There are days
There are more days than not when the music enthusiast (such as me) finds
the entire subject of Music an essential condition of life. Is not Music a
temptation for over-indulgence in something 'nice' yet basically unimportant
in the scheme of things? Well, is it?
If you have chosen to read this your answer will scale Music's importance to your
own evaluation, or your passion will encourage indignation that Music might be
under-rated. Either way, and regardless of our own estimation, Music is unequivocally
unique and unquestionably significant as an enormous influence upon Mankind, a role
it has played from Man's earliest habitation of this planet.
So, where do we fit in? Individually we care as much or little about Music
as our temperament allows. We are all different in countless ways, and some of
that admits or rejects Music from our lives. If rejected there is a clear
difference between one and the other. As one with a musically-saturated mind
I regard Life generally as a state-of-being in which the effect of Music is
crucial to my existence. There can be no withdrawal from this estimation unless
the vital element of Music is missing, and that I regard as unimaginable.
In this regard how do you stand? I've no clear idea what statistical evidence
there might be to prove much of the world musically fallow -- or the reverse.
As most of us have some element of musical feeling within -- mostly
unrealised -- there's probably a stronger feeling for
its progression rather than against. There can only be an academic answer, and that
probably incapable of genuine interpretation.
My inclination is to respond as I find in the world generally, which
suggests that about two in ten may acknowledge Music if it is within earshot.
As for the rest, it is a sensation common to most ears
yet only 'heard' should a single element have a familiar outline.
If that assumption runs counter to your own understanding, let it remain so
whilst I put a general hypothesis to the test: most of us can recognise a popular
tune, especially if it returns us to childhood
memories. More to the point, does such a tune and reaction create a pleasurable
response linked with
favourable memories? Whilst that suggestion may seem pointless, I've noted occasions
when a response can invoke the reverse, indicating a less-than-enjoyable initiation.
Further, the 'difficult' occasion has a stronger hold upon our senses, and stays
within our memory longer and deeper.
I've always been fascinated by musical memory, especially from childhood when
musical response is early in its development. In my seventies the feeling of
everlasting growth indicates that it should never stagnate, although I do question
the assumption that our musical development guarantees a kind of maturity lacking in
those of lesser years. We mature at different rates, as I've noticed from some of
my elders still making judgements of questionable value!
Copyright © 15 July 2003 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK