Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sabbatical... until the Sabbath

Well, goal number two of 2012 has already failed miserably... "be more consistent with my blog".

Luckily, most people don't care that much, so I am alright in that aspect of life.

For those of you who don't know, I am a music major at Grove City College. As a music major, there is that stereotypical amount of obsession with music that normally follows. But lately, I have realized just how true it all really is.

For my Civ Arts course, we have to write a paper either analyzing a piece of art or a song. I chose Le Secret by Gabriel Faure, my all time favorite composer (next to John Williams and Howard Shore, that is. :P)

In my researching and analysis, I have come to see the amount of joy and work composers put into their pieces. Not that I didn't already know this, but it was a reiteration as of late.

It also occurred to me that most people don't actually listen to music.

"Wait!" you say. "I have an Ipod! I listen to Coldplay and the Beatles almost everyday!"

The truth is, most people only HEAR music, they don't LISTEN to it.

Take a piece of classical music, for instance. Clair de Lune by Debussy. The song is based off of a poem. That is about the amount of analysis most people go into with it. But examine it a little more.

The first measure of the piece is written with a I chord (aka, in the common Db minor key, the primary notes used would be Db, F and Ab). Normally, in musical theory, you would double the tonic (Db) in the chord. But the first chord doesn't even HAVE Db in it! Why did Debussy do this? Was he just feeling saucy and rebellious and wanted to change from the normal and stick it to the man? Probably not. As the words of the song go, loosely translated, "love is final, yet not complete". By not putting the tonic in this measure until the last beat, Debussy reiterates with music what the words of the poem say. And when you realize there is that much composition and thought in just the first measure of the piece, you have a little heart attack when you consider the entirety of the piece.


At any rate, think of the beauty in music, not only in how it sounds, but what it means, both literally and emotionally.

What has inspired you lately?