Rosicrucian Writings Online
Piano Music and Its Higher MeaningBy Eric Howarth, F. R. C.
[From The Rosicrucian Digest November 1940]
THE piano is a medium of expression, and its use as a solo instrument has proved its value to the individual seeking to express the deeper feelings of the Soul. There have been many cases of mystics using the piano as a means to develop the inner consciousness.
Edward Carpenter, writer, poet, theologian and--as we know--a great mystic mind, asserts that a constant study of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and the works of Beethoven played on his piano were two important factors contributing to his Great Illumination. This claim is made by Richard Maurice Bucke in his outstanding book "Cosmic. Consciousness"; in the chapter relating to the Cosmic enlightenment of Edward Carpenter. Those of us who are piano students therefore have a powerful opportunity for meditation and concentration through this channel.
Cyril Scott has revealed to us the occult influence of all types of musical compositions, and most pianists must have proved to themselves the elevating effect of the music of the Masters. We have the possession of one of God's greatest gifts to man: the power to reproduce through the piano the thoughts and experiences of great minds.
Can we imagine the piano masters, Chopin and Beethoven for instance, to be men of ordinary material concepts? They were subject to all the human weaknesses of other men--and perhaps more than ordinary mortals, which is proof of the law of duality--but they were so highly developed in their higher natures that they were mediums through which Divine Mind could transmit great works of music for the benefit of humanity.
This is our inheritance as listeners or performers of good music, and as Rosicrucians we have a higher conception of the divine meaning of music.
Rosicrucians who are serious students of the piano can experience additional development in this way by using certain fine works as forms of expression.
With sound technical development and thorough memorizing the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata played continually will produce mystical benefits, but few students of the piano use their instrument for this practical purpose.
The A flat Polonaise, Opus 53, of Chopin is one of the most powerful piano compositions. It is capable of producing in the pianist a feeling of tremendous physical exhilaration, and as one writer has described it, "excites the blood to boiling pitch."
Those who witnessed the only film production of Paderewski's power as a pianist, "The Moonlight Sonata," in which he played this Polonaise as the opening number must have experienced something of this character. The practical application of our Rosicrucian teachings in the varied departments of life proves their inestimable value and brings to us a full realization of the unlimited scope in their application.
The following are available online (external links):
2. YouTube video: Koncert Ignacego Paderewskiego Cz.I. -1937
(Paderewski's performance of Chopin's A flat Polonaise, Opus 53 in the film "The Moonlight Sonata")
3. Mp3s (performed by various artists):
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