Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Toccata and Fugue in D minor

One day, I was playing alone in the attic and discovered some cassette tapes. They belonged to my dad.

I must have been nine years old then. Idle and curious, I inserted the tapes into a nearby portable cassette player. There must have been about twenty tapes. One by one, I listened.

I came upon a J.S. Bach, with a picture of Bach on it. The first piece was Toccata and Fugue in D minor, on organ.

I didn't listen to it for more than a few seconds the first time. I went through the rest of the tapes and came back to Bach. I let it play for a few more seconds. What a long piece of music, I had thought. Back then, I was only listening to ABBA and Bee Gees on our way to school in the family car with my cousins. Classical music* to me was totally alien.

Then came Fugue. It was the most harmonious music I had ever heard. Didn't know it was Fugue until I started learning music later on. Fugue made me fall in love with music for the first time. I stared at the face of Bach and wondered who this great person was. I liked listening to music, but I had never appreciated music like I did with Toccata and Fugue. I continued listening to the rest of the tape, but I always came back to this unique piece.

Toccata makes you feel alert and tense, demanding your attention. The notes are mesmerizingly fast and rhythmically unpredictable. Each verse is a story in itself. Fugue is romantic and beautiful it makes you want to spin and soar to the sky. Toccata and Fugue is like life itself, full of contradiction, unpredictability, adventure, tense at times, yet beautiful, humorous and fun.

I must have played that music for more than a hundred times. The tape wore out eventually. But my love of music stay on.

I found this visual piece on Youtube recently. Click on the title of this post to link. It is fun and inspiring - even to watch:
* Classical music is a general term. J.S. Bach is from the Baroque period.

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