Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Music of the Spheres/Music From the Spheres

Greetings.   Is anyone actually reading?  Would love some actual comments - if only just to know someone is out there.  I'm moving this back to the top as I thought this one came out well and would love to have it read by a few more good folks. 

Sunday (1/24), while waiting to be dug out after the storm, I decided to watch a C-Span American History TV program on "Founding Era Music and Politics."  I know, I watch way too much tv, but... In this case I do like history; Colonial, Revolutionary, and early Federal History in particular. This program was really very good.  The presenter was Dr. Kirsten Wood, and with her were performers from SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.  They were excellent and the live music really added a extra dimension to Dr. Wood's fine talk.  Oh, you can watch the video here !

Along with some politics and quotes from members of our founding generation, Wood talked about how some scholars of the time saw music as a uniquely forceful means of communication. Centuries later I still concur with that.  Music can bring us together; express our dreams, hopes, fears; can move both mind and body; and as she noted late in the talk, can also stir up disharmony, too.

As far as politics, music has been linked to that closer to our time as well.  As we've noted elsewhere, where would the Twentieth Century have been without protest music?  I think it was Linda Ellerbee who noted in one of her books, "When the music stops, the Revolution is over."  So get with the program folks, we need some of that musical stimulus today!  Remember that protest song in Canada?  Let's take a cue.

She also talked about scholars during the founding era believing in "celestial harmony" and "music of the spheres."  Of course my ears REALLY pricked up on that.  One of my all time favorite bands, Argent, did a song, "Music From the Spheres."  I thought of that immediately!  She felt that we no longer seem to believe in celestial harmony nor music of the spheres.  Well, I don't know if there is celestial harmony, but I certainly pray for it. And music of/from the spheres? Well, isn't it true that objects ---- like planets and stars (any beings, objects, really) have vibrations?  From the Wikipedia article on 'Theory of Everything' :  "According to string theory, every particle in the universe, at its most microscopic level (Planck length), consists of varying combinations of vibrating strings (or strands) with preferred patterns of vibration."  YEAH, sounds like music of the spheres to me!

But it was Wood's conclusion that put the presentation over the top for me.  She noted the founding generation felt the nation must "find harmony in its diversity."  She went on to note that they didn't pay attention to all the diversity of the nation. and that for us today, the task is "far more complicated but as urgent as ever." [did the best I could with those quotes from listening; sorry c-span, but your transcripts are horribly poor!]

I have to say AMEN to that conclusion. This directly relates to unity, a theme I return to constantly.  And Wood is absolutely correct.  Somehow seeking harmony and unity in our diversity is critical for us with the challenges we face as a nation and as a Planet.  We must reject seeds of divisiveness and intolerance.  The current political climate here and abroad keeps bringing that home.  We must see and acknowledge the basic humanity of each of us, and build on that to work together to create a better nation and world for all.  Ok, how many times have I said that or something very similar?  Not enough, I guess.  Andre Gide once said: "Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens, we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." So ok, folks, time to listen up!

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