Music touches the soul of people who listen. It reaches places that even a physician cannot touch. The music can transport back in time and across many miles to a time and place that it was heard. It can make an impression that can last a lifetime. Sometimes it can free the spirit or bind thoughts in sadness, connecting the song to a time of great happiness or sorrow. That tune will never be heard without the connection being made between the music and the actual event.
Sometimes when a song comes on the radio in the car, there is the impulse to turn the volume up as high as it will go, shaking the windows and doors and when you do, you sing along, pounding the steering wheel. People who drive beside look over with disbelief on their faces.
There are times when a song plays and it would be a sacrilege to turn the volume up. Those tunes are so soothing or so tender that it wraps its arms around in comfort and love. It gives an oasis of peace and tranquility.
Certain songs are replayed over and over because they stir something inside that draws forth an exquisite emotion, whether it is the joy relished from some past experience or the depths of a sadness that it has become almost an altar where our hearts go to worship; a place of extreme sentiment.
Often it is the instruments that make the tune memorable. I once heard a piccolo and violin that touched me deeply. The bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” at the graveside of my wife Cindy’s funeral and hearing that stirs many memories. My kids don’t like to hear it because it transports them to a very difficult time in their lives. For me, it transports to a sad time, but it is another memory. Perhaps it marks an end any new memories, but it is still a memory of her.
Not to leave this post on such a poignant point, I want to speak of the most versatile and marvelous instrument ever heard in making music. That is the human voice. Its range is almost incalculable. Its ability to touch another person is immeasurable. It impresses by taking the written word to a level that cannot be matched. The singing voice transforms mere words into something completely different. The music supports and converts the poem into a song and the music converts and supports human emotions.