Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More about music

I love music.

Not all music, mind you. And certainly not everything that gets called music.

But, matters of definition and taste aside, I love the very thing we call music. That it even exists amazes me. What it can do to us, and in us, amazes me.

Right now I'm listening to the soundtrack from The Mission, by Ennio Morricone. As I started writing, the music was so beautiful, I was floating somewhere in some beautiful area of my mind, and that's why I decided I had to write.

Within moments, the music became tense, dissonant, "scary." And I noticed my shoulders tensing, my brow furrowing, and suddenly I didn't know what I wanted to say.

In some ways, music is much more powerful than prescribable mood-altering drugs. But without the side effects, thank goodness.

One of my concerns about our culture is that music has become so much a background element. We get used to hearing it in stores, in cars, on TV, etc., and we tend to hear but not listen. So we are both affected by it without realizing it--and missing its fullest impact because we are not really hearing it.

So, I encourage everyone reading this to take some time out in the next day or two and really listen to some music that does you good. Stop everything else and just listen to it. Soak it in.

And if you're in town for November 10, I encourage you to come to our concert! You can enjoy beautiful sounds, profound words, in the acoustic wonderfulness of the Germantown Performing Arts Center. With no distractions. I promise it will be worth your time and whatever you pay for a ticket.

Whether you can come to that or not, though, do take some time to let music do what it was meant to do--to really connect with you and bless you.

I would love to hear what you listen to. Well, maybe not actually hear it, but read what you write about what you listen to. Kind of a show and tell in the comments.


carolinagirl said...

I listen to mostly country music. On a day when I decide to have music playing in the background, I'll turn on my CD player and allow its 25 CDs to play at random. The CDs loaded in the player are a variety of country music as well as a few sound tracks from the 80s such as Top Gun and Meriel's Wedding. A few Jazz CDs are inter-mixed as well.

I remember years ago listening to the "oldies" of which included music from the 60s and 70s. It appears that as I've grown older the "oldies" now consist of the music I listened to in high school and college. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

One aspect of country that I like is that it talks about our Nation's War situation as well as challenges in personal and religious lives. Some would say you don't need music to appreciate these things, but I would say that music represents what many are wanting to say, but all too often are afraid to say.

Remember the song, "God Bless the USA," by Lee Greenwood? It almost brings me to tears every time I hear it...

Nat said...

Well, Sheila.. what music, ha?
If you visit my blog some of the music that stuck with me is on it (I just recently discovered that wonderful site called YouTube.com)
I bet "my" music is not your cup of tea, but who knows? I may be surprised, and you may be surprised, too. Isn't it wonderful that we can have different tastes in music (among other things, I dare say)and still get along and love each other?
And to quote another song.. "What a wonderful world!"


Sheila said...

CarolinaGirl--my cousin plays guitar with Lee Greenwood! Or did last I knew. Small world.

Nat--Not sure what you listen to that you aren't sure I would like, but I just realized on the blog I mostly talk about "classical" music b/c that's what I'm involved in. For the record, my most recent listening experiences have been with the Eurythmics and with Stefanowski and Tadic, which I bet you would love...

Beverly Choate Dowdy said...

I listen the music my husband makes-he sings and plays guitar-mostly 70s folk-rock.

I listen to my son's indie rock electronic pop-something you may or may not call-music.

For four years when he was a highschool student we commuted across Atlanta traffic together. He was the dj playing his favorite independent bands teaching their names. For years I got points for recognizing bands like the Postal service, Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab for Cutie. They weren't Mozart, but they did for me what music does for so many--provided a means of communication between two cultures whose languages may be very different.

Every day I miss hearing him play songs and tell me what he loves about them.

When the Chris and Trevor were in middle school and elementary school, respectively, we put them to be playing Pachabel's Canon in D recorded with ocean sounds by some new agey orchestra. I get a bit teary when I hear that piece these days, since Chris is away working on a PhD and Trevor is in college too.

I get a little nervous if any of us hear Pachabel's Canon on the radio while driving a car. I'm afraid we'll all just fall asleep.

Nat said...

You know, thinking about it, you probably would like some of the songs I have on the blog. I recommend "Lipe Cvatu" by Bijelo Dugme.
Let me know.

(By the way I do like classical music, too, especially Chopin)

(I really like Eurythmics, too, or, I should say, I used to like them.. I feel I've been out of the loop in matters of music in recent years!)

Love ya

(By the way, it is kinda weird to communicate with you through your blog!!! :) )

Lisa said...

The radio in my van is always set to a Christian rock station that plays a lot of Third Day, Relient K, and other groups from the edgier Christian genre. Some of it I really like and some of it I tolerate because my kiddoes are at the rock music stage of life and I don't want the lyrics from secular rock music running around in their brain.

Also, as you know, I've always been a rock-over-country kind of girl.

I'm determined to have musically literate children, so at home we listen to a wide variety. Sound tracks from a lot of musicals (Fiddler, Joseph, and Phantom are favorites for us) and classical music and arias from opera and GREAT a cappella choir music.

Music expresses things that words cannot. It's not uncommon for me to yell,"Stop! Wait! Everybody be quiet and listen to this!" and then make everyone listen to some profound bit of harmony that pulls out emotions from all over the place.

My children are probably more familiar with Messiah's "Amen" chorus than with the "Hallelujah" chorus because of that procedure.

Then again it's not uncommon for me to turn up the volume and listen "Go, Go Joseph" three or four times in a row or for me and the girls to morph into "Bop-shoo-adda-bop" girls during Pharaoh's dream song.

I love music.

Sheila said...

This is so funny. When I wrote the blog, I meant to just ask, "What did you listen to after reading this?" (b/c of the urging to go listen to one thing while doing nothing but listening.)

Instead, I'm getting whole musical biographies from people--and learning a lot about my friends! Maybe you all had this pent-up desire to share your musical self with the world?

I can see now that what I wrote wasn't clear...and I'm glad, b/c this stuff is fun to read!

carolinagirl said...


I have a CD of "Third Day." I enjoy listening to it, but it was given to me. I don't think I'd have ever chosen to buy it for myself. I remember in college listening to a lot of Amy Grant and Michael K. Smith. Grant is more pop these days and I really don't know whatever happened to Smith. The only other Christian music CD I have is of a choir from one of the Churches back home.

The other day as I was sitting in my office, I could hear clasical music being played in the hallway. It sound as if it was the soundtrack from the "Nutcracker." It was very soothing and then it was followed by other types of music, still rather soothing. It's amazing what you can pick-up from background music in regards to who's actually playing it.

Lawrence Underwood said...

Ah, music. It is the weft of my life's fabric. If the music that I enjoy sheds insight into my personality and mental make up then I am at best seriously deranged. I routinely listen to everything from 'serious symphonic' music to Bluegrass to Old Country to Swing to Latin brass to Jazz to Old Time to . . . no HipHop or Rap, thank you.

I agree that music is a powerful emotive tool. I think that is one reason that God gave it to us. And, one reason that much of what is called 'music' in todays pop culture is dangerous. And, not just from a lyrical point of view. The very rythms (or antirythms) and tonal structures can be damaging. I really believe that.

BTW, our cousin now plays with LeAnn Rimes. I'll be seeing him in a few weeks.