Monday, April 02, 2018

Music Monday

A question posed at Quora's website the other day became fodder for this post.
The question:

What is the single most important thing to know about music?

Snips from some answers:

It’s whether or not you can put the spirit in the room.

“Most people play their instruments, and they don’t play music. They don’t listen to anything around them. They’re not playing the music — they’re playing the notes. It drives me absolutely crazy,” he (Bruce Hampton) remarked in a 2016 interview. "Whether we’re talking about a bluegrass trio on the front porch, Messiaen at the great organ of Saint-Trinité, a high school choir concert, or a sequencer-driven arena pop act, the most important thing a musician can learn is to get out of the way of the spirit knocking at the door of that room.
Otherwise, what the hell are we doing?"
(From answer by Curtis Lindsay, pianist, composer.)

Memory is important to music, simply put, because the full enjoyment of any song or piece requires the listener to remember what came earlier in the work. You couldn’t really appreciate a story or, say, a film if you had completely forgotten the beginning by the time it ended—and while music usually functions a bit differently from more narrative forms of art, the same is true of a five minute pop song or hour-long Symphony.

Recognizing the importance of memory to listening to music reveals why both unfamiliar forms of music and complex forms of music are both harder to appreciate: we are less able to absorb all of the details in such works when we hear them, and thus have a harder time remembering them and (therefore) experiencing them as cohesive wholes. It explains why most people enjoy strophic pop songs, and why even many professional classical musicians don’t like atonal music written during the last 100 years—in such music it is almost impossible to remember a given pitch or set of pitches close to immediately after they are played/sung.
(From answer by Zalman Kelber)

That the music you perform is for the audience in front of you. Leaving them behind and mystified with your mastery of theory, technique and superior knowledge means you are making noise not music.
(By Ron Restorff)

Don’t just listen, feel it. (By Roahan Guragain)

Music is eternal. Music is related to emotional world and is universal language of communication between people of all nations.(By Yuri Polchenko)

That it transcends all ages and cultures. (By Joan Jaccaud)

When you are down or feeling happy, Music is your best friend!
(By Joel Joseph)

If it sounds good to you, listen to it. (By Phyllis Hall)

"Feel it?" Yes, agreed! How could one not feel Lara Fabian's rendition of this?

"Caruso" was written by Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla in 1986, the song was dedicated to Enrico Caruso, famous Italian tenor. The song tells of the pain and longings of a man about to die, while he is looking into the eyes of a girl who was very dear to him.
Caruso, throughout his life, had many love affairs, some with married women, some ending badly. A few years before he died, he met and wed a woman 20 years his junior, Dorothy Park Benjamin, whom Lucio Dalla describes in this song. With her he had a daughter named Gloria.

There where the sea shines and wind blowing strong in the old terrace facing the gulf of Sorrento a man embraces a girl who had cried, then clears his throat and starts singing:
I love you very much but so much so much love you know. It's a chain by now that melts the blood inside veins you know.

Watching the lights in the sea he remembered the nights over there in America but were just fishing boats and the white wash of a helix. He felt the pain in the music and came down from the piano but when saw the moon peeking through the clouds it seemed to him sweeter even than death.
He looked at the girl into her eyes, those eyes as green as the sea, then a tear suddenly slid down and he believed to drown.

I love you very much but so much so much love you know. It's a chain by now that melts the blood inside veins you know.

Power of the Opera where every drama is a fake, why with a little bit of makeup and mime you can become someone else. But two eyes looking at you so close and true make forget the words and confuse your mind. Thus everything becomes so far away, also the nights over there in America and looking back see your life as the wake of a helix. Yes, it's life that ends but he didn't think about much indeed he already felt happy and began to sing again.

I love you very much but so much so much love you know It's a chain by now that melts the blood inside veins you know. ♪


anyjazz said...

Some good answers there. Basically all of them say, Listen, don't just hear.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Yes, that is the message - to the listener. To the player/singer - don't forget your audience!

Twilight said...

From JD in the UK, by e-mail

I had always thought it was Duke Ellington responding to a question from a journalist, "What does your music mean?" but when I looked in the Googoyle it seems to have been Louis Armstrong! :)

Twilight said...

JD ~ Thanks for the quote - hmm - that was a bit of a put down from Ol' Satchmo wasn't it! If we never ask we'll never know anything. :(

Wisewebwoman said...

Some lovely answers here.

I remember one time I was riffing some old Irish melodies interspersed with some of my own "compositions" at my brother's place on his piano. I thought I was alone but they had all come back early and heard the music through the windows and had sat there quietly listening to me.

I've never had a reception like that before or since (well maybe with the musical drama I toured!) but it taught me so much about playing just for our own souls, our own spirits.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Oh yes, when you're able to play and - just for for yourself - I can imagine that being very strong medicine indeed!