If you were to catch me in my car any given day I can almost guarantee you I will be listening to classical music. My love of classical goes back to college when I took a class in music appreciation. Not because I wanted to expand my horizons, but because it got me out of taking another written humanities class. I, like many others, did not like classical music at the time because it was slow and boring. But at that time I had never heard Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky has literally changed my life. This is NOT easy listening music, in fact my wife refers to it as hard listening music. It is so complex with atonality and varying rhythms, many people uneducated in music just don’t get it. If you just got lost in the previous sentence, you know what I mean.

Classical music is not meant to fill the void in the background while you drive or eat or read. It is best enjoyed in a very quiet, dimly lit room with no distractions and your eyes closed. To really enjoy it you have to let the music consume you, become one with it. I taught music appreciation for one year in a private school and, as an experiment, had the class move all the desks to the edge of the room and lie down on the floor with all of the lights off. I then played Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” You should have seen their faces when it was over and the lights went back on. “I didn’t know there was music like that!” Exactly. We had a party at the end of the year and they asked me, “Are you going to play any more of that Russian psycho music?”

-Jim Chester

(I read it here.)

2 Comments

  1. Hey Patty! Thanks for stopping by and allowing to graciously stick my foot in my mouth! I replied to you there too, but I thought I would come here in case you are offended and dont come back! I will eat crow if my daughter makes beautiful music out of her oboe! :)

    My disinterest in the instrument came from years of tortuous lack of silence in my house when the grad student played at all hours of the day and night…. maybe it was pure envy!

    I hope I didnt offend you too much with my statement of “cat scratch” – although note I did cross it out! :) hehehehehe

    Thank you again for the visit! :)

  2. Oh I wasn’t offended at all. I thought it was pretty darn funny, and I’d love to put it up here as a BQOD later, if you don’t mind.

    If we oboists can’t laugh at ourselves we’d truly go crazy. Playing oboe is a very stressful thing to do. We like to make fun of ourselves — okay, maybe that’s just me?? — and I honestly don’t mind when others tease us.

    Besides, there is nothing worse than a bad oboe player … and a beginning student can be quite the challenge too. We CAN make some pretty wicked sounds! ;-)

    Cheers!