By Mary Karr

Music is an art form that touches virtually all our lives most every day.  Its major purpose is entertainment, and it comes in many forms performed in many ways.  For just our listening pleasure it may be performed in concerts by large symphony orchestras, big band orchestras, school bands, military bands, choirs, small combos, or solo on all sorts of musical instruments or with voices.  Then there are the musical plays that combine music and dialog.  Music may be enjoyed in live performances, on the radio, particularly on car radios, on various recording devises, or even self performed.

But there are many other instances of music playing a part in our lives.  It is the background music in movies and television dramas to help set the mood of what is occurring on the screen.  It is often the background sound to add to, or in some cases, be a distraction for, the ambiance of dining establishments.  How could one dance without music.  Marching music is a necessity in parades to keep the marchers in step.  Soft music is even sometime used during medical and dental procedures to help create a calm atmosphere.  Therapeutic music is now used in the treatment of certain psychological disorders.  Even the chants and drumbeats in the rites of primitive people was a form of music.

Music doesn’t just happen.  It may be dreamed up, retained mentally, performed, and passed on orally as in times past.  Most music, however, is composed and written down in a universal form that can be read and performed by other musicians all over the world regardless of their native speaking language.  It may be written in a single line to denote the tune, but in most cases it is written in chord form to give a pleasing blended sound to the composition.  For bands and orchestras it must be separately written for each of the various instruments which requires a skilled arranger to do in order for the instruments to blend.  It is not necessary to be able to read music in order to perform it by voice or instrument.  Just remember the tune.  Also many people play musical instruments without ever having a lesson.  They play “by ear” and practice.  Some of these even perform professionally.

Music comes in many forms and styles for multiple tastes.  There are quiet melodious love songs, religious hymns, country and western, bluegrass, big band, rock and roll, pieces from musical plays, military marches, school themes, “elevator” music, and, of course, for the more serious music lovers, the classic symphonies and other majestic pieces usually performed by large formal orchestras.  Take any or all of these.  If it pleases you it is good music and it is art.

If you want to enjoy some exceptionally good local music, be sure to attend the concerts of The Rutherford County Symphony Orchestra.  This all volunteer orchestra puts on at least three concerts a year usually at the Foundation at ICC in Spindale.  They perform all sorts of music, not just the classics, and the concerts are admission free.

Remember to support our local Lake Lure Artists group whose work is displayed throughout the town and the Hickory Nut Gorge and whose talents are exceptional.