Monday, March 12, 2018

Only A Musician Will Understand

King Óengus (the 19-string Pixie Harp): You've learned Carrickfergus well. Your fingers are feeling more natural on the strings. You know how to pick out tunes much easier and in different keys. Now play a new song.

Me:
What will I play next?


Óengus:
You have a song in your fingers. Find the strings and begin to play.

...so, I find a string and begin to pluck it, and the next, and the next. Soon, I find I'm playing "Down By The Sally Gardens." It just happened -- and there I was finding the melody; and what happens next...picking chords with my left. I'm not sure what's happening, at this point. My fingers are being driven, and I'm simply letting it happen.

Lady Jane (the 12-string Baby Harp):
I'll sing that one.


Me:
...but, your Highness, you're strung for C. I'm actually limited.


Lady Jane:
...then you may tune my strings for B-flat and use them all.


So, of course, out comes the tuning hammer and she is tuned for B-flat, and away I go.

Now, I've been playing different instruments from my youth; reading and studying music for years and trying to keep the theory lessons of many years ago as fresh in my brain as I can.  I still feel that child-like wonder when picking up an instrument for the first time and being able to play something.  Don't ever expect to hear me on the stage at Carnegie Hall nor traveling hither and yon on a world tour.  I've never even joined any small community band or orchestra.  Perhaps one of these days, I'll find myself in an ensemble, but, mostly, music is played to have music in the house and to keep my soul tended.  I am, very much, a musician and have been one for years.  Of course, I'm still doing my lessons and exercises to continue learning technique and I'm still very much a beginner, still learning to [actually] play the harp as a whole.  Since only learning for just over a year, however, I am confident, at this point, that I've finally gotten to know -- to really know -- the both of them.  Aside from their physical differences (size, number of strings, one with tuning levers and the other without, etc.) they are two different beings, with two different voices and two different sets of behaviours...even their strings play differently, even if they are the same note in the same tune with each other.

 ...and can anyone wonder why the harp is the most enchanting of instruments?

 They tell me what THEY desire.  It's up to my fingers to make their voices be heard.  In turn, I'm blessed by a magick which only a musician will understand.

No comments: