: the science or art of ordering tones of sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a combination having unity and continuity
: vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony




Music (n.): mid-13c., Middle English musik, from Anglo-French musike, directly from Latin musica, from Greek mousikeany art presided by the of the Muses, especially music” from feminine of mousikospertaining to the Muses,” from MousaMuse.”

Muse (n.): “protectors of the arts,” from Old French Muse and directly from Latin Musa, from Greek Mousa, “the Muse,” also “music, song,” from root men-to think, remember” (mind). Meaning “inspiring goddess of a particular poet” is from late 14c.

The traditional names and specialties of the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, are: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love poetry, lyric art), Euterpe (music, especially flute), Melpomene (tragedy), Polymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), Urania (astronomy).




“My ambition was to live like music.”

Mary Gaitskill (born 1954, age 60, American author of essays, short stories, and novels. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and Esquire.)

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Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”

Lao Tzu (6th century BC, Daoist philosopher, considered the Father of Taoism.)

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Music is moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

Plato (approximately 427-347 BCE, Greek philosopher and mathematician. He is considered an essential figure in the development of Western philosophy. He founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science.)

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“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Bob Marley (1945-1981, Jamaican musician and singer-songwriter, who served as a world ambassador for reggae music and sold more than 20 million throughout his career giving him international acclaim. Eric Clapton was instrumental in bringing Bob Marley to the forefront.)

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“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.”

Aaron Copland (1900-1990, American conductor, composer, and songwriter who was known for works like Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man among many others.)

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Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”

Maya Angelou

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Biography and Website, The Legacy of Maya Angelou:

“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”

Langston Hughes (James Mercer Langston Hughes, 1902-1967, American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. We celebrated Langston Hughes birthday yesterday, February 1st. As Google reminded us, he would have been 113 years of age. He was poet that spoke outwardly to the people primarily of black life in America. His primary influences were Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman.)

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“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007, American writer whose works include: Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Breakfast of Champions, a blend of satire, humor, and science-fiction.)

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Have you ever gone to bed with a problem on your mind, set your clock radio for the next morning, and woke up with a song that answered your questions?  That often happens for me, and also while walking and shuffling my music.

Music is a precious Gift from The Heavens.  It is also an vital part of our inheritance.

Not only was I born into a creative family, I am also part of a musical one.  My mother sang opera and finished her concertos before she died at the age of 27.  I hold very fond memories of her traveling from one venue to another, mostly churches and small concert halls, as she sang with enormous amount of technical skill and joy.   She was such a committed singer, who was accomplished enough to receive an invitation to audition for a NYC opera company. And although she fell ill and was not able to accept that invite, she passed along so many gifts to her children.

It’s very difficult to lose one’s mother at any age, but especially as a child. One’s mind and cannot reconcile the enormity of that loss.  To work through my grief and to search for ways to be closer to my mother, from middle school through college I played in school bands and sang in chorals. While in college I also took a voice class taught by a professional opera singer. My teacher instructed me while she played the piano. When I sang I felt happy, fortified and confident that I was able to sing as bravely and boldly as my mother had.

Music heals and provides the platforms to connect and express one’s freedom and limitedness.

Recently, I came across a documentary feature film on the great Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix said in an interview: “… everything is electrified… so a belief comes through electricity to people … That’s why we play so loud, because it [music] doesn’t actually hit through the ear drums… We play for sound to go inside the soul of a person to see if it can awaken some kind of thing within their minds. Because there are so many sleeping people.”

Years ago, I attended a large healing circle in NYC’s Greenwich Village. An Inuit medicine man from Greenland performed an interesting healing ritual, in which he hit a huge drum, approximately five feet in diameter, and sung into the heart of a person that stood before him.   If he perceived a person’s heart was closed, he would sing loudly to that person to facilitate an opening. But, if he perceived an individual’s heart was opened, he’s chant softly.

I don’t know if this ritual truly worked for every individual there. But I do believe in Music’s power to enlighten, shift, and awaken.

Many Blessings, Tonya





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