I know this is technically Tracklisting Wednesday, but I had this thought yesterday so…
In my music theory lesson yesterday, we began doing an (almost) bar-by-bar analysis of one of our GCSE set works, Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’. And wow, what a song it is…not obviously my type of music, it’s really fascinating once you discover how many layers it has…how the key is really ambiguous, it’s partially improvised, he didn’t write the music down but someone listened to it and decided to stick it on a score…and of course, how Buckley died after drowning in a river.
But that isn’t quite what this post is about…I had the really awesome (yet frankly stunningly obvious) thought that when you listen to a recorded track (and this works best for old songs), you are literally listening to someone’s voice, frozen in a time. A mini time capsule or an audio photograph, if you will. And I think that’s so cool. Thinking about listening to a dead person’s voice though…that is a lickle (yes I just typed lickle and no I’m not going to change it) bit creepy.
Carrying on, take this idea a step further…at some moment in time, ten or twenty or two hundred years ago, somebody had the idea to put these notes in this precise order, because they liked it. And they, with their two-century-old ears, heard the same thing as us! (Or did it? Another question for another day…) I just think that’s unbelievably mind-blowing. Music is like a photograph, except it goes back a lot further in history, and I suspect may continue long after the demise of the photograph. Music also has a lot more relevance than photos – an image is generally only of interest to those with some link to the subject or photographer, whereas music can reach hundreds, thousands, millions of people and affect them all a bit differently.
Wow, that was quite deep…for me, at least! What are your thoughts?