A gruelling test
As the deluge of music generally classified as 'classical' now rains
upon our ears day and night, may there not be moments of hesitation
when we question the desirability of an unstoppable flood? Water
is essential for human survival; music is a powerful tool for Man in
need of qualities beyond basics. Nonetheless, do we not fall prey to an
almost manic desire for the music beat that seems elemental to the ear
and heart of mankind? It is universal and as powerful now as ever it was.
A challenge to Man lies in the concentration demanded to comprehend
Music. About twenty seconds after it starts our concentration is liable to
lapse, then discipline is required to maintain a Quixotic mixture of 'on'
and 'off' until the piece's conclusion.
The destructive challenge to music from those who listen is found in this
test of 'approachability'. Breaking into a new piece is like walking
unknown territory, and a large percentage of listening is inhibited by this
unavoidable process. All too often, the listener backs away -- even if he
eventually returns. The astonishing fact remains that Music survives this
gruelling test, and millions of devoted fans are ever ready to submit to Music
in the knowledge that it is unique and, at best, an overwhelming human experience.
Copyright © 5 August 2003 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK