Moved by Music- A different kind of music

musicWhat do we mean by the music, how do we define it, and how does it make us feel

Three simple questions which most of us, without thinking, would say would be easily answered, but even without entering the realms of musical philosophy, history, or technical structure, might not a such a series of apparently simple questions prove to be far more problematical than they seem

The other day a friend of mine challenged me to name my favourite piece of music, and to explain why it was so important and what it meant to me. Even if the question was solely about what most of us regard as “music” the choice would have been difficult for me for during my formative years my musical upbringing was to say the least unusual. Down one ear my father indoctrinated me (thank heavens) on the joys and intricacies of classical music, while through my other ear I Could hear my brother listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the moon and the now “classic” L.P,s of Genesis.

The answer I gave him stunned him into silence as I stated that my favourite had no sound, no recognisable format, and no theme or Title. I also stated that I couldn’t prove that this “music ” was even there. Yet I had to give it a name, as  quite fairly, he wanted to know more.

I called it a different kind of music, and now nearly 30 years later, I cannot give it any other name.

From what I can gather from various sources it is  best described as a “sense of place” which is at it’s strongest when you are in an open or wild landscape, so, for terms of reference that is the term I shall use here. I was standing on the Finnmark Plateau in the far north of Norway, and in a landscape which was as wide and empty as the rocks were shattered and bare, but a  power streamed forth from that landscape which was beyond compare.

Apparently there is  a cold scientific explanation for what I was feeling, which, in essence was  some kind of a trigger or chemical switch in my brain, but even to this day such an explanation is of no interest to me, for as I stood there it was as if I could hear/sense the energy and essence of every living form which had lived, loved, and died on that plateau over the years. There were no words,  there were no mellifluous melodies, and apart from a nagging wind around my shoulders there was no “orchestra” or “band” hammering out a tune; yet to my inner mind there was a song.

A glorious song, an unending song, which pouring out of every nook and cranny which changed me for ever, and which has remained with me to this day

It has left me with a question though. Was it a song, was it music, and when we talk about music how far back down,, or far up the musical trail are we, as music lovers prepared to go?

As a noun, music can be described as:-

a vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

But who is fully qualified to determine the parameters of universal beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion, and whom is to say that such values should be for all time?

The curious thing is that we have gone from potential empathy with the landscape to an “orchestral work”  called 4’33” by the composer John Cage, ( see youtube at the top of post) which, as 4’33” worth of silence (in three silent movements) is as good as it’s name, so maybe my favourite piece of music is not quite as daft or as potentially “unmusical”as it seems.

So just a thought folks, what’s your take on music, and what is your favourite “composition” or “tune”

This post is in response to the DPchallenge 04/11/2013

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6 replies

  1. I love your experience with, what I would call “nature’s music” or “the music of the planet.” My belief is that everything comes down to being energy and that it can and does have a melody. Wonderful post.


  2. Hi Danni. thank you for your comment, and all I can say to you, and anyone else who can or who wants to feel such forces, is to experience then whenever you can, but don’t go “looking” for them. If you open yourself up as an individual to them, then they will find you, but in their own time and in their own way. Also don’t try and understand them, just “enjoy ” them, and do so in your own special way



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