Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: The Inner Hidden Melody

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    395
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default The Inner Hidden Melody

    I was reading about some of the sayings of famous Hasidic Rabbis about music. They have written their observations on music. What is the power of music? what can a person who listens to music achieve? What draws people to music? and many other interesting things. They are all inspiring. As I was reading and reflecting about their wise words I was thinking about music and its awesome power, and the place it has in people's lives and also in their religion. I was also thinking about the ability of some people to live their lives without believing in religion, and I was thinking to myself how can they achieve that? how can people not believe in a Supreme Being.

    Before I would go deeper discussing this issue I would like to share some of these inspirational words written by the Giants of Hassidic Judaism. The famous Rebbe of the city of Breslev has written the following about the awesome power of Nigun (Melody, In Hebrew). He wrote:

    The most direct means for attaching ourselves to God from this material world is through music and song. We learn from Hasidic Teachings that every Soul had its own Melody before making the descent into this world. Physical existence covers up this original song with many layers of noise. The quest for self-understanding and closeness to God involves searching the world for our own hidden melody.

    What the Rebbe is saying is that every person in this world has his own Melody, specific song that is unique to himself, and that no other has this melody, and the physical existence in this physical world covers up this hidden melody with many layers of noise. The quest for self understanding, meaning every person has questions and wants to understand the grandeur of life, this whole universe and how he fits into this great universe. In reality every person one way or another is asking himself these questions of meaning, of why, how and where. And the Key writes the Rebbe is searching the world for our own Hidden Melody. This is a very strong comment, what is the Rebbe trying to tell us by 'Searching the world for our own Melody'? And why if we will find that hidden personal melody, that will be the key for our 'Self Understanding and Closeness to God'?

    Maybe the Rebbe means to say that connecting with our own inner distinct melody will help us discover the truth about who we are, and what we are doing on this earth, and all the questions that trouble us about existence and the future of the world, will be answered, and then we will be united with the truth?

    So we have two different things going on here. We have melodies that were composed and written by many different composers, basically we have music in a general way, available through listening, and then each and everyone of us have our own specific melody , and finding this inner melody will help us discover some ultimate truths about ourselves and our Creator.

    But how are we to go about searching for that inner unique melody? what is the strategy? how can we find it?

    There are rare moments in life when someone is exposed to certain realities. For example, someone can be thinking a certain way for many years, maybe most of his life, and then by a certain chance, he has realized that all his life he was wrong, all of his life, whatever he believed was completely and utterly wrong, at that moment, when there is nothing that stands between him and the truth, he yells to the heavens and claps his hands strongly, even jumps because he understands his foolishness, and how wrong he was, and now he is faced with the truth, and maybe at that moment his meeting with his inner melody takes place, and all he wants is to dance and be joyful, and even though he might no be able to express his joy through song, its still fine, cause he can hear it, even if no one else can hear it, he has come face to face to his inner Nigun (melody) .

    So we can maybe suggest that music has a great power to draw someone to the truth. But the opposite is also true, that Truth can draw a person to his own inner melody. Music and Truth, they seem inseparable.

    I remember that when I was 15 years old, I asked my immigrant secular Jewish Piano Teacher, why she is not religious. She pointed her finger to a score of Bach that was opened on her Piano, and she said, :"This is my god'. I was truly disappointed by her answer. I came to the conclusion that for someone not to believe in God, he must be connected one way to another to something that is extremely spiritual and also related to truth. For if you take from an atheist, music , which is of immense spiritual value, what is he left with? It can be said perhaps that music for some people has become some kind of a substitute for Religion. As in the case of my piano teacher.

    This is further solidified by the Rebbe's second teaching, where he explains the reason why the Shepherd is playing his Flute while he attends his Sheep and watches over them. The iconic image of a Shepherd going about attending his flock while holding a flute and playing. The reason for this is that the great time the Shepherd spends with his flock can have a negative effect on his spirituality, while he is with his animals he may forget who he is, and how different he is from them, as a result he plays the flute, to remind himself that he is human full of spirituality and he is much different then the animals. Basically music helps him lift himself spiritually and make a clear and definitive separation between him and the animals.

