The Gift of Music

I’ve heard it quite simply termed as an analogy. You go to a Baseball game.You can enjoy it on its own terms, knowing nothing ,simply watching the action and the crowd and listening as well. Then after you have learned the many moves, the movement of the ball as controlled by the amazing pitching ability, the kind of pressure under which the players perform, the umpires, the methods of each memebr of the team as they go through their amazingly practiced and perfected movements, you then begin to enjoy it much more, even becoming obsessive about the game. (You may even compare it to playing Chamber Music, or Orchestral Music.)
It is the same with almost any music. It can be enjoyed in a sensual manner, anything at all. The dangerous thing about music is hating it without knowing what is going on, insisting on your sensual pleasure above all. If it doesn’t please, then , “I hate this, or that”!. Then, you’ve closed off all possibilities of real enjoyment, on an intellectual basis, dare I mention the word.
Knowing the works, the style of early composers, even composers who wrote simple chants is a trip and gives you the understanding needed to really love the music that follows, all of it. Then, Gesualdo appears for what he really is in history.
As a clarinetist, I had nothing for History of Music, I just hated it. But, after a time, a long time of listening and learning about our great heritage, this wonderful gift, I have finally become elevated to be able to understand what it is that I am hearing . The more contemporary music I listen to, it becomes more comprehensible.
The richness that awaits the patient and dilligent listener is really a great gift, giving constantly for all of our lives.
Sherman Friedland


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