‘One human being alone needs music…’

As indicated by our concert last week, our weekly Arts at the Aviary meeting, a typical post on this blog, and other projects that we always having going, Nathan and I obviously place much value in the process and product of collaboration in music. There is something almost magical about multiple people working together toward a common goal of creating a musical experience.

That said, I read something the other day that reminded me of the value and simplicity of art, especially music, even when experienced in a solitary manner.  I will share the passage with you here.

Text by Edith Schaeffer from Forever Music:  A Tribute to the Gift of Creativity, 1986, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids MI.

Love of music does not dwindle because of being alone. Need of music does not decrease because of being alone.

Shepherd Piper, 1881 by Sophie Gengembre Anderson

A Hungarian shepherd can play fantastic music for the empty hillside full ofstones, grass, scrubby bushes and flowers,with sheep and lambs nibbling in soft chorus. Do no ears hear it?  His own ears do.  Is he alone in the universe with no other ears to hear?

Lady Playing a Spinet, C. Holsoe (1863-1935)

It is important to say for all who find aloneness as a part of life’s history that one pair of ears, one rib cage as a sounding board, one person’s understanding of music and one person’s need to be enveloped in music is reason enough for that one person to play the piano, flute, violin, viola, cello, bass, trumpet, bassoon, harp, sackbut, or whatever.

Igraet/ (she plays), 1914, Sergey Vinogradov (1869-1938)

One person’s need of being both performer and audience is suffient to make the playing have value.

Fonografo Edison, 1878

For those who reach for records to fill the workshop, the kitchen, the garden, the room being plastered or painted, the lonely record player is important. Simply because nobody else is around and only one set of ears is listening is no reason to silence the music that is available and needs to be a part of the balance of one’s life during each day.

Das Standchen, 1854, Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885)

One human being alone needs music as much as one human being alone needs water and food.

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