Lately I've been on a quest to rediscover melody.

It's that sublime aspet of music you can't really put your finger on. It's nebulous, ethereal, surreal, but a good one smacks you like a ton on bricks and sinks your heart . . . maybe even makes you cry.

Ok. Confession time. I like to listen to the "Sound Of Music" soundtrack. Stop laughing long enough to let me tell you why. You know that "Do Re Mi" song? "Do -- a deer, a female deer . . . ." Well, it makes me teary; I'm secure enough in my manhood to admit that. It happens for several reasons.

This was a song my sister, Blanca, and I used to sing together when I was in the 2nd and she in the 5th grade. So, it brings back some tender memories of a life not yet tarnished and ravaged. Also, the composers (Hammerstein and Smith, I believe) had an impecible sense of melody. Thirdly, the counterpoint there at the end is too much for my little brain to take in all at once -- the voices, the strings, the brass, the snare drum driving it all. It takes it over the edge. And out of sheer joy of the graduer of it, my heart does sommer-saults and I get teary. (Ok. Now you can laugh.)


I've spent hundreds of hours studying, emmulating, then writing in the compositional styles of Bach, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Brahams and others. Know what all these guys had? They had melody. But, you look it up, and nobody can give you a good definiton. It goes something like, "A group of tones organized and arranged in both pitch and rhythm so as to cause a pleasant sound." Blah-blah-blah. But when you hear it, you know it.

I read somewhere once that Mozart sounds like a effervesence. Brahms sounds like a blooming flower in slow-motion to me. Hayden sounds like nylons on royal legs; grand and stuffy. Beethoven sounds wild and pissed off, yet soulful and delicate as a whispy cloud. Bach sounds like those old TV test patterns to me, mathematical and highly, highly organized; perfect.

But where did all that go? I miss that. I'm after it; chasing it down. But it's a spiritual thing, too. Like, the harder you push, the more it evades. You just have to let it come as it comes. Where's your melody? And can anyone hear it? Are you broadcasting your sweetness to the world?

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