Music and Meaningful Moments

September 24, 2015

 

Does music make a moment of time more meaningful, or does the profound moment elevates a piece of music? I know it is a bit of a "chicken and egg" question, but it has been on my mind lately.

I was performing a movement from Bach's E Major Partita for violin solo as a musical offering at my brother-in-law's wedding. While most of the guests were not classical music aficionados, the music did seem to produce intended result of somehow elevating the moment, helping to focus people on the wonderful implications of two people sincerely expressing their love in front of family and friends. 

At the end of the ceremony, the newly weds walked off to a  musical mix which started with Mendelssohn's March and then suddenly jumped to Pharrell Williams' "Happy". While the wedding party danced off to this tune, genuinely delighted, I started wondering if it was their real joy that made this simple and rather repetitive song more meaningful, or was the song making the moment feel more profound? Is there actually such thing as "objectively" profound music? It seems that profound experiences happen between listeners and performers, but which side is the catalyst is not at all certain...

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