A to Z: Music Is…..

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.
Pablo Casals

Music-where would we be without it?

Appassionata 1satz 1thema
Appassionata 1satz 1thema (Photo: Wikipedia)

We all have our preferences in music to which we can connect as spiritually or as  sublimely as these musical greats did. Mine trends towards the classical although I do indulge an occasional mood for modern stuff. I am touched, thrilled, and thrown into tearfulness by the rich, lingering works of long-dead masters.

In the latest novel I wrote (scheduled June, 2014), a sequel/prequel to another that’s already published, music plays a big part. In her early years, the main protagonist lives for the piano. She hears it gloriously played for the first time when she was eight years old. Here is how she describes that experience. I was listening to a specific piece when I wrote this and the description borrows from my own reaction to the piece.

I only knew that my body tingled in anticipation. I was hearing, not the faraway tinkle of a piano I had heard on the radio, but full, immediate, harmonious sounds that drowned everything else around me. Just as abruptly as the first run of notes began, the music slowed and became quiet, prodding me into a cocoon of my own thoughts. It was changing all the time, as if my aunt was exploring the many, many ways she could play those soft, slow notes. How was it possible that they could be sad and happy at the same time? How could they soothe me like a lullaby, but also tug at my insides in a way that made me fidget on my chair?

Later, as a young woman whose dreams of becoming a pianist fizzles, music continues to be essential to her. Another excerpt:

For the first time, I was conscious of playing for myself alone, that I did not have to do so in service of a dream. I played for me. For how the instrument intensified and then soothed my pain. For how the music blotted out everything and became my whole world while it lasted. For how it promised to be the nurturer and savior of my soul.

Related articles

Walking with Beethoven
Making Music in Fiction

3 Responses

  1. Beautiful. Music reminds us how beautiful, sad, happy, melancholic life is.
    Silvia @

    • How wonderful to hear from someone in California (me, too)! Are you up north or down where all the glamor is?

      Thanks for the visit and happy writing!

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