The Power of Music

An Essay By Raine // 9/28/2006

"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!"

In my own humble opinion, music is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. It can be beautiful, peaceful, exciting, energizing or saddening. It is humble, great, powerful, boastful...and happy. Music become a part of us. It is everywhere...connected to everything. When I listen to a song, I can almost see the crashing waves of the ocean. When I watch the sunrise I can almost hear the strains of a violin. Ever noticed that when you're listening to a particularly touching piece, that the music still surrounds you after the notes have faded away?

"Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. "

There are things that music says that nothing else can say as well, or even say at all. Classical music, contemporary with lyrics, almost every good type of music expresses something, it has some message to give. Music is inspirational and calming. It speaks to the heart and the soul.

"Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate."

Sometimes, when I listen to music, I feel and sense things that are wonderful, but when the music is gone I find I cannot even begin to express what I felt. That is one of the reason's I always write things with music on...inspiration speaks louder to me with music as its doorway.

"You are the music while the music lasts."

When I am listening to a beautiful concerto or sonata, the chords, the trills, the sound washes over, engulfing me and bringing me in to itself. A difficult concept to explain, but for me, a true one all the same. The music reaches out and embraces me, taking me along with it as it soars through the air.

C.S. Lewis said, "I take it there are two things the imagination loves to do. It loves to embrace its object completely, to take it in at a single glance, and see it as something harmonious, symmetrical, and self-explanatory......It also loves to lose itself in a labyrinth, to surrender to the inextricable."

Music caters to both those imaginative loves(as does poetry, perhaps music is a poetry in and of itself? An interesting thought). It is something we can sit back and listen to as a whole, grand work, one beautiful thing. Or we can lean forward and follow one theme, one section of notes, until we lose ourselves completely in the ringing notes.

Not so long ago...perhaps only a month ago, I had an oppourtunity to attend a youth education camp, as an assitant counselor. It was a great experience, but I would like to talk about something that occured the day before the camp began, during the counselor training. We had just returned from an exhausting hike. There were 18 of us in total, ranging from age 16 to age 30. We were all gathered in the living room, talking, laughing, dozing, or sitting in exhausted silence. Though we were mostly cheerful, our bodies and spirits were worn out. I was sitting next to the gorgeous grand piano, my foot propped up on a chair(I'd a sprained ankle). Some of the boys were playing the piano, Broadway musicals, minuet's and other fast paced songs. One of the young men there asked his friend to play a piece on the piano for him. Claire De Lune by Debussy. The young man sat down at the piano and the other crawled underneath the piano and lay on his back with his eyes closed. As the first lovely notes softly rang through the room, total silence fell. All the chattering ceased. I closed my eyes and leaned back in my chair, gratefully letting the peaceful notes wash over me. I happened to open my eyes for a moment. Surveying the room, I saw something wonderful. Everyone in the room--all 18--had their eyes closed. Some had their arms folded, some were laying down, some were leaning against chairs, some were standing. All were completely silent, as if they were no longer 'there'. As if they had been lifted to a higher sphere of being. The air was caressed by the beautiful sound. Each person had a look of serenity on their face. A look of joy, of peace....the air was filled with such comfort, love and peace. I have never seen any of the people there look more beautiful then they did at that moment. Their faces shone with the beautiful feelings the music brought into the room. The pianists eyes were closed as well, his body swaying gently as he played. I was filled with such peace, such love and tranquility. It was an awe-inspring experience. One that I can scarcely put into words. At that moment, I truly understood what Anne of Green Gables said. "God's in His heaven and all's right with the world." I closed my eyes and continued listening to the song. When the piece ended, the last notes hung in the air, slowly, slowly, fading away. As if they were reluctant to leave, or we were unwilling to let them dissappear. When all trace of the song was gone, we slowly opened our eyes and sat there for another few minutes in complete silence, no one wanting to break the spell. Our eyes met, we smiled slightly, each person fully realizing the power of the music we had just heard, the beauty of the experience, the change that had come upon us. Finally we slowly stood up, shook ourselves and made our way outside. I felt renewed, refreshed, rejuvenated and wonderfully happy. It was a witness to me of the power music has, and I am all the more determined to listen to good, uplifting, life changing music.

"Music, when soft voices die
Vibrates in the memory


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