Music Tip #10    From Carol Worthey

Is Music In Time or "About" Time?

Carol Worthey

Music is an art that exists in time. It can't be looked at in one instant like a painting that is physically before your eyes. (This doesn't mean to say that one's eyes can't sweep across a painting for minutes on end or that some paintings aren't so beautiful, enveloping or puzzling that one could examine them for a long time.) But the EXPERIENCE of music is moment-by-moment, it has to be. Mozart wrote that he could hear a composition sounding in his imagination all at the same time--but this is rare in the extreme. We take in the music bit by bit.

Music is not only expressed and experienced through time, over time, but in a very real sense, music is ABOUT Time, about the subject of time. Music tells us as we experience it about the passage of moments, the patterns of repetition and change that mark our days, it tells us of loss and renewal, it breathes new life into remembrance, it contains split seconds and eternities, future dreams and ancient memories. Music can even enter us into the realm of possibility, futures that perhaps shall never exist except in that very fluid, visionary universe we call "music."

Paradoxically, the greatest music is in time, about time and timeless all at the same "time."

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