top of page

"Medicine for the Soul"

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Art by Tina Lin

Music has long been termed “medicine for the soul,” as it serves as an outlet to sincerely express thoughts and feelings. Music has even been acknowledged as a universal language as it transcends time and boundaries between people and countries. As the stress of quarantine continues, many have turned to classical music, in private solace or in public live streams, like that of renowned Johann Sebastian Bach. But what makes this composer so special?

The world has nearly stopped in time as we are forced to stay in isolation and reflect on our own perspectives and values. The same goes for musicians. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein started her own in-house project — #36DaysofBach — gifting a live performance through social media each day with a movement from the Bach’s cello suites. Weilerstein says, “I think each person really listens to it [Bach] with a personal take on it. I suppose that can be applied to any music, but there’s something about Bach which is so timeless, and so sublime, and so human, that it’s universally touching” (Allen, 2020).

How does the pandemic affect one’s perception of music? Weilerstein believes: “I think it’s especially true for the Sarabande [a movement of a Bach suite]. It’s this one line, from which it traces this indescribable sadness, the feeling of complete isolation. I think of so many friends of mine who are going through this completely alone. It does make one play this music differently, thinking of a universal burden, rather than applying one’s own emotion to it” (Allen, 2020).

It is our privilege to find happiness through music during this distressing time. While the melody, harmony, and meaning of each musician’s performance can fall upon listeners’ ears unanimously or fall vulnerable to individual interpretations, it serves as a unifying factor as our planet embarks on a promising road to recovery. Surely, as Hans Christian Andersen once wrote, “Where words fail, music speaks.”


___________________________________________________________________________________________


References

Allen, D. (2020, April 20). Does the pressure of a pandemic transform a cellist's Bach? Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/arts/music/alisa-weilerstein-bach-coronavirus.html


45 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All

NEWS: 2019/20 World XI (Part 1 - Defenders)

This past season was perhaps the most unusual season in the history of European soccer. What was already an exciting year was rocked when football stood still as a global pandemic took over our world.

5 komentarzy


Catherine Park
Catherine Park
20 lip 2020

This piece was a really eloquent way to express what I'm sure a lot of people are feeling right now. I know I personally found myself listening to instrumental music a lot during the last couple months; an absence of lyrics can actually feel much more emotional and comforting.

Polub

Alina Y. Liu
Alina Y. Liu
17 lip 2020

this is excellently written. music is not only beautiful, but also meaningful, and weilerstein's description of "this indescribable sadness" really resonated with me. music is art, and art is emotion.

Polub

Esther Kim
Esther Kim
13 lip 2020

This is so true! I feel like music has taken on a greater meaning for everyone, but I truly appreciate how that meaning can be different for each person.

Polub

Min Hur
Min Hur
13 lip 2020

This such a great piece of writing! I love how this shows how much music can help a person especially during times like these.

Polub

Jane Wen
Jane Wen
13 lip 2020

Thoughtful piece! I adore how music is universal and can comfort us by allowing us to understand that we aren't alone in the emotions we deal with, especially during these harder times.

Polub
bottom of page