Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Words and Music

Music is not a thing. It is physical because it is captured by one of our senses, but it is not something you can reach out and touch. Perhaps it is like the wind, it is there and you can feel it but you cannot see it. It is another type of language, but one which everyone can understand. A very special means of communication. Words can never tell you what a piece of music sounds like - never. If I say that a piece is powerful, rhythmic, expressive, energetic, forceful, explosive, inpired, has perfect form and logic, soulful, sexy, emotional, touching, gentle, suave, exquisite, etc., have I made you hear the piece by means of words? Those terms can be applied to thousands of different pieces of music. However, I might be able to use words to tell you that a piece of music fails to communicate anything worth listening to more than once or that it's a great piece of music - to critique it, that is. But I can go no further. We are priviledged to have it at our disposal.

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