    This teaching goes in line with what I have said on top, that the atheist finds in music, a strong sense of humanity, spirituality, distinction between him and the animal kingdom and for some its just enough, these 'tools' are good enough, and they can live with that without going any further. They find in the spirituality that music has to offer, something that is substantial enough without going to the next level, of finding that 'Inner Melody' that is the 'Key to finding God', because for some a spirituality that is demanding, ritualistic, full of Commandments is not something that interest them.

    They listen to all the types of music that are available, from one genera to the next, from one composer to the next. At times they like this composer, then they get bored by him, and move on to the next. What is this seemingly unending and unquenchable yearning to hear different music, new music? why can't they be contend with one composer, or 10, or enjoy the same composer forever, at the same level?

    Maybe this has to do with the Rebbe's comments, that everyone before descending to this physical world, had that special melody engraved in their soul, and all the physical layers of noise are disturbing the individual to reconnect with their own melody? going and jumping from one song to the next, from one composer to the next, an unending search for meaning? maybe listeners of music, are looking for something they want to find but they don't even know what they are looking for?

    I personally sit sometimes next to the piano, and begin to look for a theme to compose. Many different ideas come out, some musical ideas seem at the moment real, and worthwhile, but after a few minutes or so, the way I look at those ideas is this :"This is not true, this is not the music that I want to compose". Its amazing how truthful I want to be with myself when I compose a piece of music. I want the music to be a true expression of myself, I'm looking for that inner melody, I want to find that truth that exists in me, and reveal it, not for anyone else so much as for myself. Finding these true melodies has created within me a natural love for truth. I find that music that is a true expression of myself, has thought me not to fool myself with other things, to be true to myself and accept the truth no matter how unpleasant it may be. So for me, the journey from truth in music, to truth in general, is a very natural thing.

    Ultimately, maybe that is what the Rebbe means, that by searching for your inner melodies in truth, that will help you discover this world with a clear and unbiased mind, to accept the truth no matter what.

    The Rebbe goes further and says:

    Music is provocative; it brings us to a place of teshuva (return, repentance) by cutting through the klipot (shells, layers) surrounding this world and uncovering the essence of truth. We learn from Hasidic Teachings that there are ten primary songs in the world: (corresponding to the ten sayings of Creation, the ten Sefirot (emanations), the ten commandments, etc.). Nine are already revealed and the tenth will be sung by the Messiah. A whole song is going on around us, but the physicality of the world masks our ability to perceive it. It is our task to listen closely to our own inner Song, and to look into the songs of all the people of the world to find the ultimate song of the Holy Temple.

    This statement also I think describes the desire of music lovers to 'look into the songs of all the people of the world to find that ultimate song. I guess we have yet to find that ultimate song that will bring us face to face with the truth of our existence, as the Rebbe said, that there are many layers of physicality that disturb us from finding that Melody, perhaps it could also be said that before we can grasp the ultimate song we need to find our inner melody. By finding our inner melody we are exposed to a new reality, we see and perceive the world with a mindset of truth, save any form of self deception, and that will help us to find the ultimate song which benefit all of humanity the Song that will be played in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

    As the Jewish Mystics explain that the first human, Adam was born from the earth where the future Temple will be built. So since we are all the children of Adam, all of humanity is drawn to the place, Jerusalem, and most specifically to the Temple, for a person is drawn to his root, to where he was born, to the very begining.

    Just wanted to share some of my reflections about reading these Hasidic Teachings.

    Regards,

    Saul
    Last edited by Musician; Oct-13-2013 at 11:03.

  2. #2
    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    University Place, WA
    Posts
    7,065
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    It's a little bit hard to understand exactly what you are getting at in this post. Can you possibly sum up your main points for us?

  3. Likes brotagonist liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    5,369
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    36

    Default

    I read this with interest as I am religious and have always been drawn to mystical ideas of communion with God. Music does indeed seem to me to be spiritual & a gift from God; but so does language, and other mystical systems are based on the divine word being uttered and so on.
    Thank you for the quotations and your comments. The only thing I wonder at is that one must go on 'trying' to find one's inner melody. Trying may sometimes be counterproductive; listen with good will is what you need to do, and the atheist and agnostic can also do that. In fact, the atheist may by God's grace find his inner melody more readily; in my opinion, the best insights into God and the nature of the soul come as epiphanies, as a by-product of love.

