Sunday, October 08, 2006

Welcome, Early Music Lovers!

So what kind of music do you like? If you have unusual tastes in music like I do, you know this can be a tricky question. Chances are, your companion is merely trying to make small talk or establish some sort of common ground. It is generally hoped that you will mention some sort of common, modern music and then proceed to a bland discussion of it.

Well, I just can't get myself to do this. I have no desire to hide who I am and what my interests are. On the other hand, a direct exclamation of your enthusiasm for lute music, or something similar, can be a perilous course. Politeness, if not complete ignorance of the subject, will usually prompt your companion to ask some sort of question. Now this is when I get into trouble. I tend to actually answer the question! Frequently, my enthusiasm gets the best of me and I begin a long lecture on just what a lute or viol is, what historical forces lead their eventual disuse, and how a lot of people would probably really like this kind of music if they could only experience it for themselves. Sometimes I say something incredibly stupid like, "So would you like to borrow some cds?" This is an uncomfortable situation because they have to come up with some kind of polite refusal and I start to wonder if I really want to loan out my cherished lute cds.

I think I have a solution. The next time I get asked what kind of music I like, I'm going to clearly and briefly state my preferences and then refer them to this blog in case they want to learn more. I will then deftly steer the conversation to a safer subject like the recent performance of the local sports team or the unusually average weather we've been having.

I hope this blog will also be useful in other ways. I am especially looking forward to hearing from you. We all have our unique perspectives on music and on life. Regardless of whether you are a professional performer of early music, an instrument builder or someone who has only recently discovered early music, your insights can benefit the rest of us.

Music is really just the organization of sound waves. Its the human emotional responses to these sound waves that are responsible for the true beauty of music. Music is an incredible journey that can help us to understand people throughout the world and throughout history. I hope you will join us on this adventure.

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