Friday night I went to a concert. Choral music – well done by high school students and young adults. I was the eager listener seated next to the committed listener (his teen was in the choir).
I had spent part of the concert listening to see who were the outstanding vocalists. Some were featured as soloists. Others supported their vocal sections. No doubt there was talent to be seen and heard. At the end of the concert I was up and dancing. Not all music gets me going – this one did. Three things stuck out in the introductions and presentations:
1. Harmony is based in the universe – I grew up with a song we sung in our boys choir (grades 5-6). “All things will perish, Music alone shall live.” The words were rather pretentious – I think God lives forever, as do people. But there is something to the way sounds harmonize and even have overtones and harmonics which we did not create. The universe has a harmony of its own that God created. Certainly nothing we created.
2. Effective concerts invite you into the experience. I personally start conducting music, and singing along and infuriating the people next to me! A good concert gets my toes tapping, or my mind wrapped up, or my emotions overflowing. There is that razor edge where the choir steps outside of their performance – as much as they enjoy the experience – and somehow projects the words and notes into your life. In this sense, a sporting event is not much different than a concert.
3. A concert is about humility and service. There are enough divas in music. A good musician recognizes that the music is not just for them – the audience (those hearing) are the real recipients. Musicians cannot force you to enjoy their music. They must humbly place their performance in front of you and allow you to chose. A good musician also recognizes your current life – the concert is a service, not an edict of what you must or must not like. When we connect, performer and audience, the audience has been humbly served and walks away encouraged and inspired.