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All Music is Beautiful

Updated on May 27, 2015

Music Is Beautiful

The title of this hub, All music is beautiful, is a Billy Strayhorn quote. Strayhorn was instrumental in the Duke Ellington Band. He composed the well know Take the A Train and sometimes filled in for the Duke on piano.

These four words set the stage for an exploration of music and the nature of beauty.

I thought about the quote for a few days before deciding it was ideal for what I wanted to write. After all, I do not like all music; in fact, there is much music I do not enjoy at all. However, enjoyment is not the issue but beauty. My liking of a piece of music has nothing to do with whether the work itself is beautiful.

What is beauty? Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), who most often wrote under the pseudonym of 'The Duchess', wrote inIn Molly Bawn, 1878, the line "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

This I take to mean, the person who sees the object, or in the case of music, hears it, makes the determination about whether what has been seen or heard is beautiful. If I accept this line of thought then it is indeed possible to say all music is beautiful. After all, is there any piece of published music that is universally disliked?

My music tastes are electic; jazz, reggae, rock & rool, may dominate my listening patern, however, I have found myself tapping my foot to ore than one country tune. I listen to the Who, early Rolling Stones and the Band as well as Duke Elington, Louis Armstrong; Bob Marley, as well as Ella Fitzgerald. Kenny Roger's The Gambler is a fine tune with a certain folksy widom in its lyrics.

My music appreciation is diverse and it is in this diversity that beauty may well lie. Diversity is strength and works to ensure the future

Music is a cultural creation, at least popular music is, and as such, music will change with the times. Songs played, seeming endlessly, will fade from the airwaves quickly, but they will remain alive on oldie, goldie stations and personal playlists but the popular taste will change.

We will always here the songs of our youth, our loves and fears, with the same ear we heard them the first time, although time and experience melow pain and heighten joy. Change will come.

Change is inevitable, it comes whether we call it or not, and this makes life both challenging and renewing, the stuff of great music. Listen and Be.


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the Mingus link, another great.

  • Paul Wallis profile image

    Paul Wallis 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Great, Bob. Hubbers- If you're having trouble hearing the video, the volume is set low. Hit the speaker and turn it up.

    Check out Charles Mingus, if you like jazz: