Oh music, the universal language! All the world speaks the same language when it comes to music! You don’t need an interpreter, you just need two ears and an open heart!
Now, I don’t know everything about music, but I do know what a discord sounds like and I know what sweet harmony sounds like. There is a difference. And so, begins our education in the musical world. We start with mother’s soft, pretty and gentle lullaby when we go to sleep as a baby and we awaken as an adult to the startled sound of a locomotive during the early morning hours. HARMONICS! It is all harmonics, some very good and pleasant and some very unpleasant. Remember in Dumb and Dumber, the most annoying sound in the worlds – AAAAANNNNHHHHHHHH or something like that? Sounds like one of my goats on the farm! Actually, it sounds like all my goats on the farm!
I think to understand music is to understand the world. In so many ways we find our cues to existence through the constant vibrations of life. Good and bad. The ripple of a stream fills your heart with peace and wonderment and harmony with nature. The thundercloud reminds you that nature is not always on your side as it wallops you with a big bang and a flash of light, not good. Everything else sort of falls somewhere in between.
Which takes us to musical instruments. The Shakers said that God created the most perfect musical instrument in creating the “human voice.” They, now mostly departed, may have been just right. All their singing was done acappella, often with dancing (hence known as Shakers). They wrote and published over 3,000 songs, including the 1996 Summer Olympics song, Simple Gifts. It was written a long time ago but it is still a favorite of the world.
Other instruments come in many and varied sizes and sorts. There is of course, the piano, one of my favorites. The guitar, the ukulele, banjo, violin, fiddle, okay, let’s just say every kind of string instrument period; every kind of wind instrument; every kind of percussion instrument; every kind of brass or metal horn; and anything that any other one person, has ever thought of, or could invent! Personally, I like them all and play maybe a dozen or so, and, I have visited the home of Beethoven in Bonn, Germany and worked back stage with Liberace in concert, met Peter,Paul and Mary, Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph, Van Cliburn, Chet Atkins, Christopher Ayres, and many others!
Whether you are in the treble clef club or the bass clef club, it doesn’t matter. Every good boy (and girl) does find. Let’s FACE it, some know a little about music and some know a lot. The music of the spheres is in our ears and it beckons us to come forward in the march of life. Walk Far Drummer, the book, one of my mother’s favorites’ even expresses the march of life, that we are all on! Guy Murchie, in his Music of the Spheres, tells us, of wonderful things above and below. Oh, the music that fills our souls!
As I close on the thoughts of music, I am reminded of the beautiful, almost haunting, music of the Shape Note Singers or those of Sacred Harp who sing without instruments in three and four part harmonies, skilled only in the shape of the notes (for the illiterate reader), and to enjoy the “honor” to lead, in the “Hollow of the Square!”