The Nature of Music

Beauty is the name we give our response to the perfection we sense around us

Composers know how to use harmony and melody like a net to catch beauty's colors and radiance. And when we like what we hear, we open our pores to take in more – just as we close them against what seems ugly or offensive. Isn't that why we remember so vividly the hours or days spent in places we love, perhaps in the mountains or by the sea, where all our senses were awake?

Where is beauty located? Everywhere we recognize it: the pattern is in us. Beauty is the name we give our response to the perfection we sense around us, and within us.

~ from THE NATURE OF MUSIC by Maureen McCarthy Draper

After listening to the music I was able to pray again

I am one of a new breed, a hospital musician. Last week a doctor who had come out of a difficult eight-hour surgery heard the piano and stopped to rest. He said the aria I was playing from Bach's Goldenberg Variations revived him by reminding him of the larger picture. He said he felt more accepting of the outcome of the operation he'd performed. The man who'd received a new kidney said, "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony reminded me how much I want to live, how much I love life. After listening to the music I was able to pray again."

~ from THE NATURE OF MUSIC by Maureen McCarthy Draper

Music is sound and silence

Music is sound AND silence. It is the spaces BETWEEN the notes that create rhythm, melody, and meaning, and the greater the composer -- and the perfornance -- the better the quality of the silence. Legendary pianist Artur Schnabel said that it wasn't the notes but the silences between them he played better than other people. A few seconds more or less at crucial moments in the performance of a piece may mean the difference between a mundane and a transcendent experience.

~ from THE NATURE OF MUSIC by Maureen McCarthy Draper
Nature of Music: Beauty, Sound and Healing
By Maureen McCarthy Draper
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