Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Years ago a friend who was (and still is) a science teacher at Everett High School took me to attend ancient music concerts with her. The music was performed on period instruments by people who were expert in their use in buildings in and around Seattle with some pretty amazing acoustics, churches, actually. Hearing medieval polyphony played this way is truly transcendent. It's as if there is no other music in the world, nor does the world need any other. I was quite happy to accompany my friend to these concerts and didn't mind a bit that I was only there so she would not have to go alone. Sometimes profound experiences come from mundane , even inelegant ones. She also purported herself to be an atheist. After one particularly amazing performance, as we discussed the music, she expressed with amazement the idea that there must be something to all that religion stuff since religious belief had inspired those ancient composers to create such incredible music.

I did nothing to disabuse her, but it's also likely that the religio-politics of the time obviated any other form of music. More on this anon...

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