This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 25 March 2017

Saturday Rave: the meaning of music.

What does music mean to you?

No, really: what does it mean to you?

Well, obviously a 'March' is meant for strutting about, a 'String Quartet' is meant for two violins, viola and cello, and an 'Allegro' is meant to be fast.

Sometimes, especially with music from 1800 onwards, you get more of a clue what's going on. Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave, for example, goes in for what I imagine to be solitude, and then you get some crashing waves (though unless you know that Fingal's Cave is by the sea the piece might bring to mind...shepherds and whirlwinds?  An artist's garret and a busy airport?). 

Now, it's entirely possible that someone's written a piece called Ham and Mustard Sandwiches at Four o'Cock in Basingstoke - and if they have then I'd love to hear it - but the thing is, what can music really convey? Most people can pick up happiness or yearning, but what about those ham and mustard sandwiches? Apart from anything else it's going to depend upon whether you like mustard, aren't gluten-free, and don't think pigs unclean, isn't it.

The piece below doesn't, I think, call up anything prohibited or likely to cause an allergic reaction. But what is it about?

Try not to peek until you've listened to it (it's only about a couple of minutes).




How close did you get?*

Word To Use Today: allegro. This means fast to a musician, but it's actually the Italian for cheerful, from the Latin alacer, brisk or lively.

*Jardins sous la pluie = gardens in the rain.






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