Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why is Teaching Music So Important?

In all ages the thoughtful have called music "the celestial Art". Artists have pictured the angels playing on harps, and this teaches us that the soul comes on earth with the love of music. It is not after being born on earth that man learns to love music; the soul was already enthralled by music before it came to earth. . . . music is the first and the last thing to appeal to every soul.

Music is the most wonderful way to spiritual realization; there is no quicker and no surer way of attaining spiritual perfection than through music. . . . In golden age(s) there was the music of the soul, a music that appealed to the soul itself and that raised it to cosmic consciousness, the music of the angels, the music that was healing and soothing.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan gave a warning from an old Hindu story that tells how a musician invented a new way of composing music.)

". . . When this man sang his new compositions, he won the admiration and praise of everyone at the court. But one of the old musicians who was present said, "If Your Majesty will pardon me, I would like to say a word. There is no doubt that this is most beautiful music, and it has won the admiration of all those present, and also my own. But I must tell you that from this day the music of the country, instead of going upward, will go downward. . . .And so it happened; step by step after that, that music was brought down.

Music should be healing; music should uplift the soul; music should inspire. There is no better way of getting closer to God, of rising higher towards the spirit, of attaining spiritual perfection than music, if only it is rightly understood.

Excerpts from the Music of Life
by Hazrat Inayat Khan