This month, the Curious Professor Z challenged us to come up with a piece of music that is “the most beautiful you’ve ever heard.” Something that provokes an emotional response.
This is a tough one. I’ve been in and around music my whole life: my mother played piano at night when we were getting ready for bed; we listened to the classical music station in town while we were going to sleep; music was the biggest way that I was able to relate to my classmates in elementary school. I’ve played at least one instrument since the age of 6 on. When I discovered Goth music (I think the term at the time was “positive Punk” – at least until I left college and moved to the Big City), it was something that just made me happy. Believe it or don’t. Teaching music is the one job I’ve done the longest and it’s been the one I’ve been happiest doing. Even when I go on to do something else soon, I don’t know if I can think of myself as something else besides a musician and a parent. Music is both an emotional trigger and an emotional release for me still. But anyway.
Back to the assignment. The piece I’m thinking of isn’t exactly Goth; it’s a piece by a composer that did her thing at the middle of the Romantic period. Clara Wieck-Schumann was a pianist and composer. She’s probably best known as being Robert Schumann’s wife and Johannes Brahms’ student (or something more if you believe the stories). This is one of my favorites:
It’s a nocturne, a song about the night. Chopin and Debussy wrote some lovely ones. This one makes me think of a winter night in front of a fire, or watching the snow fall from indoors at the window. At least to me, it’s certainly a night-time song.
There are a lot of other pieces of music that evoke an emotional response, but this was the one I thought of for my homework.