Profoundly Moved by Music

For many people music is an inspiration, a visceral experience that elicits many emotions. Over the span of many decades, I have been moved by many forms of music and because of this very satisfying effect, have coined (for my personal use) the term “profound sounds.” It is difficult to describe to anyone else because music, and the effect it has – whether profound or not – is literally in the ear of the listener. Just because a piece of music moves me does not mean it will move anyone else. I hear profound sounds in many genres of music, from the intricate rock machinations of Kerry Livgren’s (Kansas) Song for America to the ponderous strings and tympani of Handel’s Sarabande; practically anything from John Williams to John Philip Sousa’s marches; haunting Uilleann pipes to Go the Distance from Disney’s Hercules; Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe to Jerusalem by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

In some of these songs, the profound component is not just the music, but also the text. Words do matter, and when matched with the right music, a song can inspire nearly beyond comprehension. To me, this is one of the primary reasons why choral music tops the chart of profound sounds, eliciting, in me at least, the most emotion.

There have been many instances in past performances of the Liberty Community Chorus where pieces have fit my definition of profound sound to perfection. It is not surprising, then, that in the upcoming concert, entitled Music to Inspire, there are more than a few pieces I would categorize as profound sound. A quick YouTube search for profound choral music resulted in pieces by some of the composers of songs that the chorus will be performing - Eriks Esenvald, Mack Wilberg, and Kim Arnesen. Clearly, others think that emotive music is worthy of making the cut on a public list.

I think it is quite an easy bet that many people will be touched in a significant way by one or two, or maybe even all, of the songs in the upcoming performance. It is impossible to include all genres and styles in a single program, but the emotion is universal. Music is largely emotional, which is why it is so important in the lives of so many, inextricably entwined with our very existence. It is the emotion that music elicits that determines whether or not it’s profound sound. Imagine a world without music, profound or otherwise. Count me out.

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