If I had my life to live again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
It is one of the many paradoxes of psychology that the pursuit of happiness defeats its own purpose. We find happiness only when we do not directly seek it. An analogy will make this clear. In listening to music at a concert, we experience pleasurable feelings only so long as our attention is directed towards the music. But if in order to increase our happiness we give all our attention to our subjective feeling of happiness, it vanishes. Nature contrives to make it impossible for anyone to attain happiness by turning into himself.
The essence of music is revelation... There is something marvelous in music. I might almost say it is, in itself, a marvel. Its position is somewhere between the region of thought and that of a phenomena; a glimmering medium between mind and matter, related to both and yet differing from either. Spiritual, and yet requiring rhythm; material, and yet independent of space... It is spirit, yet in need of time, rhythm; it is matter, yet independent of space.
Music is for the betterment and enrichment of the individual, just as education and reading are. When people come together to play music as they do to play bridge, civilization will have taken its longest stride forward since the beginning of time. Music is something to live with always, and children should be taught to regard it as a close and inalienable friend.
Although music appeals simply to the emotions, and represents no definite images in itself, we are justified in using any language which may serve to convey to others our musical expressions. Words will often pave the way for the more subtle operations of music, and unlock the treasures which sound alone an rifle, and hence the eternal popularity of song.
The silence in our lives is under assault on all fronts: roaring jets and blasting Walkmans, numbing elevator music and blaring headline news. It’s hard to genuflect to the beat of MTV. We are wired, plugged in, constantly catered to and cajoled. After a while we become terrified out of the silence, unaware of what it has to offer. We drown out the simple question of God with the simplistic sound-bites of man.