    But it is not often that I get a chance to talk about these matters, so thank you for posting.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-13-2013 at 14:54.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

  5. Likes Skilmarilion, Taggart, shangoyal and 1 others liked this post
  6. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    395
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by violadude View Post
    It's a little bit hard to understand exactly what you are getting at in this post. Can you possibly sum up your main points for us?
    Nothing is definitive here, these are just my reflections of what the Rebbe wrote, I too am trying to understand these concept for they are deep and full of wisdom. Try reading it again, point by point...

    Cheers

  7. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    395
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingenue View Post
    I read this with interest as I am religious and have always been drawn to mystical ideas of communion with God. Music does indeed seem to me to be spiritual & a gift from God; but so does language, and other mystical systems are based on the divine word being uttered and so on.
    Thank you for the quotations and your comments. The only thing I wonder at is that one must go on 'trying' to find one's inner melody. Trying may sometimes be counterproductive; listen with good will is what you need to do, and the atheist and agnostic can also do that. In fact, the atheist may by God's grace find his inner melody more readily; in my opinion, the best insights into God and the nature of the soul come as epiphanies, as a by-product of love.

    But it is not often that I get a chance to talk about these matters, so thank you for posting.
    These are good observations, very nice, thanks.

  8. Likes Ingélou liked this post
  9. #6
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    12,641
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    "Inner melody" I interpret as the true self. And I agree about music and truth being inseparable. I suppose a great performer can turn on the charm and entertain, but it's hard to disguise insincerity in music.

    I admit I'm guilty as far as having a ravenous appetite for a huge amount of music and composers. I wouldn't call music my god, but it's definitely a compulsive, hedonistic pleasure. And to go a little deeper, I obtain great satisfaction in listening to the honest expression of composers and musicians, not to mention the high level of accomplishment and discipline involved in executing advanced musical ideas.

    I'm a bit skeptical about some of the other ideas expressed here. I don't believe all humanity longs to return to Jerusalem, or the so called root in general. In fact, I'm not sure humanity evolved in the middle east. And as Buckminster Fuller once said, "trees have roots, people have feet".

    And as far as the shepherd losing sight of his spirituality while tending his flock? I'd say he's doing exactly what he's meant to do. And I can't help but questioning the assumption that we as humans have a separate origin from "lower" forms, even if we've developed bigger brains and higher intelligence.
    Last edited by starthrower; Oct-13-2013 at 16:05.

  10. Likes violadude liked this post
  11. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    395
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    "Inner melody" I interpret as the true self. And I agree about music and truth being inseparable. I suppose a great performer can turn on the charm and entertain, but it's hard to disguise insincerity in music.

    I admit I'm guilty as far as having a ravenous appetite for a huge amount of music and composers. I wouldn't call music my god, but it's definitely a compulsive, hedonistic pleasure. And to go a little deeper, I obtain great satisfaction in listening to the honest expression of composers and musicians, not to mention the high level of accomplishment and discipline involved in executing advanced musical ideas.

    I'm a bit skeptical about some of the other ideas expressed here. I don't believe all humanity longs to return to Jerusalem, or the so called root in general. In fact, I'm not sure humanity evolved in the middle east. And as Buckminster Fuller once said, "trees have roots, people have feet".

    And as far as the shepherd losing sight of his spirituality while tending his flock? I'd say he's doing exactly what he's meant to do. And I can't help but questioning the assumption that we as humans have a separate origin from "lower" forms, even if we've developed bigger brains and higher intelligence.
    Thanks for your comments, I don't seek to argue about any of these comments, all I want is to share opinions.

Similar Threads

  1. Schumann's hidden masteriece
    By Op.123 in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Apr-11-2013, 16:28
  2. Masterpieces hidden in boxes
    By KenOC in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Mar-03-2013, 18:18
  3. Indentifying something hidden in another song
    By hunt365 in forum Solved Cases (archive)
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Apr-28-2011, 00:46
  4. Hidden Gems Program
    By Denny James in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Mar-12-2008, 23:55
  5. Hidden Gems
    By Denny James in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Dec-22-2007, 21:28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •