A person's musical tastes are an open window to his soul, much as art is, though perhaps more so. There are many who will tell you that spiritually and morally music is a neutral thing and they use this to justify any and every kind of musical taste. If there is one popular dogma that I have found to be absolutely false it is this one.
Music is spiritual from beginning to end. It may even be said to be a religious art. Music is about harmonics (or lack of them). I believe it is true to say that the whole Creation is one giant orchestra playing many different melodies consisting of millions of different parts. Because the world is fallen, we find two essential forms of music: that which is pure and that which is impure, with every imaginable shade inbetween.
Music is not neutral. It definitely affects our behaviour. It effects moods causing elation, joy, depression, sexual arousal, sleepiness - you name it, there's music for every kind of mood, as well as for every kind of moral disposition. But before I bore you with my philosophy of music let me plunge straight in and tell you what I particularly like.
There are, broadly speaking, three types of music that I enjoy:
- Classical (Christian and Secular)
Explaining what these are on a computer screen is another matter altogether.
(a) Christian. I have little time for modern Church music which in my view borrows far to heavily from the New Age. Classical hymnody I love, and especially that which is accompanied by the organ, which is undoubtedly the king of musical instruments. I like both accompanied and unaccompanied hymnody. I have no time for drums or electric guitars which have a way of dominating music and stimulating the lowest domains of the soul.
I like almost all of the traditional hymns: Amazing Grace, Onward Christian Soldiers, Stand Up for Jesus, The Lord is My Shepherd (Crimmond), Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, And Can It Be, Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, Trust and Obey, All Hail the Power, Praise My Soul the King of Heaven, Jerusalem, Love Divine, All Love Excelling, I Heard and Old, Old Story (Victory in Jesus), Just as I Am, Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht, Teach Me My God and King, The Old Rugged Cross, Dies ist Mein Land, We're Marching to Zion, Wie Gütig Sein Gebot, To God be the Glory, How Great Thou Art, All That Thrills My Sol is Jesus, and hundreds of others.
Some of the more modern ones I enjoy are As the Deer Pants, Commune With Me, Give Me Oil in My Lamp, Have You Any Room for Jesus, Hevenu Shalom, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, I Will Glory in the Cross, Jesus Bids Us Shine, Roni Bat Tziyon, Sing to the Lord All the Earth, Jesu, Jesu, O Remplis nos Coers, etc..
I also love much Catholic sacred music of which my favourite is Panis Angelicum.
(b) Secular. I enjoy most of the classical composers from Beethoven to Tchkaikowsky. Opera isn't really my thing - too flowery and sensual - though I don't mind some arias. Bruch's Violin Concerto is a heart-melter for me. I could write much about the various composers and their works.
I do not give carte blanche to all Classical Music some of which is dreary, depressing and even immoral, however technically brilliant. I have no time for such works as Carl Orf'äs, Carmina Burana, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, or any avante garde music which is shere drivvel IMO.
Currently my favourite pieces are Beethoven's Romanze für Violine und Orchester Nr.1, op.40, G-dur & Nr.2, op.50 F-dur (Romance No.1 for Violin and Orchestra, Op.40 in G Major, & No.2, Op. 50 in F Major).
I am very fond of 18th and 19th century Polish, German and Scandinavian folk music, particularly waltz's played on the accordion. It is very jolly and just right to cheer you up when you want to feel a little lighter.
This is a more recently acquired taste that links in some respects to folk music. I enjoy the music of the White Stones partnership of Fionuala Sherry and Rolf Lovland who specialise in 5/4 time rhythm. They combine Celtic melody with Latin rhythm for dance, and employ the Irish whistle and Spanish guitar to create a most incredible sound of mystery and excitement. Their Album Secret Garden has quite captivated me. Quite how spiritually 'pure' this music is I have not worked out yet. It is a remarkable synthesis of Irish Celtic and Scandinavian (as far as I can tell).
What I do NOT Like
If there is one category of music that I detest it is Rock and Roll which as far as I am concerned is straight out of the pit of hell. I include in this Rap and most of the modern forms which are coarse, crude, violent and antichrist. I also lump the vast majority of pop music together with these, being a product of the egotistical culture of 'me and my wonderful feelings' (usually sexually suggestive and romantically banal).
There are some good articles on the main website that reflect my position absolutely. The following I strongly recommend: Music.