The magic of music beguiles all human beings. We can’t resist it. The sirens on the rock lured the sailors with their melodies so sweet, only to go silent when the ship crashed against the rocks.
Music can overwhelm the mind. When we hear it, we lose our bearings too.
Soldiers fighting at the Front during the First World War, stopped to play football, to greet each other, and then sing Christmas carols together.
The music in their voices moved them to act humanely again, to pay respect to dead comrades of both sides, to exchange gifts, and talk.
For a moment, they recognised each other as being one and the same. Human.
When we hear the gliss of fingers walk across the neck of a guitar, the rhythm of the drums, the singer’s voice begins to call, and for a moment our mind is blank, we must do as we are told and follow the beat.
It’s a mystery, we don’t have answers for everything in life.
That’s a good thing, let’s keep a few things secret and just allow ourselves to become enchanted by what we hear from beyond the veil.
We hear music everywhere, all day, and in the strangest places. Sometimes we don’t notice how it catches our soul and makes us stop, makes us forget.
The child’s voice in the street is making music, the busker on the corner playing guitar, even the low, almost hidden melodies of old songs that accompany us as we shop for salad and rice, and a drink that makes us feel good. The click of stiletto heels along the street, tap out a rhythm, demanding our attention, hoping for accompaniment from the clatter of a passing truck.
Ancient Life Blood
We can’t forget music. It’s in our blood, a language from long ago that informs us of secret things. It’s the mysterious dialect of the ancients.
The rhythms of the soul that bring peaceful feeling, and form friendship among the tired wayfarers of life.
We can’t always say why a friendship is formed, there was something playing in the background, deep down we knew that something struck a chord.
Music is harmonious, no wonder that it creates good will and friendliness.
Most of us have a musical instrument in our home, a guitar hanging on the wall, ready to use, a moment away from hands that itch to make music.
But to speak the ancient language takes skill, so we are told.
Intellectuals have owned the domain, lectured to the listeners and told them that to make music you must be skilled.
A soul that yearns to sing, to play, to experiment with strange sounds, that’s not musical, according to the intellectuals.
You must learn to spell a chord, understand the relationships of notes — intellectually.
You must ignore your desire to make noise and find the music.
You need to work it out first, to break it down into its component parts, and ask pointless questions about which notes cluster well together, and why some sound off.
They say this helps you to listen properly, to practise using the tools of music. You ears.
I suspect that they want us to listen to their music. Why doesn’t their music work its magic?
To make music you must sit up straight, don’t slump onto your instrument, don’t let your thumb curl around the guitar neck, stretch your fingers to reach the keys of the piano — you can’t make music if your body is not prepared.
To begin to play music that is already in your soul, you are told to stop yourself, to curb the desire that you have to immediately make music.
Practice will out talent.
When we learn to speak languages, we are told to learn a few words and start to speak. Steven Pinker, among others, is convinced that grammar and language is hard-wired into the soul. I agree.
When you teach a language to another person, you witness some astonishing moments of mental phenomena happening.
Sometimes a new student will take the language and run, and in ten weeks you can hear them chatting, riffing, putting words together and making music, their own music with the language.
It’s as if they decided to throw the book out the window and just do it their way.
Playing music, learning how to do it, is often about finding out who you are. You have your own music to play and you must find the instrument that helps you find your way.
Everybody learns how to do things in life. Some become great at what they do, and others seem to spend years just practising the same old musical scale, again and again.
Language and music require you to use your ears. Most teachers see that their students already have ears on each side of their heads.
So, as far as beginning to practise goes, we’re all set to try a few sentences, to see how it sounds when we pluck a chord. To speak a few lines.
The teacher picks up on bum-notes and bad pronunciation, when the student is too hard or soft with the word, or won’t open their mouth when they speak, can be utilised for improvement.
The mumbling sounds that make no sense, can often be transformed to a student’s style of speech.
Making music and speaking a language — there is little difference.
Both wonderful, mysterious expressions of the soul.
Music speaks to a higher dialect in our deeper selves.
They both can be used to make war or peace. Bang a drum and see how the crowd gathers, speak with musical rhythms in your voice and convince the crowd to follow, go to war or make peace with your neighbours.
The ancients knew that we are made of many things.
The sirens on the rocks also knew that when fear is in the hearts of sailors they will listen and follow the ancient language — not all sailors are musicians, but they instinctively know the song.
The intellectuals who want us to dismantle things, examine them and study their components before using them, only serve their own meddling curiosity, and are often guilty of clipping the wings of greatness that can be found in all of us.
The sirens on the rocks, mermaids, nymphs, undines in the woodlands, call to the human soul.
They use their music for malice, to lure the fearful person towards the sweetness in the sound of their voices, then to crash them on the rocks of life where travellers lose their souls.
The sirens have no soul, so why should humans possess such power?
Music beguiles our souls, calls out to our deepest instincts and causes us to become motivated to live life fully.
If we are unaware of the music that stems from our own depths, then we will only be drawn to the music of others.
The sirens wish to possess a soul, they see it as a way of living more peacefully, happily, yet they know that it will shorten their life and their singing will stop.
The music in our depths connects us to our true selves, and to others.
It is a language that we can practise and learn as we discover how the clang of a chord causes a throng of life towards ourselves.
The notes, one after another, become sweeter with practice, and that’s all we know.