Music can express an expansive range of emotions. One of these emotions is JOY.
You can do an internet search for joyful classical music and you’ll find many lists and opinions of cheerful music. I’m certain that everyone’s opinion will differ but composers of joyful music will certainly include Mozart, Rossini, Vivaldi and Copland, and of course, this list must include the iconic ‘Ode to Joy’ (which every kid plays on every instrument) from the Beethoven Symphony No.9.
Even something as simple as the Happy Birthday song can bring joy. I mean, really, who can’t feel joy when singing that to someone? Even if it’s a stranger’s birthday in a restaurant, have you ever felt compelled to join in singing good wishes through that song?
Especially during this holiday season, we have a whole set of music reserved just for this time of year. How great is that? There are band, orchestra, and choir concerts, Nutcracker performances which always include glorious music by Tchaikovsky, Handel’s Messiah performances, church performances, Christmas caroling, music playing in restaurants and retail stores, on the radio, or your headphones, and more. Holiday music is one thing I thrive on during this season.
When I was in high school, way back in the day, my Christian friends and I would sing Hanukkah songs and my Jewish friends would sing Christmas songs. We weren’t offended by doing that because we were friends; we all loved music and it all brought us joy. We could live together (at school) and sing together (at choir) in love and understanding.
Every time I perform a concert, whether it’s for five people or a concert hall full of five hundred people or more, I feel joy. It’s a natural side benefit of performing. Even if you don’t like performing, you have to admit that at least you feel joy once your performance is over, right? Or maybe for some of you it’s just a feeling of relief. But that’s a form of joy, isn’t it?
My challenge to you is to look around you this week and observe where music is being played and how it makes you feel.
Best wishes for a happy and joyful holiday season, what’s left of it for 2022!! May you feel peace on earth and goodwill to men.