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Classical Music

August 26, 2007

One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and listen to classical music. I particularly like Beethoven’s music, although Bach and Mozart also rank really high on my list of classical favorites. In the end, it doesn’t matter who wrote it, as long as it is a good piece of music.

One of the things I love about classical music is how complex it is. There is the main melody, and then in a symphony or concerto, you also have an orchestra painting layers and layers of sound. In a symphony, the melody can jump from one group of instruments to another, which makes it very interesting to see what instrument the composer wishes to use next. In a concerto, one instrument is featured as the main instrument throughout the piece (thus, you have violin concertos and piano concertos – the specified instrument being the instrument that is being featured).

Even in smaller pieces (typically called sonatas), the composer typically picks either a violin or a piano – the two instruments capable of the most complex sounds. It is truly amazing to hear what a composer is able to do with a single instrument at times.

Not everyone gets classical music. In order to appreciate it fully, you have to be willing to listen to it for a long period of time and engage with it. However, I find that classical music, particularly that which features a symphony orchestra, tends to inspire a sense of awe in me that I get nowhere else. When a good composer weaves several disparate musical instruments together, playing off of the strengths of each to make a whole, I believe we see a picture of God the Creator. He has created this world in a way which requires different plants, animals, weather systems, and humans fulfilling different roles, allowing creation to work. Another thing I think of during a good symphony is the church – several parts combining together to make a God-glorifying whole, following the lead of Christ much like the symphony follows the lead of the featured instrument during a concerto, or like how the symphony as a whole follows the lead of the conductor. I believe this is the sense of awe that so many get while listening to a symphony: we are inspired by a creator’s masterful work, and are reminded of the Creator’s most masterful work that is being conducted and composed all around us.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 8, 2007 9:41 pm

    I have often listened to classical music and relished the complexity of it. Sometimes I listen for specific instuments even though they don’t carry the melody and enjoy the beauty of their harmony and counterpart. I love the comparison you made to the church and the Christian. How important it is for us to recognize the individual parts. The melody may carry the theme of the song, but it is the orchestra which makes is a thing of beauty. I am guilty of both exalting my part above others and of belittling the importance of my part in comparison to others. Every instrument is important and needed for the music to become a song. Ignore even one and the song becomes something which the composer did not intend it to be.

    Thanks for the post.

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