I was recently at a funeral service for a dear friend of the family. Shirley was a lover of music, a revered music director, and a church choir member for many years of her life. At the service, the thoughtfully gathered choir consisted of 40 members, 2 violinists, an organist and a pianist; led by the esteemed Gregory Kunde. There were 14 songs throughout, each one that held special meaning to her and her family.
As I listened to one, after another, looking out at the community united by song, it reminded me again of the power of music.
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
At mid-service, the communion meditation was Alleluia, music by Randall Thompson. The entire hymn consisted of one word, Alleluia, sung repetitively in the most beautiful, melodic drone. It was penetrating and transporting to witness, as the sunlight beamed through the vivid colors of cobalt blue, rich gold & deep purple panels of the stained glass window, that hung above it all.
“What passion can not music raise or quell.” ~ John Dryden
Music, with it’s infinite possibilities, and universal language has the power to raise spirits, calm emotions, mourn the dead, and celebrate the life within us.
With our modern inventions, there is now a handy tool to analyze your tunes. Mix Meister is one example of an online program that counts the beats per minute(BPM),per song(for free). The lower the beats per minute(ex. Sanctuary, by Donna De Lory @ 104 BPM)- the more relaxing & meditative; great for unwinding after a long, hard day, or drifting off to sleep with. Alternatively, the higher BPM(ex. Glamourous, by Fergie @ 131 BPM)- the more energy and mojo the music will evoke; perfect for motivation during exercise or housework. You can organize your playlist based on BPM to work towards your advantage. Try it, it’s FUN!
Next Post: The relationship between music and essential oils, including the correlation of top, middle and base notes, and how they affect mood.