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Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Classical Week: Day #1

About a week ago, I attended a Parish Youth Group meeting where the pastor spoke about an experiment using classical music.  In this experiment, Fr. L- claimed, classical music was piped into one chamber, while rock music was played in another chamber.  Connecting these two boxes was a tunnel, and as soon as rock music started playing, all the mice (or was it rats?) would scurry off to the box featuring classical music.  Padre mentioned other experiments, including one where the rock and roll groupies ate one another, but I shall not go into more of that kind of stuff.

What struck my children and I was one experiment where classical music was played as background music.  It had a soothing effect on the people exposed to this music, and made their home a much nicer place to live.  In short, music helped to form the culture of that family in a favorable way.  So last night (Saturday) my children suddenly mentioned that they would like to take part in the experiment - starting the next day.  That would be today.

Carolyn and I were very interested in participating in this experiment.  We have noticed that the children who live at home have developed a hankering for both types of music - Country and Western - and some of it has caused us some concern.  I even started listening to the lyrics and telling the children that some songs are not appropriate for their listening.  Heck, a lot of it is not appropriate for my listening....

Our little unscientific experiment is not about lyrics.  As Father L- said, never mind the lyrics.  A lot of the music is detrimental on a more basic level.  To paraphrase (badly) his thesis, one must consider how Man and Music have parallels in their construction.  For Man, the Intellect informs the Will, which then directs the Body.  This is how one attains an ordered life, where the Body is subject to the direction of the Intellect and Will.  In Music, Melody creates Harmony, which then directs the Rhythm of the piece of music.  This is how one attains an ordered piece of music, where the lower part is subject to the higher parts.  Unfortunately rock music - and even most contemporary country music - put rhythm ahead of melody and harmony, creating disorder.  When Man puts Body before Intellect and Will, an even greater disharmony occurs.

Our experiment will be to see if playing classical music rather than rock or country will help influence our family in a positive way, encouraging all of us to put Melody and Harmony, or Intellect and Will, ahead of Body and Rhythm.

So what's with the aircraft at the top of this blog?  Well, during the Life Chain event at church this afternoon, one of these things flew over.  I had never seen one in the air before, and it stopped me in the middle of an Ave Maria.  I still need a lot of work when an airplane can distract me from my prayers.

For the next week, I shall make some comment on how this little experiment is going.  Stay tuned!

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Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
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