I have been in a streak of writing about autism and product reviews, that I have neglected the ‘Soprano’ part of my blog name. It is a such very large part of who I am, that it is a shame I don’t write about it more. As I was digging through some stuff on my computer, I came across some recordings I had of various symphony orchestras performing selected symphonies. I am a Mozart fan all the way, but breaking out of character I always go straight for the 2nd Movement (Allegretto) of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Many people forget that to have a 5th and 9th symphony, you have to at least have a 1-4 and a 7 and 8. In my opinion, 7 feels tends to be sorely overlooked. This 2nd movement starts out with a simple sweet melody and slowly you hear it morph in to a passionate forte at its peak. Beethoven writes so seamlessly that you almost don’t realize what’s happened until the robust passionate forte is upon you. It gives you goosebumps, and takes my breath away. Lots and LOTS of goosebumps.
The Dance of the Conductor
I have actually played violin longer than I have sung. 27 years. (Oh my gosh really….? 27? It’s been that long, and I am already that old? What happened? 😉 )
Anyway, if you truly want to experience music, you need to watch it as well as hear it. Especially watch the conductor. When you watch a good conductor do their magic, you see what almost looks like an interpretive dance. It flows from the music which the style interpretation flows from the conductor. The musicians have the notes, they have the passion, but the conductor shapes that passion so that the symphony stays on the same emotional stylistic page. Playing a song without a conductor is rare, and if it does happen, it usually only happens in a rehearsal. I know from experience, that something is missing without the conductor.
Classical Music is Beautifully Complex
I know it may sound snobby, but there is a difference in the makeup of modern
rock/pop chord progressions and those of classical. I have no problem with pop/rock music, and you will find my Google playlist will speak to that 😉 . But their styles have drastically different chord progressions (often called harmonic progressions) Common basic pop/rock harmonic progression:
I – IV – vi –V – I
common classical progression:
I could have tried to draw or type it out myself, I guess. But, do you see why I didn’t? :’D
Do you also see now, why classical music sounds complex? The arrows mean the different progression paths you can choose, and this is just the major key version. (the arrow between the V and vi at the bottom represents the deceptive progression; which is exactly that. It fools your ear into thinking the phrase is coming to completion and then, nope we’re having another go around. And capital and lower case roman numerals show which chords are major and minor)
This is why I LOVE classical music. Just like our thoughts and emotions, it can be so complex (even when it sounds simple) and take so many paths. And if you think this is complex, just research jazz and blues progressions, atonalism, and melodic modes!
Add the dance of the conductor to all of this, and a musical emotional therapy session ensues.
I Wish Everyone Would be Able to Experience Playing an Instrument at Some Point in Their Life
This has so many benefits! Parents, I hope you see a glimpse as to why classical music and learning an instrument are so beneficial to the mind and, even more so, a developing mind. Not only do they experience something beautiful, but studies have shown that while playing an instrument areas all over the brain simultaneously are active and help improve the brain’s function in so many more areas than just the music processing area.
Without music in my life, I would have always felt I was missing something. I still remember the week that the high school musicians came to my elementary school and played for us and let us try out instruments. The first day was the band instruments. I tried them, I honestly wanted to really like one of them, but I just didn’t make a connection with any of them. Then the second day, the orchestra students came. They played, and I honestly don’t remember trying an instrument though I am sure I did. The memory/feeling seared into my mind was seeing a violinist play a song, and my mouth just dropped. It stayed like that the whole song. Not a surprised drop, but one of love. I fell in love with the violin that day, and I knew instantly that it was the instrument I was born to play. And, I’ve been playing ever since. It wasn’t until 3 or 4 years later that I discovered that I had a talent for singing.
The Dance of the Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Oh, how I wish I could have played or sang under his direction. Leonard Bernstein was a master in the composition and direction of music. I talked about my favorite Beethoven symphony earlier in this post, and so that you can witness why I love it and this style of music so much, I have added a link to a performance of it with Leonard doing his Dance of the Conductor.
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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