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Grandpa's inheritance

August 11, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Many people inherit furniture or money. My family got a better inheritance, infinitely divisible among all members: Music. Grandpa loved music, worshiped Mozart above all things, and made sure his kids learned the instruments necessary to have his own family string quartet. The grandchildren followed suit in learning at least one instrument each, and, amazingly, although none of us are professionals, all of us still play regularly as adults. The new generation never met my grandfather, but are now starting their own musical adventures, and are, perhaps, the most talented of the whole lot.

The result is that my family get-togethers are rather noisy - we do a lot of playing. I love every part of it, from the good laughs we have when things go horribly wrong (a common occurrence in a group of amateurs) to those special zen moments when everything falls into place. Even the squeaky, but highly enthusiastic, performances of the very young sound amazing when coming from family. And I am constantly reminded of Grandpa. His markings are still on some of the very aged sheet music we use, and my cousin, who plays on his violin, sounds exactly like him. This environment is so embedded in my history I can't imagine what families do without music. Maybe that is why so many families fight?

I just got back from a family gathering, and find myself listening to Mozart to keep that feeling of togetherness.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 11:45 PM

Nice story!!! And lucky you... I wish so much I had musicians in my family!  Or even neighbours and friends around. This sounds very nice for all your family.  Bravo! 


From Marsha Weaver
Posted on August 12, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Thanks for sharing about your family's musical experiences.  I, too, come from a musical family.  The musical taste of a majority of the group runs toward Bluegrass, and we used to get together for some really great "jam sessions".  My grandfather played the mandolin, banjo and harmonica.  My uncle -- well, he could play just about anything except the bowed strings.  My aunt plays the dulcimer and autoharp.  There were pianists, more harmonica players, and even virtuoso kazooists!  :)

Grandpa and Uncle Ralph have passed on, and most of the rest of the family musicians now live too far from here to participate in impromptu musical get-togethers.  I wish I'd started playing the violin (fiddle!) when the "family band" was still at fullength.  But the memories of the music we made and the fun we had still bring a warm glow, and as I progress in my violin studies I plan to learn some of the old Bluegrass tunes my family enjoyed so much -- as a tribute to Grandpa, Ralph, and the others who can't be here. 

From Alice Kowalski
Posted on August 12, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Remember you can all start your own musical family tradition!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on August 14, 2010 at 10:42 PM

It must be fun to have a musical family.  I'm glad you're enjoying it.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on August 14, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Alice, I already started with my buggies...  When I'm alone in the house, I put some violin music for and they love it!  


From Tom Holzman
Posted on August 15, 2010 at 2:55 PM

How wonderful!  Thanks for sharing that story.

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