It is not necessary to understand music; it only necessary that one enjoy it”, said Leopold Stokowski.
This quote describes an experience I had while I was in Jos, Plateau State for a music business visit and to check on my home girl, Bliss Praise Gabriel.
On the third day of my visit, I accompanied Bliss to a conference at Narakuta Hostel, University of Jos. It was a freshing moment in the Presence of the Supreme. So, after the conference, on our way, I decide to use an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). While I reach for the ATM, Bliss found herself a seat made of concrete under the shade of a oak like tree. She sat close to a fellow playing an acoustic guitar. The fellow is dark skinned, tall, cute with a genuine smile. I joined the couple after a failed attempt to make a withdrawal from the ATM due to ‘out of service’ problem. I complained to Bliss and she asked us to take a leave but I advised we stay a little bit, do a freestyle and enjoy the music for the guitar. The fellow with the guitar started playing a melody that was familiar to Bliss. Before then, she asked the fellow if he sings which he answered, “No.” Bliss was puzzled. “How can you play the guitar and do not know how to sing?”, she said to the fellow. He smiled and continued playing the melody. Bliss tried to remember what song the melody was depicting. She was ‘out of service’ like the ATM. The fellow helped out by singing the song. Really, he can sing if he tries. Bliss now can remember the song but she has the lyrics. She asked him to play something familiar. Guess what he played, Travis Green’s ‘Made A Way’. He played the song on a key that was not comfortable for Bliss but she sang nevertheless. Then when the struggle was obvious, they ended the song with a laugh. He asked her what key she would be comfortable with. She told him. I have forgotten.
While all the singing was taking place, I was recording the plug session with my phone. I did not understand the music (I mean the chords, the talk on keys) but I enjoyed the music. You see, as the end users of music – the consumers, you don’t always have to understand the music. Music is like women; you can’t always understand them. Our responsibility as a men is to love them. Women can be complex and same with music. Instead of trying to understand music, just enjoy it. Love it. That’s why an English Speaker can listen to a song sang in Soweto Language and would still enjoy it. Music is a universal language. You won’t get the best out of music if you are hell-bent to understanding it – it’s composition. You can do so only if it’s your job description.
Music is a woman. Love her. My home girl, Bliss is music. I have never tried to understand her. I just love her and enjoy the rhythms from her soul and body. Love music like your woman without prejudice. Enjoy her company while it last… But one major difference between music and women is that, women break hearts. Music don’t. Instead music does the repair.
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying ‘women’ are heart breakers. Men break hearts too.
At some point I tried understanding women but I failed. And the experience birthed a poem I am dedicating to MUSIC:
I have stopped trying to understand women.
‘Cause each time I do,
they break my heart beyond repair.
And sometimes music does the fixing.
Music is a reality:
she appeals to my five senses.
I can see her.
I can hear her.
I can smell her.
I can taste her.
I can touch her.
She was in the beginning
as she is now.
While “the earth was without form,
and void; and dark…,”
the earth was in a state of vibration.
There was vibes.
There was melody.
Remember “The Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters.”
Movement causes vibration.
And from vibration you can have music.
There was music throughout
the creation story.
There was music in the Garden of Eden:
the birds chirping;
the rivers flowing;
leaves from the trees falling
the heart of man beating;
There is music in the still small voice.
Paul McPetros is a music journalist and a music business wannabe executive. His mantra is, to share knowledge and provide solutions. You can contact him on Facebook; Instagram; Twitter @paulmcpetros