Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A new angle... Week 6

Prologue, if you will...

Okay kids (and Dennis): the question we are being asked is, "Who am I as a musician?". I have spent the last couple drafts focusing on this question in terms of "Who have I become as a musician?" and "How do I define myself as a musician?". This week, I'm going to answer this question from a new angle. This week, I'm going to consider "who I am as a musician" in terms of "What does being a musician mean for me?", "Who am I, if I am a musician? How does it change me?" and "What does my being a musician mean for the world?". Bear with me as I attempt to find deeper... whatsit... meaning in this entry.

So, "Who Am I As A Musician?"

As we all discovered this past fortnight, through last week's blog posts and Edburg's inspiring rotation, musicians are creative. Whether we believe this creativity is our own or the result of our "addictions" to the art form, music is a living, ever-changing, ever-creating force that works in each of us. In the words of Matthew Fox, (thanks, Dr. Edburg!) "We are creators at our very core. Only creating can make us happy, for in creating we tap into the deepest powers of self and universe" (28). These words ring true for all musicians, I would venture, but particularly for me. From my youngest days, I was always happy to create; whether it was the right string of words to form a sentence, the right mix of colors for a drawing, or the right notes in time for band, my joy sprung from that transformation of little or nothing to something. It reaffirmed and changed who I was. 'Look, mom! I played a scale on my flute! I'm a musician!' Some might say one scale does not qualify me as a musician, but in my creation of that scale, I was a musician.

Now, music is my life. I can't imagine I'd be half as talented a musician without that creative drive. More importantly, without creativity I would not understand my passion for music. I know that if it weren't for music, I'd probably have no clue what to do with my life. After this week, I think I'm not the only one of us who feels that way. The joy of creativity and the self-fulfillment of good performance are the best aspects of music - the proverbial chemicals that make me high, if "music is a drug". And even though we are a society of addicts, no other "drug" I know of has the same overwhelming effect, not to mention no negative side effects.

To once again quote Matthew Fox (also a blogger... does anyone else notice a trend?) from his blog, "Creativity is both humanity’s greatest gift and its most powerful weapon." So if I am a creative musician, what does that mean for the world? How will my creativity change my community? In class on Thursday Dr. Edburg asked us what we saw our talents doing for others. Many of us admitted that music was mostly a selfish pastime, and I would be guilty of that too. But after giving this some thought, I can see that music is not just a private indulgence. As a singer, especially as a singer with a future full of potentiality, I will have so many opportunities to turn my selfish passion into a enlightening gift. Whether by interpreting others' works, educating the next musical generation or producing music of my own, my world will profit. In a more spiritual analogy, the Bible states that God blesses us with gifts, and we, to show our gratitude, must use them to brighten our world. Indeed, it would be wrong for me to keep my talents to myself.

Now I'll close, not with Disney, but lyrics from a song most of you know. I am a musician; therefore I am creative, talented, and willing to share my passion. I am part of something larger than myself, I am an instrument of creation. If all this is true...

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the clear, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear that music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?


At 10/01/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

hey, i like that somebody finally did something new. way to dig deeper. i also really like your poem at the end. i'm a fan of free verse, but since your poem is short, the rhyme scheme is subtle and it flows nicely.

At 10/01/2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Becca said...

That's not mine, actually. It's from a hymn... one of my favorite hymns. I'm flattered, though! =)

At 10/01/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Way to be different. Although I do miss the Disney, I liked how you went so deep into the question.

At 10/01/2006 6:33 PM, Blogger Nat said...

I really really enjoyed your new take on this blog entry. I think what we all need to do is see if there is a balance between the two different blogs because it seems obvious that there are many aspects to being a musician.

At 10/01/2006 7:18 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I liked this blog Becca, and I liked your quotes.

At 10/01/2006 7:36 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

Way to go, mixin things up a bit. I like the new take.

At 10/01/2006 8:33 PM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

I like how you address the whole "music as a drug" thing. But, I think that looking at music as a drug is kind of juvenile. In my opinion, music is beyond just a change in perspective, or mind set, it is a seperate opinion of the world. This may not make sense, but I think music and drugs are different because music is so personal that the "drug" would be a a completely personal response. How one reacts to music is derived from ones own mind and thought process, so really the high is coming from one's personal intellect, not just the experience of the music.

At 10/01/2006 9:03 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

I like your new angle on this, Becca. Plus I LOVE the song you quoted at the end! It's one of my favorites!


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