My Purpose

My Purpose

The purpose of this blog is to help people understand that music can be more then just entertainment, and what those things are. I want be able to help people with this blog. I don't know everything about music, I am still studying it, however, I will share what I have found. I hope you will be enlighted and edified by what I have to share. I worry that some people might turn a deaf ear to my blog if they read something on this blog that they don't agree with. I respect your beliefs. I don't agree with everything I read either. But I know you can find something that can help and interest you, if you just keep reading.

"Quotes Worth Mentioning"


When asked where his inspiration came from, Johannes Brahms said, "I immediately feel vibrations that thrills my whole being. These are the Spirit illuminating the soul power within, and in this exalted state, I see clearly what is obscure in my ordinary moods: Then I feel capable of drawing inspiration from above, as Beethoven ... Straighway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind's eye but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration. Measure by measure, the finished product is revealed to me when I am in those rare, inspired moods." "The powers from which all truly great composers like Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven drew their inspiration is the same power that enabled Jesus to work his miracles. It is the same power that created our earth and the whole universe"
("Talks with Great Composers", Arthur M. Abell)

"Give me power over he who shapes the music of a nation, and I care not for who shapes it laws"
Napolian Bonaparte

“Intellectual enlightenment consists of instruction in the arts, numbers, history, speech, and government. Music consummates a man’s life, giving his rituals meaning. Music has a trensforming effect on its listeners, and should be the first principle of government.” -The Teachings of Confucius.

I quote some remarks between,Gene R. Cook, and Mik Jagger made a few years ago:
Cook: "I have the opportunity to be with a lot of young people. Many say your music does not affect them adversely in any way. Others say it effects them in a very bad way. What is your opinion? What is your impact?”
Jagger "Our music is calculated to drive the kids to sex. It's not my fault what they do. It's up to them. I'm just making a lot of money.”
Cook: He was in Mexico making a profane and pornographic music video because the cost is 1/3 there. In addition it is easier to produce such videos there at the moment. He explained that though such videos with explicit sexual behavior is illegal on US national television, it soon will be, and they want to have the videos ready. Now not only audio pornography can be portrayed, but they can view it as well. He was making more money this way."
Jagger:“It doesn't matter what you do in life, there are no rules. There is no god. You can take whatever you want. It doesn't matter."

"To encourage literature and the arts is the duty which every good citizen owns to his country."
George Washington

"Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it."

(more qoutes to come)

PLEASE NOTE: It would greatly benefit the reader to follow blog postings from the first post to the most recent. Using the Blog Archive in the left column of the page to jump to the oldest posts. For now I will see if I can find a way to display the posting in chronilogical order, first post to the latest post.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


