lundi, décembre 13, 2004

Musical humans

Who ever among our australopithecine ancestors imagined that homo sapiens sapiens could create such gorgeous sounds like those of a good Schubert Fantasia? or that humans would be so adept at producing such lovely strains on ivories as Glenn Gould? I like other kinds of music, but really it's amazing that time and time again the stuff that I'm always able to find something beautiful in no matter what the mood, is the instrumental only classical or jazz. I remember when I read Watership Down -oh, years ago! and weren't those tasty bunny rabbits?- that the part where the rabbits have so much leisure time as to create art gave me pause to think. For those of the more cultured set, appreciating art and music seem not to be things we could live without, but items of beauty and grace such that a world without this would be bereft indeed.

My dear friend Avi, who shares my love of music and music-making, has often spoken to me of how he imagines that I, having been trained for so many years to sing and to play various musical instruments, am unable to listen to people sing out of tune or with poor harmony. It is difficult, but I would recommend those who want a good rounding out of their musical expertise to study East Indian music, Chinese opera, and Hungarian folk songs. This, by far, challenges that musical ear beyond your wildest dreams.

As a choir teacher once taught me, "embrace the dissonance with wide open arms!"