altogether? Let it somehow slip away, like memory, identity?
Music may be the most subjective of minefields in which to blunder but if the pandemic has proven one objective truth it's that people yearn for the emotional fillip of rhythm and melody; the intellectual nourishment of lyrical narrative and the primal pulse of percussion.
While many non-musical celebrities have been subjected to withering derision for wishing us normal folk all the best during these troubled times from the salubrious confines of their mansions and estates, musicians who've blessed us with their own love and light from even bigger mansions and estates have escaped unscathed because they've done so while bearing the gift of song and no one is knocking back a free gig from Mick and Keith (Richards, not Urban).
The internet has become a communal paradise of music, replenishing our dwindling stores of oxytocin until we can physically live stream back into the world of 3D performance - mosh it up at a festival, get our antiphonal fix from a choir or fill up our senses with a night at the symphony.
However, as is often the case with such things, a good idea is soon abused and for every person out there still cooing along to another unctuous online community chorus of I Am Australian, someone else is fast-tracking their emigration papers.
COVID-19 has also sent us back to our own collections, diving deeper than ever before; sparking new connections like languishing neurons subjected to a cryptic crossword.
Suddenly, Robyn's Dancing On My Own shares its DNA with Patti Page's version of Tennessee Waltz. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's When I Get My Rewards is just The Great Gatsby in white trash disguise, while John Denver and Kris Kristofferson must have had dibs on the same muse when both released songs in 1971 exulting the sense of liberation embodied by raptors.
Amid highly contagious social media 'Top Ten Album' challenges, we've become sleuths, forensic fanboys like Rob, from High Fidelity, determined to share our revelations and research. People really need to know Radiohead's OK Computer was their version of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew; how Pixies' Surfer Rosa spawned Nirvana's Nevermind.
Conversely, in the hothouse of isolation, we've also found fault lines in our once sound songlines. Some indispensable companions of our sonic youth are now irrelevant, so we've unmoored ourselves, watched them float away; a stocktaking, which, in a wider sense, seems representative of all our lives since the fires-pandemic-recession.
So important has music become, we wonder where it stands in our lives in general? We've never really questioned music before because we've never needed it so badly.
Years ago, I read an interview with an academic or captain of industry who said "you'll hear music from our house on the weekends".
This made sense because it's the same at our place but was also perplexing because why only the weekends? If we love music so much, why not every day, all day? Are we afraid of diluting its power? Making it prosaic, like television? If we take advantage of music, does it turn on us? We already know it can manipulate us, keep us in the aisles longer, consuming more. And isn't the recording industry just another form of consumption anyway?
I'm sure most people do play music far more often than we allow ourselves with no ill effects and I can only attribute our household's asceticism as some kind of attempt to preserve music, as if it were a finite drug used to heighten the enjoyment of freedom from work and school before packing it safely away again Sunday night.
Articulated, this seems rather sad, although in our village, there's a certain Pavlovian comfort in hearing the sound of the radio wafting up the creek corridor at the end of the working week, as if the chap responsible were the town crier assuring us: All's well and thank God it's Friday!
We're lucky to live in a place of music.
Our old house, as well as being fondly remembered as a makeshift morgue, was once famous for neighbourhood singalongs around the piano, which, although lovely and all that, sort of leaves me more creeped out than the thought of all those cadavers.
Down the road, bands still rock the historic hall at dances and parties. Karaoke shivarees fill nuptial nights with sour notes and laughter.
Musicians live here, too, lending their talent to causes whenever called upon. They enrich the place like rain.
But most fortunate of all, every year a tireless group of community members organises a wonderful music festival, delivering people and sounds from around the country and the world a tiny speck on the globe such as ours barely deserves, or, maybe, deserves more than anywhere else.
Such gifts are more important than ever now and if having something to look forward to is one of the three basic tenets of happiness, the town must be beside itself with glee in the hope restrictions will be lifted in time for the special event to go ahead.
And with this sniff of a return to normal programming in the air, perhaps the last word should go to a muso; David Byrne, from Talking Heads.
Although released in 1977, his song New Feeling is particularly apt - and a little foreboding - given we seem on the verge of a freedom even more profound than a soaring eagle on a Friday afternoon.
It's not, yesterday, anymore
I go visiting and I talk loud ...
Meet them all over again ...
And now, now I'm busy, busy again.
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