Shakespeare hit the nail on the head with this line. I have to confess that I feel a little silly as I write so passionately about the experience of music, but I only do so because I am compelled by it. I try my best to avoid cliches and otherwise ridiculously empty sayings, but at the same time, I find truth and hope in something so cheesy as, "Music is a transcendent hope for so much of the negative in our world".
In speaking with other choristers we have noted how few, if any, other activities are so forgiving as music; in music if you sing a wrong note, nobody cares or remembers for very long, because they choose to remember the beautiful parts. In music everybody comes to watch a success, to hear a choir and orchestra from around the world join together for Brahms' Requiem; nobody is coming to beat their opponent or see somebody get defeated. Music is an activity that every participant is not only hoping for their colleagues' success but helping their colleague succeed; the better your colleague sounds, the better the group as a whole sounds. Tonight our group sat out on the patio next to the pool and had a little group time. We wanted to practice one of our songs, but aware of the late hour, we knew we needed to practice it quietly. Suddenly, in a way that only a poet can describe, from the mouths of 30 individuals all focused on our conductor's cues, in the middle of the night in a country foreign to everyone of us, perfect harmony filled the air, echoing off of the pool and building walls. Folks from every floor came out to their balcony, probably waking from their sleep, to hear us--to hear the Rocky Mountain College Choir. They knew not who they where listening to, but they knew it was beautiful and they expressed to us their approval by erupting into applause and calls for more. As cheesy as it sounds, that's what I am talking about--that is the power of music.
We have been through a whole week or more of practices now, and tonight was the first with the full orchestra. This addition was pleasant to the sound, and entertaining to the practice. Remember that we are already dealing in a number of languages, the choir split between English and Bulgarian, and nine conductors from all over, two translators and now a whole group of musicians playing a number of different instruments. It still amazes me how so many different people can come together from such vastly different backgrounds and make something so amazing happen.
More Musings by Jesse