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Celebrate Classical Music

September 1, 2012 at 2:27 AM

What does Classical Music mean to me? For me, classical music is one of the most profound forms of communication. I believe that one of the ways that God communicates to us is through music. Things that cannot be expressed through language can be communicated through music. It is His special way of communicating to those who are receptive to it.

Classical music has a special way of transforming and transcending human emotions into a thing of beauty and divine communication. Even the negative emotions of fear and anger seem to have a way of being transformed into something else entirely. Shostakovich comes to mind when I think of how what seem to be emotions of sadness, fear, frustration, anger etc. are transformed into something that is ultimately beautiful and profound. And when positive emotions of love, joy, and peace are expressed through music the result can be a glimpse of heaven on earth.

Classical music often seems to go beyond what we can fully comprehend and I think that is part of the reason it is revered by some and dismissed by others as incomprehensible or boring (I think we often classify as boring things we don’t understand).

If classical music is dying, I think that it is ultimately our reluctance to go too far beyond the technical and theoretical when preparing for performance that is causing this to happen. Probably because of our Western culture that tends to avoid or distain religion and respect only what can be proved through the scientific method, we have gradually been reducing our music making and study to that of relying on theoretical analysis and technical examination in order to produce our interpretations.

For classical music to communicate to an audience, it needs receptivity on the part of the musicians to the spirit of the music and an acceptance of the fact that we are dealing with something far more meaningful than what we understand from our theoretical and musicological study and our technical manipulation of instruments and voices. If we are to afraid to look for more of the spirit, the indefinable, and the profound in the music we are performing, we ultimately reduce our music making to pretty sounds with carefully planned dynamics and tone colors but ultimately say and express nothing.

Classical music means so much more than what is on the page; Music communicates, it soothes, it heals, and it transports us.


From Tyler Makinen
Posted on September 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM
Excellent, excellent response. I agree wholeheartedly.
From Scott Slapin
Posted on September 1, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I'm sorry to disagree, but I think music is far superiour to religion. It's not required to believe implausible ideas about how the universe functions in order to enjoy a Beethoven symphony. One can be anything from an atheist to a fundamentalist and enjoy music. The reverse is not however true. For the nonbeliever, religion (in its narrowest scope-- leaving out the stained glass and music) holds little value.

Music is also superiour to food and even alcohol. Who ever got fat or had a hangover from too much Bach?

Of course this is all from a 21st century first-world perspective. I don't deny the importance of religion and food in more difficult circumstances.

From Ingrid Popp
Posted on September 2, 2012 at 12:30 AM
I wasn't expecting everyone to agree, of course. And I do agree with you that anyone (including atheists) can enjoy music and that believing in God or religion is not a requirement for enjoying music.Even though I personally feel that there is a higher power involved in great music, doesn't mean that others don't get something meaningful and enjoyable out of it even if they don't share my beliefs.

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