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The Importance

Friday - 02/05/2021 — Despite the togue-in-cheek musical composition pictured here, this TED Talk is so very pertinent, not only for today, but for the rest of our lives.


Even if you think you’re not a fan of classical music, there are a lot of those pieces you’ll recognize—not by name, but by an association you have with a Saturday morning cartoon. And why were such compositions used by cartoonists? Simple. The music was old, which meant nobody had to pay royalties to the (dead) composer, so those cartoons you watched were cheaper to produce. Who can possibly hear the William Tell Overture, for instance, without thinking about the Lone Ranger?

This TED Talk, though, isn’t about cartoons. I’d love to hear what you think about it after you’ve listened.


Growing up, the musical fare in our house was generally along the line of Lawrence Welk and Sing Along with Mitch, church choirs and Christmas singalongs, piano lessons for my sister and me, and voice lessons for her. I was a sophomore in high school before I heard opera in the form of an LP record of highlights from the opera Turandot. That one record set me on a lifelong journey of exploration.


I heard it when I was staying for three months with my Sunday School teacher, Ginny Albanese, and her husband Frank. My dad had been transferred to Ohio, and I had three months to go in my sophomore year of high school, so my folks arranged for me to stay with the Albaneses. They had no children of their own, so taking on a clueless 16-year-old must have aged them about 25 years. Frank was the professional photographer who took those photos of me that I shared last year on my FB page and that you can find in Crystal Clear, the third of my FB memoirs books. Crystal Clear will be released on March 10th, but you can pre-order it now.


Anyway, Ginny was the one who had the Turandot LP, and while I was sitting with her one morning before it was time to walk to school, she turned on the record player. I was hooked from that first note. Over the next couple of months, she introduced me to a lot of opera, but Turandot was the one that stayed with me when I moved on to Ohio.


I’ve always loved the way listening to classical music encourages one to see (hear) repeating themes. I’m pretty sure listening to such music makes people better readers because of the brain pathways it opens up.


What about you? If you’re not yet a fan, would you like to begin an adventure?




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