Music – Rahul Trivedi

Rahul Trivedi

What is music? Maybe it’s the way we create harmonies and chords. Or perhaps it’s simply evoking emotions through sound and notes. It’s a hard question to answer, isn’t it? Merriam Webster defines it as the art of ordering sounds in succession that, in combination, produces a piece with continuity. However, its meaning runs far deeper.

My appreciation for music spawned during a dark period of my life. The beginning of high school was a tough time for me as I was placed in a new school with almost no friends. My parents had always told me that no matter what endeavor I pursue, I should always be at the top. And so, I was chained to my desk brimming with work from all my classes. Every day seemed as though it would drag on for an eternity, and I had lost hope of ever finding happiness. However, surrounded by the chaos that was my freshman year was a dimly lit room in the corner of the C-Wing that would soon become my second home: The Band Room.

I remember the first time I heard one of Gustav Holst’s pieces in band class. As the recording of Jupiter began, I listened, entranced, as the orchestra repeated three notes in a crescendo. The rambunctious noise bellowed until it finally transitioned into the main tune. As the piece continued, the soloist gently bowed on his violin, releasing notes that captivated the room. The other violins and instruments soon joined in and performed a beautiful melody, evoking feelings of nostalgia and invigoration. As the piece concluded, I was in utter shock. Despite the soloist grabbing the audience’s attention and performing with unmatched precision, without the supporting musicians, the piece would not be complete. Contrary to the rhetoric of my parents, in music, one person cannot outshine the rest. Music requires unity.

Eager to escape my tiresome daily routine, I quickly embraced this new idea of unity and got involved in the music program. During one of the concerts, my band director told everyone to play certain notes incorrectly by going a note down on the staff. We performed the piece with the inaccurate markings, shocking the audience with its jarring tone.

My band director then revealed the purpose of the exercise, explaining that while 95% may be considered a good grade in another class, in an orchestra, everyone must give 100% of their effort. As we performed the piece once more with the correct notation, I watched as the audience was lost in the music, swaying with emotion as they listened intently.

Unlike my other classes, where interaction isn’t necessary to receive a good grade, music requires collaboration and teamwork in order to achieve harmony. Over the course of my four years in band, I stepped out of my shell and became friends with my bandmates, who pursued music with the same passion that I had. Though most of us don’t intend to play music professionally, we all come together in musicals and concerts not out of obligation, but for the simple joy of playing together.

Yes, in its most basic form, music is a set of notes and tones played together. But, like other types of art, there is an innate power to elicit emotions and thoughts that we may not normally dwell on. To me, music is a form of connection, an opportunity for people from all walks of life to understand each other. Unlike your typical English class, it allows me to express myself without words. A dynamic score represents the unpredictability of life. Like the changing tempos of Venus and Jupiter, life will take me in many directions, away from the shackles that once bound me to monotony. Though I am filled with trepidation as I venture into the next chapter of my life, I know I can always find solace in music.