Sunday, January 1, 2012

Music Hath Charms

Some things are just a big mystery to me. Music is one of them. How vibrations in the air that move your eardrum can completely change your mood boggles my mind.

Here are a few YouTube clips that made an impression on me. Some are a bit lengthy, but you can get the gist of them in the first minute.

The first clip makes me think of the cybersangha practising together all around the world.

The second clip is a graphical representation of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. It's hard to imagine that one person is playing all those notes. Apparently both hands and both feet are required.

If you're feeling a bit down, a little bluegrass might raise your mood a notch - especially Earl Scruggs and friends playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

If that music didn't make you smile, perhaps this might... OK maybe the image helps too...

The last clip is Suo Gan, a Welsh lullaby that was made popular by the movie Empire of the Sun. I don't know if music can make you feel compassion, but this one must come close.

On that 'note', warm wishes for a harmonious New Year!


  1. ha! I was just saying yesterday, reflecting on the recent Kennedy Center Awards program, that musicians are tapping into some universal stream that others just don't know about.

    Before my daughter could speak a full sentence, she could sing a long song. Music comes from a different part of the brain, and makes connections that speech cannot. Charms, yes indeed.

  2. It's funny, no sooner than I had posted this than I saw two other posts about the power of music. Kind of like noticing all the VW beetles on the road as soon as you get one. I'll bet your daughter still loves music.

  3. David,
    I've actually been thinking the past few weeks about music's abiiity to alter our mood, so it's funny I should read this today. I'm living with my sister for a spell, helping with the kids, and her 4 month old cries more than her older brother did. What we've discovered is the power of music to calm her - more than being held or spoken to. Just music. I wonder about the vibration - is it that it brings us into harmony?

    And...I'm lost - in a meditative way - in some of the clips you posted. The first one is beautiful, especially the way tech and art are combined. But I'm quite impressed with the BAch graphics! I'm more spatially and visually oriented, as well as tone deaf, and this added a whole other layer of pleasure for me - Thanks for sharing!


  4. Thanks, Kellie! It's funny - I've been noticing coincidences more lately - maybe it's something in the air... I think there is a lot to be learned from music and we have probably only scratched the surface.

  5. It certainly is true that music is powerful! For me I'm enchanted by the complexity. And I think sometimes maybe music is a lot like life... You can play things real simple - But you miss all the highs and lows. Music too without those "extreme" notes, would be monotone and dull.

    Good thing to remember during the challenging parts of our lives. It's what helps us make rhythmic sense in the patterns of our days. The ups and downs do have a place in our world.

    I hope you have a year of happy tunes David!

    1. I like the analogy of extreme notes in a tune and the highs and lows in our life. When we all play our lives together, we must be a symphony! Thanks for your harmony, Bea.


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