Saturday, July 10, 2010

Insights on Music

I was invited to attend a concert last night; the Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua in Boulder (for additional information go here). Not knowing the program for the evening, I was delighted to learn that one of the pieces to be performed was a favorite of mine. This was a piece I had heard from my childhood and I was very familiar with it, even owning a CD of this work.

As the orchestra began to play, I was swept away with the depth of the music; the kind of experience you can only get while attending a live performance. There is a sense of your personal emotions—your individual feeling and thought pictures, yet you are a part of a whole; other people listening with you—some enjoying the experience as deeply as you, others seemingly distracted, paging through the program or whispering to one another.

Letting the music wash over me, the people around me seemed to fade and the measures of music so familiar to me filled the concert hall. The orchestra brought to the piece their own subtle style to the music; these musicians so practiced in playing, added an interpretation solely their own. With my familiarity with the music I found the passion and love of music and performing shining through as I listened to this wonderful performance.

While listening I wondered over my enjoyment of this performance; what made it special for me? After all, I have always been a music lover; anytime I get a chance at seeing a live musical performance is a special event. I realized that my very familiarity with the music, knowing the history, the musical “story” that was being told, and understanding the picture I was visualizing may have been similar to the one seen by the composer so many years ago…knowing all that just brought me to a place where I felt I was a true participant in the performance, not a mere spectator.

I can look at any musical score and read the notes, or awkwardly pick them out on a piano and understand the idea of the music.

If it is a vocal arrangement, I can spend time at home and learn the song, memorize it and enjoy singing it and begin to get a bit more depth of enjoyment; but still not have a very deep understanding of the music.

But if I truly take time to study the composer; the time he lived in, what he was trying to share in this composition, the picture he was trying to paint for his listeners, the lesson he was trying to teach; now that is the full, rich, deep, and meaningful enjoyment of music you can experience with care and study.

So…how do you study the Bible?

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