Sunday, December 13, 2009

The mystery of music

I've been listening to (and watching) a DVD this evening by my favorite singer, jazz-pianist Diana Krall. (Her bass guy, drum guy and guitarist are equally wonderful.) And I question: How can I love this stuff when I don't know beans about music?

As a kid, in junior high, I had a course in music - musical notation, the various instruments, etc. - but I was a dumb dude who learned very little. Later, I took another course in music appreciation ... and damn near flunked it. Hmm? Which of those classical masters was I listening to - Bach, Mozart, Beethoven ... or Little Richard, Simon & Garfunkel, Norah Jones? Elvis? Hey, I wasn't quite as out-of-it as that - I knew classical from pop (from blue grass, from rock) - but still, just how is it that you can be as musically illiterate as I am and still love the stuff? How can you have trouble tapping your feet to a beat, be unable to sing a note, be incapable of carrying a tune, and still be awe-struck by musical passages, blown away by talent you don't really understand?

How come I can melt listening to "Some Enchanted Evening," weep listening to "Strange Fruit," grin at most anything by Cole Porter? And get so much satisfaction from the Stones? Not to mention the damn Beatles. Dolly Parton. Alison Krauss. Sheesh.

I guess the cool thing is that I do. Let there be mystery, I guess. As long as it sings to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment