The primordial rhythm – By Rosa Montero


The Greeks regarded music as the artistic expression of mathematics; According to Pythagoras, the Sun, the Moon and the other planets revolved around the Earth harmoniously, and the distance between the celestial bodies corresponded to the musical intervals: it was the great music of the spheres. In the Middle Ages, music was one of the arts of the quadrivium, along with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy; that is, it was part of the sciences. And still in the sixteenth century, a composer named Zarlino said: "The music deals with sonorous numbers." So until yesterday, this art was considered an essential element of the universe, a rigorous and priority knowledge for life. But later, a society that is increasingly focused on the utilitarian and the technological, not the scientific, has banished music (and all arts in general) to a more dispensable, more ornamental, more substitute place until it creates that aberration called "ambient music," a noise pollution that enters your ears in elevators, waiting rooms or shops, and that supposedly, according to several investigations, serves to provoke certain psychological responses: to make you buy and consume more, say, or to reassure him in moments of tension as in the dentist, although a friend, the writer Miguel-Anxo Murado, always say this, every time he hears those cheerful and foolish ones that appear in the takeoffs and landings of the airplanes. , for example, the hairs are in the point because they are indicative of a certain danger.

For me, music is something essential, the same as reading. I do not know if I could live without both. However, there are individuals who, to my absolute admiration and disbelief, detest this art. The most famous is the great writer Vladimir Nabokov, one of my masters of literature. In his beautiful autobiographical book, Habla, memoria states: "Music, I am sorry to say, affects me only as an arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds." He continues to complain for several other phrases with his proverbial pedantry, suggesting that it is all humanity that makes the mistake of persisting in enjoying this annoying noise. Poor Nabokov: perhaps his hostile character came from there, from that brutal lack, from that deficiency. How not to love music, if our whole existence is linked to the primordial rhythm of the pulsations of the blood.

I already say, I like it so much that when I listen to music, I can not do other things (except to walk or drive) because I concentrate too much on it. Of course, I can not write. The novelist Clara Sánchez told me that she used to work before listening to her favorite records. "But I stopped doing that because I realized that I thought I was writing exciting and wonderful pages that when I reread them the next day without the soundtrack, I thought they were very bad." What a great and wise comment: Music is like a drug, snatches us and hypnotizes us. It brings us, for good and ill, to a parallel state of reality: it is military music that ignites and draws generations of young people with a smile on their lips; is the romantic music that makes you believe you are in love, from which derive serious consequences; or it's the melancholy song that drives him to stay under the bed and start crying for three days. Yes, music can manipulate us, but it also has the wonderful effect of making us bigger and better than ourselves. Pythagoras was right: these sublime sounds bind us to the universe and rescue us from our poor individuality. How many times have I felt on the verge of discovering the secret of life while listening to an especially exciting passage? And many scenes from my novels come from bright lights that occurred to me during a concert. Music is something essentially human, in short, that has all the ingredients of who we are: beauty, violence, serenity, joy, pain, feeling. Our last moment will be accompanied by the final pulsation.


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