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The Voice: Well, Mrs. Dryer, I go to a very competitive school. I have to take competitive classes. It's not as though the work load would go down if I dropped to a lower level. I had a very busy week, and the play just started. I'll have more time this week. I promise to practice more between now and next lesson.
The Scholar (that lives in my mind): What is that woman saying!? Drop my AP classes so that I'll have more time for piano? Does she realize that piano isn't life? Or at least not my life? I've taken ten years of music, I think that's enough. I'd rather be spending my time becoming a more prolific writer. That's were my passion lies, not in music. Music is just romanticized math. It doesn't say anything deeper than its title. Not anything specific, at least.
The Musician(that lives in my mind): Ummmm...excuse me?
The Scholar: You heard what I said. Everyone gets sick of a song after awhile. It's because there are no life issues in music. You hear it and it's over, and there's nothing to hold on to, nothing to cherish, not even an image, afterwards. It distracts me from reading. Yes, it's part of culture, but to really appreciate it you have to have an ear for it. It's not my thing. To really get it, it has to be your thing.
The Musician: Not your thing? Honey, listen to me, music is most definitely your thing. You can't escape it. As the volume goes up, your soul goes under, submerged in tone and rhythm and rubato (if you're lucky). It takes over your breath.
The Scholar: I think that's more a function of sound wave vibration than anything else.
The Musician: No, think of it this way. When we play gently we aren't gentle with the keys. We are gentle in the sound. But how do we get that sound? How do we know instinctively, or at least after practice, that a certain touch produces dolce? The key is breath, is mind. It's in us, not the music. No formula of physics could ever produce that type of sound.
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The Scholar: It's like when our darling Mrs. D. claims that we have attained rubato. Attained being the operative word.
The Voice: My nutty piano teacher claims I'm "one with Chopin." I thought to myself "she's got to be kidding me."
The Scholar: Well, it's wonderful that music is in me, in us, but words are better. They allow me to organize my thoughts, make sense of it all. They give me means of exploring thought. Words have the power to be beautiful in their meaning, not just their sound.
The Musician: Meaning? What is meaningful? Meaning requires stability. You look at word and thought and belief and see them as being beautiful because they can be held over time. Try this: see music as being beautiful because it is subject to time. What makes a song so incredible is that you can never get each of those notes back exactly the way it was after that moment. Every time there is different pressure, different volume, different ratio of sound to silence. Every time a slightly different emotion is infused into the tone. We can't cling to it, and yet we try, and that can overwhelm our soul. Realize how it changes and then try to tell me that the senseless drivel you write says anything that senseless drivel hasn't said before.
The Scholar: It doesn't matter that it's been said before. The point is to figure out what I, what we, believe in by saying those things for myself.
The Musician: You know, this sounds rather condescending, but if you consider that I am you and you are me, then perhaps you'll accept what I'm about to say. Me, right here, right now, talking to you, I am all you need to believe in. I told you that music is a function of time. Well, sweetpea, we too are functions of time. We can't base the beauty of our lives on what we can hold on to, but rather, on the fact that we can't hold on to it, that each moment will never arise again exactly the same way. Writing is based on who we are. Music is based on how we feel. We will always feel. As the musical lobe of the brain, I feel the need to make clear that when the crowds are gone, I will still be here. When the light is gone, I will still be here. When the words are gone, I will still be here. When you've forgotten who you are, I will still be here, beating in this chest like I always have. And when I am gone, so too will you be. I can't be silenced without you. I am the constant, Elizabeth. Believe in me.
The Scholar: If you're the life blood, then why am I doing all the work.
The Musician: You're doing all the work!? Everything you do is a shade of my forte. I am your sense of time, your sense of cadence, your sense of life. I make you aware of your pulse.
The Voice: When I was a little girl, I used to stare at objects and try as hard as I could to see them move. Not to make them move, but to see them move. Because I always knew that they were changing, somehow, before my eyes. I knew that they could never be exactly the same as they were a moment before. Time was passing through, and no matter how little, it always managed to affect things.
The Musician: Everything you write, everything we see, everything the Voice says is given tone and rhythm by me. I'm the one who wants to run down a dewy hill bare foot in the middle of the night. I'm the one who loves the ocean. I'm the one who thinks the center of a flame is possibly the most beautiful place on earth. Fire and water and night are all fleeting. They never come again exactly as they left. And they are, if you recall, always accompanied with music when we remember them. Music, no matter if it was playing at the time or not, makes memories more real. It drowns out any flaws or holes in our recollection. It makes it all right for the world to change. I know it's hard to swallow, but that lovely (read crazy) piano teacher of ours is possibly the most enlightened woman we know. Yes, so it turns out, music is life.