In the spring of 1942 some English and American women were incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp in Sumatra held captive by the Japanese. The conditions were deplorable and the treatment inhumane. For 18 months, Margaret Driver kept thinking of creative projects to keep the morale of the camp up in order to repel despair and hopelessness from consuming the women. At the conclusion of that time, Nora Chambers approached Margaret with the idea of trying to sing well-known pieces of classical music without words. Having an extraordinary musical memory, Margaret was able to arrange works such as Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, O Danny Boy, Humeresque, and Dvorak’s New World Symphony in four-part female chorus. She had no staff paper, but somehow over a period of months wrote down 24 arrangements. Rehearsing the pieces drew the women together and unified them as they sat on boxes at night with one lamp to light the music. The women would try the pieces together at first, and then divide into sections to rehearse the more difficult sections. Due to the terrible conditions, the women were in a weakened state suffering from a myriad of physical maladies. It was difficult in this debilitated state to have the breath control to sing the long phrases, yet somehow they rose to the task. One survivor said the music allowed them “not to be in the dirty squalor of the POW camp, but there were transported somewhere else, beautiful and free.” They began their rehearsals in the fall of 1943 and on December 1st they had their first concert. As they gathered to sing, many were not strong enough to stand. As Margaret prepared to begin the concert, one of the Japanese guards came angrily to her shouting in a language that she could not comprehend, but the meaning was clear. He did not wish them to begin. Margaret payed him no notice and carried on anyway. When the mellifluous strains of the music began, he sat down entranced by the experience. Throughout the horrific experiences of the war, these women survived with their music. It enabled them to be transported out of the wretchedness of their condition to a place of beauty and nobility. A film entitled Paradise Road produced in ??? recounts this miraculous story. In 1983 I was preparing to perform on a gala fund raising event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. The evening was to include some very well known performers including Jean Stapelton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Tammy Grimes, Jerome Hines, Mistlov Rostopovich???? and the headliner for the evening...Ethel Merman??? As the event approached, we read in the New York Times that Merman had checked in to the Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, due to some extraordinary pain in her leg. She had gone visiting to the hospital as she did weekly for years to visit the sick. Her father was cared for in that hospital to the end of his life, and she was very grateful for the care he received. As a result, she donated an afternoon a week for years to visit the sick and try to bring some cheer by chatting with or singing to those in the hospital. This particular visit, she met with her doctor who diagnosed her illness to be a pinched sciatic nerve. He was mistaken. In actuality she had suffered the first in a series of strokes, that would shortly terminate her life. All we knew was that Merman was “indisposed” and our audience would be vastly disappointed. Martin Feinstein??? of the Kennedy Center called Merman to inquire as to her health, and more particular the status of her performing at the gala. She assured him that she had never missed a performance, and she was not about to start now. He asked her about the dress rehearsal. She queried as to why she should have to rehearse, given she had been singing the number since 1946. Martin assured her that it was not for her that the rehearsal was scheduled but rather that the conductor would appreciate the rehearsal. She ended the conversation by saying “if he wants to rehearse, he knows where to find me”. And so, Bill Huckabee took the train from Washington to New York to have the rehearsal experience of his life. He returned to tell us that, though she was gracious enough to sing through the numbers from her hospital bed, he could not possibly see how she could be well enough to be with us on the week-end. The appointed day arrived and Miss Merman arrived with her agent Donald Sadler???? to find out the order of the bows (as if anyone would have the stupidity to try to bow after Merman!) She was obviously not feeling at all well, and asked to go directly to her dressing room to await her entrance. Mr. Sadler??? sensed my disappointment, as I had held a lifetime dream of meeting this Broadway legend. He beaconed me to her dressing room when she was settled there. I simply wanted to tell her it was a supreme honor to be sharing the stage with her, and how much I had admired her career, and her autobiography. She was gracious and I noticed her medications (demerol). She had the unmistakable look of someone in excruciating pain. I truly wondered, as I watched the difficulty with which she moved, whether she could make it through the performance. When my numbers were finished, I sneaked out into the house to observe her performance and also the reaction of the audience. The lights went out, and from the darkness, as she found her way to center stage, an announcement... “ladies and gentlemen...Ethel Merman! A pin spot hit her center stage as the crowd went wild. The upbeat introduction began to Irving Berlin’s 1946 hit Annie Get Your Gun, and Merman belted out like no one has before or since There’s No Business Like Show Business! I watched nearly 40 years drop away and witnessed her body rejuvenate and restore. The pain evaporated and in its place was the intensity and vitality of a teenager. Somehow, the music transported her back to a time when there was no pain, and there was a reservoir of unlimited energy. Demerol does not actually take the pain away, it causes the brain to “ignore” it by “numbing” part of the sensory perception. Music can do the same thing. Not all music, you understand, but music that has meaning to the person in pain. It would be her last performance, and I cannot imagine how, in spite of what she was suffering, it could be bettered. That experience was reinforced when a very dear friend of mine, Doris Heninger met me coming out of a local nursing home in tears. I asked what was wrong and she tearfully explained that her dear mother, Mrs. Wolford, was in terrible pain and no matter how hard the doctors seemed to try and relieve it, they were unsuccessful. It was awful for Doris to witness her mother in this condition and have no ability to help. She was having to leave for a moment of respite to regain her composure to go back and face the scene again. I asked if Doris knew what were her mother’s favorite songs. Both being musicians, it was an easy question. I suggested that she go home and put on tape a continuous play of her mother’s favorite songs. She did so and reported to me that the tape had the power to give her peace and remove the pain better than the morphine and demerol. She used this therapy to the end of her mother’s life. It was a sweet solution to a very difficult concern. Are you using music to help you? Would someone know the songs that would help if you were in similar trouble?

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