Friday, November 27, 2009

Listening to music

"Music is closely related to the experience of being human. The ancient
Greeks and Romans thought that music was a component of physical
and mental harmony. The Egyptian physicians used music as a treatment
for patients (Cook, 1981). In ancient China, Confucius not only loved
music but ascribed to it social virtues. He believed that ritual and music
were the keys to harmonious living and included music as one of the
six skills that everyone should study in order to cultivate themselves
(Cook, 1981)."

The above is part of the opening paragraph of a study I wrote about for school. And just to make sure that I don't get in trouble for plagiarism, I'll even cite the study in APA format at the bottom of this post!

As you might guess from the fact that I'm sharing it here, this is a passage that caught my attention. Especially the first sentence, which I was delighted to read because I don't think I had ever heard that thought put into words before.

Because it says "Music is closely related to the experience of being human", perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that when I think of this quote I also think of a YouTube video of a musician who is deaf.

Had you ever heard of a deaf musician? I hadn't. I was amazed. And, by the way, I think I have a new hero. Her name is Evelyn Glennie :)

How can she possible hear music, if she's deaf? Well, she does feel like she hears music with her ears, like everyone else. But, she also hears music with her entire body. I think everyone has experienced the sensation of feeling a deep base note in their chest. My understanding is that she simply takes this further, and has learned to recognize sound vibrations of a variety of pitches with her entire body.

I'm inspired, and am trying to listen to music in new ways, because of seeing the video of her.

I'd encourage everyone to watch it, but it's a half hour long so I don't know if you want to take the time. But if you feel like it, great! :)



Source Cited

Lai, Y. (1999). Effects of music listening on depressed women in Taiwan. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 20(3), 229-246. doi:10.1080/016128499248637.

6 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I love Evelyn Glennie! I saw her live in concert once and she was absolutely amazing. What a percussionist! And as I'm sure you know, another deaf musician/composer was Beethoven (at least at the end of his life, when he wrote some of his greatest music). Being deaf didn't slow him down either!

Sarita said...

Oh my gosh...I hadn't known that Beethoven was deaf!!! That is news to me!

WOW. lol Just, wow.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I feel very cultured because I have actually seen an interview of Evelyn Glennie before. I even knew that Beethoven was deaf too!

Isn't it wonderful how some things go beyond language and even the senses? Life is a miracle, just like music.

Sarita said...

That reminds me -- Albus Dumbledore once said that music was one of the greatest magics of all! I think I agree with him. :)

...you know, perhaps I should track down that exact quote...hmm...

Tricia said...

Wasn't Beethoven deaf?

Sarita said...

I guess so. It seems others here are more knowledgeable on the subject than I am, so if they say he was deaf I'm figuring he was.