30. April 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Some people don’t react to music. Some feel … well … I guess it must be nothing. I’d hate to feel nothing. And I’m glad that music can make me fall to the floor in tears. I want that.

I enjoyed reading all of this but here’s just a snippet to get you going:

I clicked on the link. In it, Florez hits high C, which is about as high as men can reach, nine times. You hear the crowd roar, and you hear Florez do it all over again. I felt a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Maybe you’ve done the same when you’ve heard Pavarotti sing his trademark “Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot.” I have, and I sometimes well up at similar musical moments that personally mean nothing and that are sung in a language I do not even comprehend.

But why? Is it because I am witnessing a pinnacle of human achievement — something most people can never dream of doing, let alone actually do? I think so. But I think there’s something else, too; something sensuous in the voice that reaches in and touches something deeper inside of me. After all, I don’t cry when an athlete breaks a record or a scientist makes a breakthrough.

Some psychologists, I’ve learned, call this “aesthetic crying.” It’s a phenomenon that no other species experiences — and maybe not all humans either. Like the crying that can result from a religious experience, this crying is said to be visceral, not learned. Knowing that — despite the sadness associated with crying — I feel rather lucky.

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