I believe that one of the finest and noblest pursuits we can do is to try, in some way, to improve each other’s quality of life. I know that music can be one of those life enhancements that can make difficult times more bearable. Music can transport , soothe or agitate, entertain, calm or excite, even challenge the listener. There is no other complement to a story like a good sound-track. For the deaf, its vibrations may be felt and appreciated. It can recall a story, person, place, or time. Music can also inspire memory and scent, remind one of a touch. It can be simple or ornate. Few other things in life reach as many of the senses as musical works can.
Music can be used to express a broad range of emotion and can be applied to a large (perhaps endless) sampling of subjects. In a similar way to the visual arts, music may reflect or confront a subject. Music (and art in general) serves to explore human instinct and understanding. And, understanding is the underpinning of communal good-will. Putting all ego aside, no matter how grand or humble the musical form, compositions of all sorts bring pleasure, greater understanding, invention, and expression. For its ability to convey subject matter, mood, and scene, music is an activity which binds fellow listeners. It lends itself to a manner of social cohesion yet also holds appeal for the individual.
Music is but one way to make the world a better place. Beauty takes many forms, moods, and modes. I suppose every composer feels a certain responsibility to engage and reflect that range. I certainly couldn’t answer for all composers. Each individual’s style and tastes may vary. And, in truth, music does not have to follow conventions of beauty. However, music has the power to capture and engage many of the senses. It is an art form which grants the ability to portray a wide variation of subject matter. This is what drives me, personally, to compose. Whether my works are considered beautiful, controversial, or expressive is for the listener to judge. I only know that it is a strength in this world to be creative and, hence, a weakness to be destructive.
Listening and or creating a musical work is a bit like taking time to smell the rose, touch its silken petals, feel its thorns, stare into its colours, and marvel at its growth! What are your thoughts? I believe modern living doesn’t allow us enough time for thought and philosophy. Would you agree?
- Music of the Italian Renaissance (ridottovizivirtu.wordpress.com)
- The Celestial Auditorium (theprodigalsound.wordpress.com)
- Piano concerto – for the left hand (scylaxofcaryanda.wordpress.com)
- ‘Making Music out of Mathematics’ – guest post by Richard Skinner (ditsomokos.wordpress.com)