Why is it that just one piece of music can have such an affect on us?This question I ask myself this morning and subsequently it becomes the subject of my blog post today,deserves an answer.Because music has the power to affect us to our emotional core,we often find ourselves being supported by it in a very profound way.For example,why when I think of stormy conditions to I think of a violin concerto by Sibelius,or when I think of a sad event on the news I think of the slow movement from Beethovens 7th symphony in F .
To put more flesh on this,I have spoken to many people over the years who are affected by music,and who find it an emotional companion in good times,and in bad.Even when life is carrying on as life does,we often have music on in the background.When we do the housework,or just dos me paperwork,the radio might be on and the tunes that emanate from this device carry us through the day as it were,taking us by the hand emotionally.
At the Olympic Games when the national anthem is played for the winning country,it tends to stir me,producing feelings that I can’t readily put into words.Now,I know that I’m not on my own in this state,it’s just that I have the luxury of thinking about it some more.In my thoughts,I realise that the interrelationships of the harmonies fuse with my consciousness,producing a warm glow of contentment that I dnt experience from that many things.
If I were to dwell on certain pieces of music,for example,”The Raindrop Prelude”,by Chopin,I would say that it just has that affect of massaging my soul.Although there are passages of great intensity and dynamic strength,its core affect to me is one of calm.That anther human being could have such sensitivity so as to compose music that literally takes me away from the hum drum of my existence is indeed a sublime gift.
Having been lucky enough to have a bit of talent for music,I get that certain pieces after us,but I also get that we don’t really need to know why,but we should never resist these pieces of music.You know,some people say that they don’t listen to certain pieces of music,because those tunes make them cry.To me,that’s sad,because the process of drying is good for us,and the safe nature of music means that it will always be a constant .This is vital as I see it,and people need that safety valve in their life,because we don’t know what they are coping with just what life is throwing at them,but music doesn’t judge ,it doesn’t expect,it isn’t self righteous.Music through its very abstract nature plots a varied course according to the co diet ions of the recipients heart.
So,what pice of music gets you?Is it a classical piece?Could it be a contemporary tune?Maybe it’s a folk song,or a country and Western piece.Whatever genre it is,that really isn’t the main issue you know.
Over the years,I’ve listened to thousands of hours of music of all genres,and I can honestly say that I’m still being affected by it,still fed by it.Also,I know people who are just as affected my music as me,but who are not profoundly knowledgeable about it,and they don’t need to be either.Really,what counts is what you get out of it,and what I get out of it.Too often,people feel duty bound to follow the polemics of critics rather than their own gut feelings.yes,music by its sheer range and complexity requires the support of experts,but not the control of experts as that takes away the motivation for listening to it in the first place.
As I can honestly say that it’s true in my case that the tunes in listen to might change,there are pieces that I return to time and time again.They are my emotional home,and the refuge for my soul.When the storm winds of this life batter and bruise us,we can take so much solace from music as it feeds our soul,and enables us to carry on in this thing we call life.
Right now,I have the opening bars of the Jupiter symphony by Mozart as it lifts me,and feeds me with positive emotions.Mozart has always achieved that for me from a child when I was introduced to his music by a teacher.Now,50 years later,I am still introducing music to pupils,still encouraging them,still encouraging as many as I can to be fed emotionally my music.You see,the expressive arts has no religion,no race,no intellect,no social status,just emotions that invite us to be touched,massaged,and cajoled gently to ride on its river of dreams.
Please give music a go today if you can.