Ruminations on the crazy people we are, by a retired teacher/musician. Can't get the "requests" out of my system after years of barroom/lounge/restaurant/party gigs mining 100 years worth of the musical mother-lode.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Mood Music

The music on the satellite radio was good stuff. Mellow, well composed, well played; so as I left the room,(not to return for some time,) I left the radio on.

Wasted electricity.....perhaps; wasted music.......perhaps not. Call me flaky, but I think the room deserves a little fun, too. My conversation with myself as to these values was, however, interrupted when I reached the next room. The TV was on, and an ad for a performance of Les Miserables was being aired at that moment. Miserables, indeed! They were all angry, and heading straight for me. It occurred to me that, in recent decades, producers haven't hesitated to stage Broadway productions that have featured anger, or downright wierdness; witness The Phantom of the Opera. (A main character with his face covered; really!

I sought relief by changing the channel. Not cautious enough, however, I ended up on one of the CFTM (channels for the immature,) and was blessed with a rapper going at it mad as hell. More anger. On my way back to the radio room, I mumbled about what the reason for all this angry music was. Bless my soul, I walked into the room I had left, to find the good-good-good music going strong, just as I had left it, and gave thanks for the impulse I had followed in the first place. I was gifted with instant improvement of ambience as soon as I opened the door.

Could it be that "angry music" is an oxymoron in the first place; thus, "angry music' is no music at all. Now, we are getting somewhere. Shakespeare has said that "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast." I remember: the music is supposed to calm you down, not mad you up. I have enjoyed music of the last century that spanned a range of emotions from sadness, to outright elation; from 'Black Coffee,' to the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah; from 'Over There' to 'We Shall Overcome;' from 'Mairzydoats to 'Black and Tan Fantasy.' At no time through most of my life have I personally played or sung an 'anger' song. Given the times I have lived through, and the times I have known through my parents, I have no recollection of someone "coming at me" with a song. It just doesn't work. And mind you, we have experienced anger aplenty through those years. Even 'I'll Be Glad When Your're Dead, You Rascal, You" is sung with an air of comedy. The Blues, a great American music, is never truly angry.

So, what's it all about, Alfie? Pehaps the present generation has so little respect for the art of music, they don't care if they splatter it all over a city wall, like equally angry graffiti. Maybe the problem is, the education they receive has given them so little in the way of self-limitation that they carry out their culture like the proverbial devil-may-care bull in the china shop. Perhaps, as many young'uns are wont to say, "Whatever." I don't know.

With that admission, I will put a period on this rumination.

Keep the faith, whatever yours is, Fight the good fight, and remember, Darfur is right next door.


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