Archive for July 8th, 2011

I love baroque music. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell. I can’t get enough!

I think one of the first pieces of baroque music I heard as a kid was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, probably as a cartoon soundtrack.

When I was in college and later on when I was working, it seemed that Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons was everywhere.

In law school, my internal soundtrack was Bach’s The Brandenburg Concertos.

I must confess that in recent years, I don’t listen to baroque music as much as I’d like. Not sure why. I guess part of it has to do with the fact that all of my baroque music was on cassette tapes. Never did get around to buying any of it on CDs.

Whenever I do hear it, it lifts my spirits and transports me to another world.

When I was in high school, it began to dawn on me that baroque music, especially Bach’s fugues (e.g. his ‘Little’ Fugue [G minor])… was math. It was as if someone had taken a chalkboard full of mathematical figures and made it audible. By this time in my life, I was able to read and play music so in addition to hearing the math, I was able to see the math charted in the musical scores.

They say that over time, an artist will stop seeing the world as others see it and begin to view things in terms of planes and perspectives. I think that’s what happened to me at some point. Baroque music stopped being simply wonderful melodies and counter-melodies, themes repeated and overlapping one another… but became instead a fascinating arrangement of numerals and decimals, interweaving to produce a breathtaking result.

While you couldn’t pay me enough to live in Europe between 1600 and 1750, the music of that era sure was outstanding!


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