Friday, March 27, 2020

The power of music ...

The famed Neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks wrote this just days after the September 11th attacks on the Twin Towers.

On my morning bike ride to Battery Park, I heard music as I approached the tip of Manhattan, and then saw and joined a silent crowd who sat gazing out to sea and listening to a young man playing Bach’s Chaconne in D on his violin. When the music ended and the crowd quietly dispersed, it was clear that the music had brought them some profound consolation, in a way that no words could ever have done.
Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional. It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique power to express inner states or feelings. Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation. One does not have to know anything about Dido and Aeneas to be moved by her lament for him; anyone who has ever lost someone knows what Dido is expressing. And there is, finally, a deep and mysterious paradox here, for while such music makes one experience pain and grief more intensely, it brings solace and consolation at the same time.”

To me his words are as comforting today as they were back then.


Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Oh yes it does. Recently Rian at Older but Better posted the song "One Day at a Time" on her blog for us to enjoy. It was at the beginning of all this stress and I can only say that peace poured over me in warmth and comfort as I listened. I ended up downloading the song by Meriam Bellina from Amazon and use it when needed. It's playing now.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

They are so appropriate for today!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I have been listening to music on my phone even when walking downtown and sharing it with others as I'm not using earbuds. Music is uplifting so I am sharing.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

From my friend Jan:

I leave classical music on NPR when I leave the house and Rusty (my cat) sleeps thru my absence. He has separation anxiety and sits in the window watching for my van when I am gone otherwise and hangs onto my legs when I do come home even if I have been gone for only 5 minutes. But I can sneak out and back in if the music is on and he sleeps thru it. He is much calmer even when awake if classical music is playing.
So it seems to work for more than just people!

6:57 AM  
Blogger Friko said...

For years music was a big thing in my life. Then I married a musician and it took a back seat. When music is your livelihood it becomes less like wallpaper, more serious. Now my husband as died, my dog has died, the world is shrinking, I have rediscovered music for myself, very LOUDLY ( I have no neighbours). Yes, it is becoming a great solace again.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Joared said...

I couldn’t agree more about the value of music. Oliver Sacks writings are really informative — have read most of his books.

12:19 AM  

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