John Cain

 
 

Excerpt

From Chapter 2 Music Philosophy 1 and a 2 and a 3.....

The Value of Music Really music is nothing but air. Scientifically music is a series of sound waves traveling through the atmosphere and landing on a listener's ears. These impulses are transformed bio-electric-chemically by the human body into brainwaves that are somehow interpreted by the human mind as the experience of music. Yet what amazing power this moving air has over human beings! It makes people dance and sing. It makes people happy, sad, nostalgic, horny, angry, and even violent. It makes people fall in love. People have been jailed and beaten for music. People have killed and been killed for music. Music has a tremendous emotional value.

Music is air. Unlike other mediums of art music has no "object of art" like painting or sculpting. It is a fleeting temporal creation that happens quickly. Each note and beat once played gives way to the next and the listener must be receptive, very open minded and aware to appreciate it. I believe that this is why music is the closest art form to the human soul; it has no solid physicality yet it exists.

Music in this way is similar to the art of dance. A dance only exists while it is being performed by the dancers. The dance and the dancers are one in the same. So it is with music. The piece of music only exists when musicians are performing it. (The exception, of course is in the case of sound recordings. But, it could be argued that a sound recording, no matter how technically well recorded, is never the same as a live performance.)

Music has no "survival value." It is something that is not necessary for physical survival like water, food, air and shelter. It is sheer leisure. But therein lies its value. This sheer leisure to stop being concerned only with survival activities and to take time to listen to elaborate sound patterns and rhythms is what makes us civilized. As a species, because of music and all art, we are beyond mere survival. Art is the indicator of civilization. You could say that part of the magic of music is that you can literally make a fortune out of thin air. Think of the financial fortunes that are made from these little songs, these elaborate and temporal sound patterns. I could sight many examples, but here are just a couple. Over the years Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" has made millions of dollars and is still. The collected works of The Beatles is easily worth a billion.

But, if you're considering a career as a musician to get rich I would suggest, don't quit your day job.

At the Pearly Gates of Heaven St. Peter asks the first guy at the head of the line, St. Peter:"How much money did you make when you were alive?" The first guy: "About $400,000 a year." St. Peter: "And what did you do?" The first guy: "I was a lawyer." St. Peter:"Come in. Next!"

He asks the second person in line, "How much money did you make when you were alive?" The second guy: "Oh about $100,000 a year." St. Peter: "And what did you do?" The second guy: "I was a plumbing contractor." St. Peter: "Fine, come in. Next!"

 He asks the third guy: "How much money did you make when you were alive?" The third guy: "Oh, maybe about $30,000 sometimes about $35,000 in a good year." St. Peter: "And what instrument did you play?"