They say the first bit of music you ever hear is your mother’s heartbeat — you feel the lull and vibration of her voice, every step she takes and even the movement of her breath.
This rhythm is inherited, so it’s easy to understand how music has been influencing us even in the first few weeks of our lives.
Your sense of music evolves: beats and rhythms become a part of a code — scales, chords and harmonics delegate how music flows from an instrument or a collaboration of instruments to our ears.
We’ve each had that favorite song since we were younger, that band we worship or that must-see artist in concert.
It’s the sensation you get from saying, “They’re my favorite,” as if they only belong to your personal taste and style. And regardless if it’s only the melody that moves you or the lyrics, it becomes poetry to our ears.
But have we forgotten the value in this phenomenal sensation, that it barely makes a difference in our lives?
We’ve forgotten the saying, “stop and smell the roses” years ago, but when did we terminate our ability to stop and listen to the music?
Almost four years ago, the Pulitzer-Prize winning article “Pearls Before Breakfast” was published in The Washington Post.
It was a feature story that depicted how Joshua Bell, an American Grammy Award-winning violinist, disguised himself in a D.C. metro station and played for 45 minutes amongst hidden cameras, and a cluster of people in a hurry.
The cameras later revealed that out of 1,097 people, there was never a crowd that stopped to watch him, to listen to his technique and beauty.
Only one person actually recognized him for the famous artist that he was.
In the feature story, the author, Gene Weingarten, asks the philosophical question, “If a great musician plays great music, but no one hears … was he really any good?”
Most of the people interviewed for the story said they didn’t notice, or were in a rush to get to work. The only two people that did notice were in awe, but unfortunately, it was only those two.
Weingarten establishes this disappointment accurately when he quotes Welsh poet W.H. Davies, saying, “if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that — then what else are we missing?”What we are missing is the big picture. I came to think how music and poetry parallel each other in this way.
Whatever the piece may be — jumbled noise, beats or lyrics — music is the modern day Byron, Shelley and Keats bundled into a three or so minute song because each song speaks to the listener in whatever way it can.
Just like a poet, musicians are designed to inspire and make philosophical discoveries out of misunderstood wonders of the world. They bring us feeling and allow our feelings to relate to the lyrics coming through our speakers.
Music brings us together whether it is because of disasters, religious purposes or the specialty of celebrations.
But more importantly, music helps people deal with the world around them.
From the beginning of your mother’s heartbeat, to listening to Adele’s new album ‘21,’ to passing a famous violinist in a D.C. metro station — music is a gift to be appreciated. Let’s not forget a gift that keeps on giving.