Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Blessing of a New Year

As a New Year begins I tend to become reflective and grateful for simple gifts that surround me and those I love. Music is one of these without doubt - there is hardly a day that goes by where I am not touched by beautiful sounds at one point or another. There are many who feel this way, and you only have to look at the celebrations last night from around the world to see how music helps people start the New Year with renewed hope.

There are many great writers and musicians who have commented eloquently on music's role in our world, and I would like to share 10 of my favorite quotes as 2009 gets underway:

1) Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
Ludwig van Beethoven

2) I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.
H.A. Overstreet

3) Music is love in search of a word.
Sidney Lanier

4) Music can noble hints impart,
Engender fury, kindle love,
With unsuspected eloquence can move,
And manage all the man with secret art.
Joseph Addison

5) Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.

6) The earth has music for those who listen.
William Shakespeare

7) Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Berthold Auerbach

8) Music is what feelings sound like.

9) Music is the poetry of the air.

10) Were it not for music, we might in these days say, the Beautiful is dead.
Benjamin Disraeli

The Beautiful is alive, isn't it? Even in face of unspeakable tragedy, I am always amazed by the resilence of the human spirit, from stories I read every day and from people who I'm so blessed to know.

I seem to be an optimist and am feeling that a world of wonderful possibilities awaits us all this coming year in spite of the tremendous challenges in every corner. My hope is that music can touch lives and be a healer as it has been for centuries, bringing people together, playing upon the best of our humanity in a time when the worst is too prevalent. From worst to first - it's possible - and music will be there helping us celebrate, commemorate, and remember the good that is within us all at our core.

Here's wishing you every blessing in 2009.

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