With the attention school budgets have been getting during current, critical fiscal considerations, our school considered some cuts in its music programs. It raised quite a bit of concern among the people who thronged to Board of Education meetings to voice their objections. They were successful, and the music cuts were dismissed. I congratulate the protesters.
Music is a strange phenomenon. It is peculiarly unique to humans, and adds an elemental capacity for the appreciation of perfection to the human spirit. It is a part of even the most primitive human civilizations. If you are humming a tune while walking your dog and his tail is wagging in perfect time with the rhythm, I can assure you, that it is pure happenstance. Just try a slower tune and see if his tail slows down.
Music not only appeals to, but crystallizes our highest aspirations. We express our purest emotions in music. It seems universal that people cannot imagine a heavenly bliss, without music being a part of it, whether it is angels with harps, or whatever. Music is a most important part of worshipping God. What would the world's cathedrals be without those giant pipe organs? It strikes me that we never hear much about music from countries of the Middle East. Is that why societies there have so much trouble with relationships? Perhaps becoming indoctrinated with inspirational music is all that is needed to bring a more serene life to troubled areas of the world.
When one considers all the wonderful music that has been composed and performed throughout history, and the fact that through recording it can be enjoyed without the necessity of hiring a grand orchestra, it is a pity that some of the world's best music is so seldom heard. Some of the most inspirational music by what we consider the real masters, were forerunners of some of mankind's greatest steps forward in discovery.
Some of the popular music of today seems to indicate a musical illiteracy that has dominated popular culture by the more immature segment of our society. With all the fireworks, flashing lights, razzle-dazzle and screaming singers in runaway emotion, the music seems the least meaningful part of the exhibition. It serves, at best, as only a rationale for the wild emotion that the complete confusion has generated. It gives one pause to wonder what is happening to people, when they seem to have little interest in the beauty, and serenity of soul that music can give.
When our children were small, they grew up hearing much classical music in the house. We had a large speaker system that could rattle the windows. We also had a large collection of 33 1/3 albums of the classical composers. In their teens our kids were as much into pop music as any, but I'll never forget when one of them returned home after being away for a long period, asked of he could play one of the old masters he hadn't heard in a long time.
There is a wide range in the degree of musical talent various people have. I believe it is due more than anything else to early exposure. Some degree of musical training in young people goes a long way to humanize them, and to more fully appreciate the finer things life has to offer.
Allow me to cite a short excerpt of a poem, from a poet I know.
"Music's a clue that there is a perfection,
Lifting humanity over the earth.
Rhythm and harmony point the direction
Where our fulfillment will have a new birth."
May God bless America.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org