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<<  -- 3 --  Gordon Rumson    FOOL'S GOLD


We have placed far too much emphasis on the potency of music to capture a higher human spirit. The Nazis loved the greatest music and look what they were.

Music is also simply dangerous to people as the professional musician with tendinitis will tell you. Music is bad for the soul as the rock musician will tell if he can awake from his drug induced coma or the classical composer will tell if he can be roused from his bitterness.

Classical Music as a High Art is a sham. Glass, who is a mirror for our folly, has shown us this. The lesson can be found in the fact that the external appurtenances of classical music, being absent from Glass's music, are not directly related to the inner spiritual content of music. For this reason a lone folk singer in a kitchen on the shores of Cape Breton Island can have more inner meaning than a giant symphony played by the world's best orchestra.

But remember, as Rumi said: There is fool's gold because there is real gold. Modern Classical Music as we know it may be a sham, but there is Real Music.

Great music is not found in the technical structure, for Glass's music has none of that, nor does the folk singer's, but great music is found in some inner realm of spirit that is beyond mechanics, beyond technique and beyond the mere surface noise of music.

What can the modern composer learn from this? That a new simplicity is possible only when, instead of relying upon technique for the creation of music, the composer listens within his/her own soul for the promptings of the Spirit (and please do not reduce this to a merely religious doctrine) and discovers the true harmony. In ancient times it was called the Harmony of the Spheres and our world was but its reflection. We must clean the mirror of our own souls -- to use a visual image -- and then ... and then ... listen.

Thank you Mr Glass for this excellent lesson.

Copyright © 14 August 2001 Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada




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