I have never thought that music alone without lyrics can have certain meaning and create some kind of emotion. As both of my parents don’t have a special like on music, I am growing up without familiarity with all different types of music. I just used to listen to songs which have pretty melody and lyrics. To be honest, I have never paid much attention to rhythm, beat and rests because I feel like lyrics and melody are the only things that make me to like certain song.
Before I take this class and listen necessarily orchestrical music pieces which are not familiar to me for my assignment, I always assume that the meaning of music lies on the lyrics of the song. For this paper, I listen ten musical pieces and all of them are somewhat emotionally touching to me. However, I don’t know how to express my feeling and meaning of some music in words though I know that they give me certain feeling. Thus, I choose four musical pieces which I find them to be the most touching musical pieces for me. From ten musical selections, I choose “Ave Maria” by Bach ” Gounod, “Funeral March” by Chopin, “Military March No. ” by Elgar and “Blackbird” by Lennon/McCartney. The reason I pick these four pieces is that I think I can write the meanings and emotions of these pieces from the perspective of my feeling. Firstly, I decide to choose “Ave Maria” by Bach-Gounod because I like it at first time of hearing. I didn’t know that this music is supposed to open in weeding ceremony in Catholic Church and its relation with Virgin Mary who is model mother and wife for brides who are soon to be wife and mother. I even feel dumb myself for not even knowing the usual playing ceremony of this song.
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This is a typical song to be played in weeding ceremony in most countries but I don’t even notice and heard before because my country has few weeding celebrating in church and we have certain different songs to play in weeding. When I first hear the Ave Maria music, I feel that the intro part is soothing and brings joy. After that, the melody playing by piano ( I guess) is kind of like missing or recalling good memories with someone special. It reminds me of the sweet memory in the past. The background rhythm that is playing from beginning to the end which is little faster near the end makes me feel more emotionally touching.
I feel happy at beginning and end more in the middle. The middle part which is with softer continuous rhythm brings little melancholy which is not sad totally. When I learned that it is supposed to play in weeding, I generalize that the middle part which makes me miss the sweet memory may refer to sweet memories of couple before they are married and they tend to bring these also to their marriage life. Secondly, I choose “Blackbird” by Lennon/McCartney which is the only piece with lyrics in my four selections. Honestly, lyrics plays a big part in choosing this song .
The lyrics ” the black bird singing in the dead of night” reminds me of people who fight for their country, race and nationality regardless of pain, trouble and obstacle. Moreover, “You were only waiting for this moment to arise” and “In to the light of the dark black night” makes me imagine the people I have mentioned are free from all the pains when they die and they may never suffer these pains again in after life(my religion believe that if we do good things in this life, we will be rich and happy afterlife).
The lyrics, melody and rhythm overall creates a sad emotion and make me imagine certain heroes like Martin Luther King and victims back home. The whistling part of the music also supports the meaningful lyrics and promotes a touching emotion. Thirdly, The music I choose is ” Funeral March” by Chopin . It is one of the great music I have ever heard and also very touching to me. As this piece is for orchestra, I guess there are two or three instruments playing through the whole piece. At first I assumed that most of the orchestra pieces are kind of loud and many instruments are playing at the same time.
However, In Funeral March, I found out that the melody is soft and soothing which portrays the image of funeral march. The continuous and evenly intro beat portrays the march but this beat does not give the excitement mood which is typical in marching. After nearly 2 and half minutes, only certain melody line is playing nicely for a while. I found this part most touching to me because I feel sad and makes me imagine people in the funeral march are missing and recalling good memories of the person who is dead. The higher rhythm near the end of the sound is the most emotionally touching part for me.
After listen this piece, I started to notice more the powerful and wonderful effect and meaning of music. Without saying even one word, it gives me certain feeling and emotion. Now, I understand and agree why Jean-Jacques Rousseau said that ” The language of tones belongs equally to all mankind, and melody is the absolute language in which the musician speaks to every heart. ” My fourth selection is also the March music like previous one. It is “Military March No. 1 ” by Elgar. As the title of this piece is Military March, the overall music portrays the image that a group of people are marching in excitement, delight and determination.
Though it is also the March music like previous one, the rhythm and melody playing through the whole piece gives the different emotion. The funeral march gives sad feeling and military march gives excitement and joy. I feel like one army is marching to its own country with victory. The background beat near at 4 minutes time of playing is stronger and strengthens the excited and happy emotion. I think this music is really great one for military marching because I feel like I was among many people(may be marching along with them) and have so much energy to do what I am assigned as a task.
Though I have never heard of any military march singing this military marching song, I can feel that this is type of song for happy and patriotic events. Though the composer does not mention any emotion with words and body language, I can feel what he wants to say and what kind of emotions he wants to give through medium of music. Thus, I can’t agree more with the quote of Robert Nelson & Carl J. Christensen that ” Regardless of our nationality or language, we can share in works of art… Music is truly a universal language. “.