“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and flight to the imagination.”
In a chaotic world, I find that music is indeed a kind of moral law –
- a language that brings order and harmony to the soul;
- a language that resonates emotionally and spiritually, touching us as words cannot;
- a language that helps us connect with what is universal in us all, as the human beings who share this planet.
The treatises from the 17th and 18th centuries all talk about “Affekt” – the emotional character of the music. The performer’s role was to evoke a particular Affekt or emotional state in the listeners: joy, contemplation, rage, despair, triumph…
The baroque performer used every possible means to cast his emotional spell on the audience – rhetoric, gesture, harmony. As musicians, our job is to communicate – to take the listeners with us on an emotional journey. If, at the end of two hours, the audience is moved to tears, or joy, or laughter, or prayer, then we have done a good night’s work.