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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 67 - 11/19/2001
What Is Music?
What is 'music' really? What sort of music do you like or has special meaning for you? Do you use music in your rituals/meditations/workings? Share your favorite music line quotation or the one that has expressed a thought, emotion or hope that you wish more people would 'get a clue' about.
| Reponses: There are 18 responses posted to this question.
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| I Gave Up A While Ago Trying To Define Music. It's Like... ||Nov 13th. at 10:27:18 am EST|
|Chronarchy (Columbus, Ohio US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I gave up a while ago trying to define music. It's like Magic in that way: no definition and no description.
I don't use music in my rituals, outside of chants or drumming to put people in an altered state.
I use music to escape and to feel good. Parrotheads aren't common among Pagans, for some reason (I'm sure there are some closeted ones out there). Personally, I think that there's more to Buffett music than women, drinking, and women, and that everyone would get something out of it if they would give it a chance.
Take a listen to "Fruitcakes" sometime:
'Where's the church, who took the steeple
Religion's in the hands of some crazy ass people
Television preachers with bad hair and dimples
The God's honest truth is it's not that simple
It's the Buddhist in you, it's the Pagan in me
It's the Muslim in him, she's Catholic ain't she?
It's that born again look, it's the wasp and the Jew
Tell me what's goin on, I ain't got a clue!'
Tell me that doesn't speak to Pagans. . .
If you're looking for a quote from me, I'll be under the mango tree.
| It's An Expression Of Something, But Music It's Not." A Teacher Of... ||Nov 13th. at 10:54:07 am EST|
|Vivhianna (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario CA) ||Age: 19 - Email |
"It's an expression of something, but music it's not."
A teacher of mine in high school once said this of the more--um--unorthodox types of music out there. Sometimes, to tell the truth, I'd be rather inclined to agree. Granted, in my opinion some of it's not bad and the lyrics can really be meaningful, but it's hard to appreciate lyrics you can barely hear over a crashing drum and screaming guitars in the background. Needless to say, the sort of music that appeals to my younger brother does not necessarily appeal to me.
Music, it seems, is really hard to define. To some, it's a collection of sounds meant to express something, so in a very real way it's a language. To others, it has to have some sort of structure, a mathematical precision, to qualify as music. Some like music that sounds calm and pleasant. In the end, I guess it's all up to personal tastes and opinions, what music really is.
My personal favourite sorts of music are classical, celtic, and occasionally a bit of R&B or pop. (I've learned a small appreciation for the Backstreet Boys out of self defence because my two best friends are big fans of theirs.) Music is useful, I find; when I'm upset I've been known to sing the "Dies Irae" from Mozart's requiem mass or play "Catharsis" on the violin. When I'm happy, it's a way to relax, either by listening to it or actually playing it. Music is a big part of my life, and I love it.
Certainly I use music in ritual; it helps me focus, especially if I feel that the music I've chosen has a lot to do with what the ritual is in the first place. (Two favourite songs of mine for Samhain are by Loreena McKennitt, "All Souls Night" and "Between the Shadows".) Sometimes I'll listen to it on CD, other times I'll sing or play the violinor my bagpipes. All in all, it helps me a lot.
Finally, my favourite quote from a song comes (perhaps ironically) from a hymn I learned in my Catholic school days. I have since adapted the song so I can sing it according to my present religious viewpoint, but I left these verses, numbers two and three, intact:
"We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts,
The gifts not fully given, the dreams not fully dreamt.
Give our stumblings direction, give our visions wider view,
An offering of ashes, an offering to you."
"Then rise again from ashes, let healing come to pain,
Though spring has turned to winter and sunshine turned to rain.
The rain we'll use for growing and create the world anew,
From an offering of ashes, an offering to you."
| Wow ... What A Wonderful Topic. Music As Always Been Away To Express... ||Nov 13th. at 10:59:40 am EST|
|ƒowyn (Western, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Wow ... what a wonderful topic. Music as always been away to express emotion. It moves my soul in ways nothing else can. It makes me sexy and it makes me sob. It can take me to places that I never imagined and it can solidify me in my own space and time.
Can you tell that I have thought about this before? I listen to everything from Rob Zombie and Godsmack to Loreena McKennitt and Sylvia Brallier. I use music in almost all my work. Actually, I am almost never without it. It plays all day at work, in my car during all my travels, at home while I am bopping around cleaning or whatever.
Each song has a different mood and meaning and the are all special.
Currently, my father and I are trying to rebuild our relationship after many years of trial and separation. There is a song called "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle that means a lot to me and it always makes me cry no matter what I am doing. I am my Daddy's little girl and that song is just perfect for the way that we really feel about each other, despite everything. It is like Bob Carlisle reached into each stage of our relationship as it changed and wrote the lyrics to match.
I know that he is a Christian artist, but that doesn't matter ... it is that feeling of a father who loves his littel girl that matters.
I wish that all families could remember that we are only part of each others lives for a little while and that time goes so quickly. You need to tell the people that are close to you that you love them, because they will not always be around to say it later.
By Bob Carlisle
There's two things I know for sure.
She was sent here from heaven, and she's daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night, she talks to Jesus, and I close my
And I thank God for all the joy in my life,
Oh, but most of all, for...
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair.
"Walk beside the pony, daddy, it's my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny, daddy, but I sure tried."
Oh, with all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right
To deserve a hug every morning, and butterfly kisses at night.
Sweet sixteen today,
She's looking like her momma a little more every day.
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and makeup, from ribbons and curls.
Trying her wings out in a great big world.
But I remember...
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you, daddy, but if you don't mind,
I'm only going to kiss you on the cheek this time."
Oh, with all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right.
To deserve her love every morning, and butterfly kisses at night.
All the precious time ... Like the wind, the years go by
Precious butterfly ... Spread your wings and fly
She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise and I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride room just staring at her,
she asked me what I'm thinking, and I said "I'm not sure,
I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl." Then she leaned over... and gave
Butterfly kisses, with her mama there sticking little flowers all up in her hair
"Walk me down the aisle, daddy, it's just about time"
"Does my wedding gown look pretty, daddy?" "Daddy, don't cry."
Oh, with all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right
To deserve her love every morning, and butterfly kisses
I couldn't ask God for more. Man, this is what love is.
I know I've gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
every hug in the morning, and butterfly kisses...
| To Say That Music Is Important To Me Would Be An Understatement... ||Nov 13th. at 2:42:37 pm EST|
|Aurora Emerald (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
To say that music is important to me would be an understatement. I am working to make a living as a composer, performer and teacher.
To define music, I could spout out all sorts of techno-babble, "organized sound" or "expressions in sound". However, I truly believe that music relates to our subconscious as a symbol - much as the elements, colors, smells, and performance of magic does.
I have been doing quite a bit of research to prepare for a class that I'll be teaching. In this research, I was drawn to Pythagoras. Reading about his thoughts on music were very moving for me musically and spiritually. He explains that music contains the same proportions that define our universe, that number is evident in it as number is the building block of the universe. He was the founder of the study of Music Therapy, teaching that certain sounds and groups of sounds reflect harmony and dis-chord in the universe and therefor can create the same in ourselves. I highly recommend reading about him if you are interested in drawing lines that connect music with magic/the use of universal energies.
I am drawn to many types of music. One of the works that has moved me the most is Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. Many will probably recognize it as being used in the movie Platoon. As far as ritual work, music is my ritual right now - it is how I am trying to find my "meaning of the universe." I am still a novice when it comes to performing ritual. I'm sure I will add music that moves me in my purpose. However, when I meditate, I prefer silence as my subconscious can be too influenced/distracted otherwise.
| Music, To Me, Is Simply Beautiful Noise. I Perceive Most Laughter As... ||Nov 13th. at 7:41:10 pm EST|
|Riannon SilverMoon (New Westminster, British Columbia CA) ||Age: 19 - Email |
Music, to me, is simply beautiful noise. I perceive most laughter as music, I even view some people's voices as music, even if they are just speaking.
The types of music (songs etc.) that I prefer, are Goth (not Marilyn Manson), Industrial, EBM, Darkwave, Ambient, and Celtic. But I do listen to and enjoy other genres, and if someone wants to introduce me to a new type, I will listen.
The song I use most in ritual is a chant by Inkubus Sukkubus, a Pagan Goth Band, called "Wytches' Chant"
It starts off as a whisper, grows louder, then fades out again - the chant is 'Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inana' - I find this one works beautifully when drawing down the moon or just meditating.
I don't know what I would do without music. It helps to sustain me.
| All My Life Music Has Been All Around Me From The Day... ||Nov 14th. at 1:11:54 am EST|
|Dragon (San Francisco, California US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
All my life music has been all around me from the day I was born when my parents sang to me in harmony, to today when I lift my voice in harmony with others. Music was my only religion before I came to Wicca, so now I have two. Singing is like breathing. Everything I hear is music, sometimes wounderous and enchanting, sometimes haunting, sometimes terrifying, like all of life's sounds.
I use music in ritual whenever I get the chance. The first time I conducted my own group ritual it was entirely with music: casting the circle, calling the quarters and the Lord and Lady, and raising power was all done through song and sound. It was one of the most powerful I can remember. Chants can induce a trance state in which many effective spells can be worked.
I was given the gift of song for which I am constantly grateful. I share that gift as often as possible.
"...and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
- The End
by the Beatles
| I Could Do Without A Tv, But Don't Think About Touching My... ||Nov 14th. at 9:05:01 am EST|
|Gray Jay (Labrador City, Newfoundland CA) ||Age: 26 |
I could do without a TV, but don't think about touching my radio and CD player! Even in the office I have music on always. I think one of my favorite songs with a message has to be the "Christians and The Pagans" by Dar Williams. It is a song about a multi-faith family and the christmas they spent together. Some of Ms Williams' other music has a pagan bent to them (Calling the Moon, for example) and the ones that aren't are wonderful folk music. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador we have a rich store of traditional irish and "Newfie" music. A house party isn't a party unless someone plays an instrument. Our history is full with our own kind of music and stories, some of them that come from our ancestors. As a witch with major influences from my irish ancestory, this music helps me connect with that culture. I am also a big fan of hard and heavy rock... the kind that makes you want to jump up and down and let all your emotions loose; music has a theraputic component that is unmatched anywhere else. I hope your day is full of music!
| If Only I Had More Time To Speak On This... Although My... ||Nov 14th. at 2:42:34 pm EST|
|Hawthorn Fox (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia CA) ||Age: 33 - Email |
If only I had more time to speak on this...
Although my own attempts to make music with traditional insturments sound pretty bad (I am among the "rhythmically impaired") I hold musicians in very high regard.
My answer to the question "What is music ?" comes from an anonymous Shinto priest who said,
"Music is the silence between the notes."
I started growing up as a strictly rock n' roll animal.
I am still growing up, but my tastes have expanded to jazz, blues, baroque, classical and ambient.
The neat thing about music is that style is really unimportant. A catchy beat or a poignant note can make anybody take notice.
Enjoy the silence, everybody.
| Music For Me Is What Gets Me Up In The Morning. It... ||Nov 14th. at 6:15:11 pm EST|
|Silver Lotus (morenci, Michigan US) ||Age: 13 |
music for me is what gets me up in the morning. it sets the mood for the day, it relaxes my mind or envigorates it to get to work. If it wasn't for music magick would be terribly hard.
The kind of music I listen to varies but i'm always in the mood for atmospheric/celtic/meditational music and being the age i am i love pop. I am raised in a family of aging hippies so I grew up with 60's and 70's music so simon & garfunkle are on my play list.
The line that expressed a thought that i wish more people would get is
"well you couldn't be that man that i adored, you don't seem to know seem to care what your heart is for, i dont him anymore, " - Torn, by Natile Imbruglia
to me it shows people change and if more people realized this then they wouldn't get so upset when there friend showed there non-sugar coated side.
| I Am First Nation's And Spanish, And Was Adopted Into An Irish... ||Nov 14th. at 9:39:24 pm EST|
|Lisa (Halifax, Nova Scotia CA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I am First Nation's and Spanish, and was adopted into an Irish family. Needless to say, music has a cultural importance to me. I prefer music without voice. This allows me to experience the emotions of the instruments. Music is my lifeline. I too can live without ever watching television, but I could never be without music. Have you ever allowed yourself to feel the sadness in the music? I find that music provides opportunity for growth and healing. The drum is my calling. It is our tradition to beat the drum during many ceremonies. To put this feeling in words is difficult. It is as though the earth is calling for me to attend to the many things unspoken. It doesn't matter how I was feeling before, that first beat goes deep beyond my soul. Music unites us. It inspires us. It creates moods and compassion for all. Music is truly our universal language. Bless it Be.
| Music. By Definition Is An Art Or Science To Combine Vocal And... ||Nov 23rd. at 11:13:40 am EST|
|spiravdaeg (Bradenton, Florida US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
Music. By definition is an art or science to combine vocal and instrumental sounds to create patterns. But this group of words does not anywhere truly define what this thing - music - is, does it? Is music even a noun? Or an adjective in our lives? Does it augment or enhance, evoke or at times regulate our very spirits? Yes to all, I feel. Music is the extension of our beings, the 'color', texture of what it means to be human. Music at once entertains and is part of our beings. Nothing to me is more sad than the person who has no love for any type of music. A tremendous void exists in souls such as that.
Music is a tool used for and by us all in our lives; as well, it is used by others to cause response - from the commercials and other media related agendas to our centers of belief and social gatherings. But is this really all it is? A means of external and internal manipulation?
Music speaks in a voice, with varying results to one person at a time. Repelled or drawn, each of us responds in an unique manner to any specific melody or lyric. So ....It is my best opinion that music is individual.
What form of music do I love, enjoy and partake of? And do I use it in ritual? As honestly as I can answer - that music that reaches to me at the time and that which just seems to fit/match where my heart and mind are taking me. Both in day-to-day life and spiritual life. Yes, I use music and let it use me as a vehicle for its expression.
The lines that came into my mind when I considered what set of words I would choose to 'pass-on' are from Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse of Reason (no laughter from those who know me all too well!):
One slip, and down the hole we fall
It seems to take no time at all
A momentary lapse of reason
That binds a life for life.
Beyond the obvious message - it is one we all need to keep in the forefront of our thoughts. Each act, each word, each moment we share with another on this earth, this go-around, binds us to the other, to a moment irrevokable. We need to never forget that our lives our intertwined and the choices we make immutable. As no moment can be returned, no sound recalled to the lips, no touch made unfelt. Like our Craft - what we do, say, think and feel - well, it is who we are. It is our life. It is the greatest responsibility that makes us what we are - people.
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