More Powerful Than Words

Kathryn - York, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

Sitting in the midst of dozens of musicians, I put my slender clarinet to my lips and wait for the conductor to begin directing the song. He drops his hands and the music begins floating through the air, twisting and turning between the violinists’ bows and slinking around the ends of the clarinets. I can feel tension in the air during fast moving sections and relaxation during peaceful segments. After the piece, the audience erupts with applause, and the hot stage lights feel like mid-afternoon sun as the orchestra rises to take a bow. I believe in the power of music because of its effect on me, its ability to evoke emotions, and the way it can relate to people.

Throughout my entire life, I have been involved with music. In first grade, I began to experience the resulting beauty of pressing a piano’s ivory keys. By third grade I wanted a new challenge, so I picked up the clarinet. The first time I licked the bitter reed, bit the hard mouthpiece, and blew, I knew I had a natural ability for this instrument. Knowing this, I did not bother to practice my music as much as I should have, and therefore have learned that music is a secret that must be discovered; I have to dig through hard notes and songs to uncover what it is telling me.

When I hear songs featuring the clarinet, I become completely absorbed with all its trills and perfect pitches. My feelings are influenced by the sounds; somber sonatas make me quiet and reflective, and cheery concertos lift my mood. The methods used to produce these fluctuating feelings are simple yet profound. I know there must be something special about music if it can provoke an array of emotions with the adding or subtracting of a mark as small as a staccato (which makes notes flash like a lightning bolt). When I listen to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, I feel every sort of feeling and can focus only on the tones gliding into my hungry ears, and I soak it up like a sponge.

Music is a universal tool used to communicate with all types of people. I know that if I am listening to the same song as someone who is my polar opposite, we will be experiencing the same sensations and dispositions. When I was at a symphony concert, a song I often hum was played, and the man in front of me began humming it. I believe that underlying musical messages I absorb are more powerful than words. When I hear someone salaciously strumming a guitar, it sounds much more romantic to me than listening to a person saying ‘I love you.’

Full, guttural sounds to light, airy tunes all come from music. Its range of tone and plethora of pitches make it relatable to everyone, young and old. The power of music is displayed through all sorts of people, and I am a living example.