Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Music and the Soul

Posting has been light because the Bourgeois Wife is out with pneumonia. That means I've been running her back and forth to the doctor's office and generally staying at home. Luckily, my life as a graduate student is fairly flexible.

Which leads me to Bach. Thorgerson mentioned his suites for solo celloa while back, and I wholeheartedly agree. I have the recording by Wispelway, and it is magnificent. I was worried about my wife yesterday, and the first note of the first suite dispelled that worry. I have no idea what the connection is between music and the soul, but I know there is one. I don't think any amount of spoken words could have had the effect that Bach did.

I once saw a production of Les Miserables, and I swear at one point, for a few seconds, I could see -- literally see -- the music coming out of the singers. It's the closest thing to a mystical experience I've had, and what's even stranger (or perhaps not) is that the singers were not professional singers but high school students singing magnificently, from their souls I believe. In saying this I am not suggesting that it was because of some imperfection in their singing that made the music visible to me; on the contrary these were very fine singers, some of the best I've ever heard. I think the innocence of their souls had something to do with it. Thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes.

Back to Plato. I'm dragging my business ethics students through book 1 of the Republic.

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