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It leads me to ask another question: what is the normal response
supposed to be to music? There is something intrinsically energetic
about music. Waves from the instrument move energetically through air,
our ears hear and our minds appreciate. On top of that, our nervous
system picks up subliminal waves of energy which affects us through more
unconscious areas of our brain. And, if you are sitting too close to
the speakers (or an orchestra) you can actually pick up sound waves
bouncing off your body, which affect us in ways unknown to me.
I simply cannot imagine that our experience with music was ever meant to
be passive. Think of all shamanic and other religious traditions of
evocation using verbal incantations, constant repetition of a word,
phrase or drum beats. Think of how transformative these measures were
supposed to be. We humans are built to rock and roll. Perhaps then it
is a more normal response to sway, move, dance and otherwise be
physically moved by music, rhythm or just organized sounds.
I recall the opening bars of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five". If you can sit
still and not tap your fingers to the beat, then I think a part of you
is cut off and asleep. It is just natural to feel yourself brought into
a type of unity with the musical moment through a type of empathy. At
least that is the way I explain it to myself.
I think now of the opening moments of Ravel's "Bolero". Again, we start
to hum that tune along with the orchestra and before long you feel the
urge to start dancing around with the beat.
Last for now: how can we sit still during the fourth movement of
Beethoven's Symphony #7, especially as done by Carlos Kleiber? You just
have to start waving your arms around and go with the torrential flow of
energy. It is all normal.
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