Whether it’s a fugue by J.S. Bach, or a Sequenza by Luciano Berio, I believe in the power of music to speak to our most basic emotions.
At a young age, I received a tape with an assortment of pieces by Beethoven. The Larghetto from the Violin Concerto in D major was included among others, but it was that piece that struck something in me. From the first hearing, it was obvious the music has something very powerful to say. Whether it was its introspective quality or its rich harmony, the piece broke through to my core. There was something extraordinary about it that made my head spin.
And that’s not to say that the music no longer has a profound effect on me. The German master had opened the door to the world of music for me, and it is a world with which I have formed a deep connection. I have found that there is always some piece of music that can relate directly to how I am feeling at the same time. Those who wrote the music were human too, but it is through their music that one can relate to them more than they might be able to through words. Through music, one can share with the world something we all have in common. Those pitches floating around are something we can all share, and shape into ways that try to explain how we feel things. We all share the same emotions. Whether it is Shostakovich’s despair or Haydn’s cheerfulness, there is something that we can all connect to.
Music has the power to change lives. It reduces us to our most elemental state and forces us to be completely honest with ourselves. In a time in which so little is certain, music is something we can trust. From Schumann to Stockhausen, music is something we can take refuge in, and at the very least, enjoy on the surface, for it is a form of expressing the most human emotions within us. That is why I believe in music.
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