046: I am grateful for music

Last week when Carol and I were in Seattle we went to Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. The photo above is of the amazing guitar sculpture inside empsfm. The extensive¬† and carefully crafted exhibits were nothing short of amazing. We were completely blown away by the Jimi Hendrix exhibit and Guitar Gallery: The Quest for Volume. It’s not every day you get to see Hendrix’s smashed and burned guitars and the Fender that Eric Clapton played Layla on.

I love music; almost all kinds. You name it, from blues to classical, grunge to pop, ambient down-tempo to heavy metal, punk rock to holiday classics, I listen to almost all of it. Yes, I even like twangy, yodelly, old cowboy country and western music, but I tend to draw the line at “new country” (whatever the heck that means).

Thanks to a few pieces of software I can keep at least a partial record of the music I listen to over the last few years via last.fm. Here’s my library at the site.

What is music?

Music is “an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color; the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.” [source]

For someone who can’t play a lick nor read a note I am really into music. I was given plenty of opportunity to learn growing up:

  • There was a piano in the house, my piano playing prowess extends, and barely so, to chopsticks.
  • My parents bought me a guitar and enrolled me in lessons. I never finished and I cannot even remember why. The guitar got sold after years of hanging out un-played in the closet in my bedroom.
  • I took recorder lessons and hated every moment of it. Now I know why. I hear the little girls next door practicing and hate it all over again.

I guess it never is too late. I have been tinkering with a couple of music apps on my iPhone and, after seeing a friend begin playing aprés 40, I am considering another run at the guitar.

Today’s excuse not to learn an instrument? I do not want to torture my wife with horrendous learner play. LAME.

For now I will have to be content with listening to others play.

Here’s a piece from a favorite of mine, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, aka Ode to Joy. Beethoven was stone deaf when he wrote this. He never heard it played. Nor, do I suspect, he ever expected it to be performed this way:

Thank you Beethoven, thank you Beaker and thank you music!

Photo by Carol Browne on Flickr