REAL STORIES
BY REAL PEOPLE Search
Monday, October 23, 2017

Music is what feelings sounds like.

Credit: istock and its paid for
Where words fail, music speaks loudly and clear.

“It was an initiation into the love of learning, of learning how to learn, as a matter of interdisciplinary cognition - that is, learning to know something by its relation to something else.”

There is a reason that Looney Tunes did so many cartoons based off of operas and using classical music – and why these are the pieces of classical music we all know.

The Beautiful Blue Danube,” aka Looney Tunes “A Corny Concerto” and “The Ride of the Valkyries,” aka “Kill The Wabbit” and who can forget the “The Barber of Seville”? These are all well-known and successful pieces of music that are classical. Wagner, Strauss and Verdi were at one time household names, and while still well-known, sadly these names mean nothing to a growing number of people these days. They think classical music is boring and think they can’t relate to it, which is an important distinction to consider. People who “hate” classical music or say they just can’t relate to it, aren’t giving it a chance.

Maybe they think it wasn’t meant for them, or you have to have a music degree to appreciate anything about classical music. But consider why the movie “The Pianist” was such a blockbuster. We all know it wasn’t because of Adrian Brody’s good looks –it was because of the emotional rollercoaster this movie took us on through his music. I personally tried to watch this movie three times and could never get through it because of the horrible scenes of what the Jewish people endured. I ended up just buying the CD as I wanted so much to hear the music. If you have never seen this movie or heard the music, I highly recommend the sound track, but prepare yourself for the strong and powerful emotional ride the music alone gives you.

There is a reason that the German officer, Hosenfeld, helped Szpilman after hearing him play Chopin’s “Ballade in G Minor,” – because of the power of music. Hosenfeld was so moved by the beauty and intensity of the musical performance that he did something that went against his training and chose to help Szpilman. He did this because Hosenfeld wasn’t a robot, but a real person, and there really are powers that can move a human being instead of orders from a superior officer. In this case it was music. Another great and powerful movie with a musical
rollercoaster twist is “Shine”, which portrays the emotional stress David Helfgott endures during his training for perfection.

Knowing the power music can have, it is frustrating to think how many people close themselves off from their own enjoyment of classical music. Common excuses include: it’s boring; there are no words; concerts are too long and you have to sit still. Well, classical music is certainly not boring, and as for having no words, ask yourself if you’ve never had a moment of silent communication with someone. Then you can realize the power of communicating without words.

Note that the pivotal moment of “The Pianist” was a piece of music without words. There were no song lyrics to tell the listener what to think. The performer relies on the emotions he himself can infuse into the sounds, combined with the skill of the composer in actually arranging the music to mean something. Magical things can happen when listening to classical music.

Leonard Bernstein, says it perfectly, “Music . . . can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.”

Sometimes it really does help to have a little guidance, especially when listening to a piece for the first time. If you know a little about what the composer is trying to express in a particular piece, it sets up certain expectations. It would certainly change your experience of Mozart’s Requiem Mass if you expected it to be a party jam.

Benjamin Zander, a classical music expert and enthusiast, tells a story of a conversation he had with a young teenage boy in Ireland, who fought on the streets as part of the struggle between Catholics and Protestants. Zander had spoken and performed at the boy’s school, playing Chopin’s SOMETHING after explaining the basis for classical composition: it shows you your home, takes you away, and then brings you back home, safe and sound.

He told the audience to listen to how Chopin does this. He also told them to think of a person they love who was no longer with them while they listen. The next morning, the boy found Zander and told him how the year before, his brother had been shot and killed, but he had never cried for him. Not until Zander had explained how to listen to classical music did the boy feel tears streaming down his face for his brother, listening to the powerful sorrow in Chopin’s SOMETHING. “It felt good to cry for my brother,” he told Zander.

This experience convinced Zander that “everyone” can enjoy classical music – if they were willing to listen with an open mind, one would be amazed at what it could do to one’s heart. Opening the mind is more important than knowing how, because in the end, no one can tell you how you listen because no one can listen for you. You must be the one to discover what is meaningful for you, and you can’t do it unless you start trying out classical music. After all, haven’t you ever wondered why symphonies are still around when supposedly no one listens to classical music anymore?

Listen, > Why not explore the art of possibilities of what classical music can do for you?

Enjoy!

Now, please tell me where that last piece of music took you?



About the Writer

Angie Alaniz is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
Want to write articles too? Sign up & become a writer!

27 comments on Music is what feelings sounds like.

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Libdrone on September 17, 2010 at 01:12 am

I really agree with you about how powerful music can be, and while I am very into lyrics at times it is the music itself, without any lyrics, that can be so moving. When I was young and taking piano and voice lessons I got exposed to a lot of classical and opera. I am a bit more willing than you, Angie, to let folks choose for themselves what genres to listen to. I know that classical and opera will continue to thrive as new generations are exposed to them.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 01:34 am

Melody, Jackie Evancho sure is something. I got goose bumps the first time I heard her sing.

For those of you who missed her click here:

Also happy to hear that you loved "Warsaw Concerto", that one piece makes me cry each time I hear it. Its full of life and more.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 01:39 am

Libdrone, I hope so, I believe that the world could actually become a better place if people learned and listen more to what real music is, as it does open up your mind with much heart and soul.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By l0oree on September 17, 2010 at 02:29 am

one of my favorite moveis is The Land before Time ones because of the music in them. I would love to play those when my son was little and even when he was not at home just to listen to the music while I was doing other stuff.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 02:36 am

I0oree, I can totally relate to that. :)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By l0oree on September 17, 2010 at 05:14 am

Also I think all music is music. My babies made music with pots and pans on the kitchen floor when they were little. My son would get various glasses and fill with different amounts of water and tap them with a spoon. Drum beats are music. Electric gutair now that is something. Some gutarist can make the gutair sound like its singing. I personally play the clarinet. All sounds are music.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By l0oree on September 17, 2010 at 05:25 am

To the blind even footsteps are music. My mom could always tell my footsteps from any body else. My mom is not blind but she never listens to music. She is very musical though. She plays the french horn, piano, organ, accordian. She is the only person I have ever seen play an accordian and she is good at it. She still has it I am so impressed by her music skills, I always dreamed of learning to play the piano. I self taught myself a little bit. I would play on the piano when allowed and never quite knew when that was, but would do it anyway.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Kim on September 17, 2010 at 11:30 am

Angie - Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing. Music is definitely a language and art form that "can" trascend anything! Its a glorious force and one cannot truly articilate how it makes one feel. That's very personal and individual. I actually cannot imagine the world without music. Really enjoyed your article. Also, I'd encouarge anyone who has always wanted to play an instrument to go take the plunge and do it. Regardless of age...There's a right time, right place, all that's needed is a great teacher to get you started on the journey~

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Yvonne de la Vega on September 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Angie, while it's true that "The Pianist" was a blockbuster without words, it's also true that all of humanity primordally sang to communicate. It's a social stymie that a great percentage of humans "refuse" to sing due to self consciousness and peer pressures to be "good" at whatever we present. While some are musicians by calling and others are a variety of other talents, there is no reason why the education of our children should not include music. With music in the educational curriculum, a wide range of new awarenesses and skills would be fine-tuned. The most obvious of course would be music appreciation. With a solid, educated appreciation, music would not nearly be in the state it is in today, which is another topic much related, but another topic altogether. Unfortunately, with our educational system in the public schools, it is become the responsibility of the family's bread winner to see the value of music in their children's lives and take it upon themselves to further an education. It is a known fact that piano lessons help children to refine their motor skills, dexterity and coordination.??Playing piano involves usage of both the hemispheres of brain and leads to a good hand-eye coordination. The piano requires children to use both of their hands in a manner independent, one of the other, maintaining coordination between them, one moving fast, while the other is moving very slowly. As a result, a child develops complex thought process. Theses are just a couple of benefitial developements amongst a number of great things that happen when music is taught. Thanks you for your article. You have inspired a new one. I will tag you of course. ;D

Sincerely,

Yvonne

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By Libdrone on September 17, 2010 at 02:26 pm

Kim,

I remember having classes in music in kindergarten and elementary school. I particularly remember the whole class singing. And as I recall the teachers were inevitably full of praise for any effort and the focus was on gettting every child to participate rather than identifying who were the talented singers. Having taken about 7 years of piano lessons and grown up to be a thoughtful person, I suspect you are quite right about the value of learning piano in teaching a child to think.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By Theresa H Hall on September 17, 2010 at 05:25 pm

Music changes everything and every person. Without it life would still show us the music of the world in nature, but we would not be as fine-tuned as beings. We would be missing something so very vital to our freedom to express.

Leonard Bernstein is my favorite composer and conductor. My favorite LP's, was The Mass, and I would dearly love to find it again on CD.

I could not watch the movie The Pianist, due to the subject matter, as with other same themed movies. I cannot bear what happened to millions of innocent Jews, Catholics, Gypsies and so many others. I understand the movies are to make sure it doesn't happen again, but also to teach us about that Thin Line we all walk.

Let us return music to our schools, in fact, return all of the arts to our schools. when they removed them, too many of the children changed, and not for the better. Children need the arts to help them develop, soften and love their fellow mankind.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 06:04 pm

I0oree Thanks for sharing that all with us, it was pleasant to read it. :)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 06:08 pm

Kim,

Thank you and your welcome and I like you, I could never imagine our world without music. That is actually kind of hard to picture.

I also agree with you, about picking up an instrument if they have the desire to play. It's never to late to learn.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 06:35 pm

Yvonne,

Thank you for your comments.

It’s hard to believe that some schools do want to cut music out from schools curriculum, especially since it’s a well known fact that kids just do better in school with they are given music lessons.

It empowers their brain and awakes listening skills to another level of comprehension. Numerous studies have been done and its always the same.

Kids who take music lessons “always" do better in school.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Angie Alaniz on September 17, 2010 at 07:01 pm

Theresa, you're so right, and you’ve said it all!

"The Pianist" was a horrible movie, like I said above, I really did try and watch it 3 times at least, but each time, I had to turn it off. The subject line was so strong and hard and I consider myself a pretty tough cookie at times. But that movie I just couldn't watch.

However, the soundtrack is amazing and does still makes you feel the love and pain that was going on in the music alone.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By l0oree on September 23, 2010 at 04:26 am

My daughter in 5th grade had an assingnment to make a musical instrument. That was 2005 Arkansas, Lake Hamilton. It was an assignment she will never forget. I hope they never take that assignment away. This was in history class I think. All teachers should come up with lesson plans to integrate music into the teaching. The students learn and retain what they learn and improve upon what they learn and like learning it.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By dy_eve on October 06, 2010 at 10:08 pm

A movie like "The Pianist" in 100 years may be doing.I was impressed .Great movie,definitely worth seeing. The story and pictures are impressive even I felt sorry for Hosenfeld. He deserves a chance ...smiles.

For me, classical music is a music for the soul, where I found a lot of states from sadness to sobriety to happiness. It's a music you can listen anytime.

I prefer music of the 18th century. Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and others. I recently heard two pieces of Ravel, absolutely phenomenal.

The first would be Jeux d'eau (water play). A breath of fingers on keyboards piano, a joyous flow, a harmony of expression which everyone carries. The image of childhood is fleeting away before your eyes, whisper water quickly through the trees, coming to the valley ..

Other - Tzigane. Struggling violin, a pathetic lament and ethnic ties, with a rhythm passing almost to dance.

Great article as usual. Congratulations!

Dy,


 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Angie Alaniz on October 12, 2010 at 08:01 pm

Glad you enjoyed it :)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Angie Alaniz on October 12, 2010 at 08:02 pm

Thanks Dy :)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Lynda Lehmann on October 28, 2010 at 08:05 am

Excellent piece, Angie! I'm one of those who thinks classical music reaches to the core of our humanity, and I have a deep love for the romantic classical composers, above all.

I love Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, and Dvorak, to name a few.

People have a problem with or a block against classical music in the same way that they deny meaning in, or just cannot relate to, abstract art!

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By MUGISHO N.THEOPHILE on August 09, 2011 at 01:39 pm

Great writing here, Angie. Music softens thoughts and relaxes our minds when tired. We have heard various kinds of music in the world and they are all meant to convey some beliefs and attitudes of the producers.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Edgeoftheblues on August 26, 2011 at 04:13 am

I love classical music, but as a musician I prefer to perform more modern music because classical music feels to perfect and controlling to relate to on a personal level. It's very comforting to hear someone sing the exact words you've felt.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Angie Alaniz on August 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

To MUGISHO - Amen to that ;)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Angie Alaniz on August 26, 2011 at 11:52 am

@Edgeoftheblues - I imagine you would with a screen name like yours. And I totally agree with you to. Nothing else like somone singing (provided they have an average voice) to the words your heart can relate to.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By The Savvy Passenger on October 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Angie, Thank you for your insights on classical music. Even though the article was written over a year ago, I still find it pertinent and enjoyable to read. Being a classically trained violist when I was younger, I felt I lucked out to be introduced to the great classics of the past, and even while I enjoyed my Saturday morning cartoons. ;-) I wanted to add that many people who may not normally listen to classical music as a rule are still exposed to the medium through movie soundtracks... Even some whose story may have nothing to do with classical music. Can you imagine films like "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Arc," "E.T." or even "Schindler's List" without the classical music genre brought to it by John Williams? Or try to view "2001: A Space Odyssey" or "Platoon" without the familiar strains written by Strauss and Barber. Or try to visualize "The Lord of the Rings" trio of films with any other music besides Howard Shore's magnificent score! I shutter to think that kids today may not get the opportunity to be exposed, not only to the classics (both old and modern) but may be cheated of the chance to actually get their hands on the instruments that actually produce those emotionally moving pieces of aural art. Putting a violin or cello or oboe or trombone in a child's hands can be such a life changer..it was for me..

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Angie Alaniz on October 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm

No way Savvy Passenger, I can not imagine that. You are so right. Great movies like those wouldn't of made it with out the wonderful song of music each were given. That is a sure fact.

Its been a year since I wrote that? Gosh where does the time go when your having fun? :D

Thank you for your comment.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Betty B. on January 08, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Music comforts me..it's amazing..sounds i love..like when the birds sing, and your sitting in a garden, and you smell the fragrance of the flowers and you hear music in nature also.

 Report abuse



Add A Comment!

Click here to signup or login.


Rate This Article


Your vote matters to us



x


x