The great composer is a psychologist of no mean Order; he deals with all the hidden wonders and mysteries of life. Through his soul, he comes in touch with the great Over-Soul and all his inmost feelings are quickened. With his inner ears he hears the soundless music; with his inner eye he sees the wonder and beauty of invisible colour. The outcome of this consciousness is to renew his mind so that he is able to give outer beauty of form to the rhythm and melody that he feels and hears in the inner life. The form is only the casket that contains the real jewel, but it is fitting that the casket, which is made to contain such priceless jewels, should be a thing of beauty.
Beethoven declared that music is a higher revelation than science or philosophy, and adds that it was listening to the Spirit within him that inspired him to produce music.
Mozart said: "I have never written the music that was in my heart to write; perhaps I never shall with this brain and these fingers, but I know that hereafter it will be written; when, instead of these few inlets of the senses, through which we now secure impressions from without, there shall be a flood of impressions from all sides, and instead of these few tones of our little octave, there shall be an infinite scale of harmonies. For I feel it, I am sure of it. This world of music whose borders even now I have scarcely entered, is a reality, is immortal."
The greatest composers and many of the greatest thinkers have always thought of music as an inspiration from within; a consciousness almost apart from themselves; something they listened to and heard, and later tried to transcribe. But in the doing of this, they felt unable to reproduce all that they were capable of hearing. The highest music contains within itself all that is fundamental in human life. It tells of the whole passion of the soul; it does not deal with concrete thought or expression, yet there would be no thought or expression without music, for music is the all-compelling power. There is a rhythm to all that we are able to feel and the deeper the feeling, the more effectively it acts on both mind and body, renewing and quickening all our mental and physical forces. Under such a condition there is a perpetual influx of power making for greater mental and physical health and strength. New and living ideals are generated in the mind, new desires fill the life; and desire, in turn, becomes a motive power that is the forerunner of all performance.
Rhythm is the first expression of feeling. If God is love, then rhythm must be the first outpouring from the Great Heart of love. We do not see or hear rhythm. We feel it through the inner impulse of life. We "feel after" God. We hear, and perhaps see, musical sounds and musical melody. We are able to give body or form to musical sounds by the use of harmony. Rhythm is the first impulse of love; harmony is its last expression. Music comes out of the invisible as much as the soul of man comes out of the invisible. Man, when embodied on this earth, begins, as it were, to make a new environment for himself to change the face of the earth, to cause the desert to blossom and bring forth fruit. Everything he comes in contact with is to some degree affected by his presence. Music exerts the same kind of influence because music like man's soul exists in the great Over-Soul, and radiates from that Over-Soul to the very circumference of life itself. And while it is more truly subjective than human thought or ideals, it nevertheless exerts a power on all natural expression, for all nature is an expression of God, and the rhythmic, melodious music which exists in the heart of the soul must extend to the most objective phenomena, because, if God is at the centre, He is also at the circumference. And where God is, there is feeling, rhythm, and melody, only our ears are so dull that we cannot hear. Doubtless, people may object to my claiming such universal power for music; but it is well to remember that every form, whether small or great, whether it be ethereally light or materially heavy, is in a state of constant, ceaseless vibration and when rhythmic sound acts on the molecules in the atmosphere, it also acts on all other bodies, producing in them kindred vibration. So it is no mere figure of speech when we read that the stars sing together and that the leaves on the trees clap their hands and are glad. The whole material universe is responding to music, and is also giving out music. We are living in a universe in which One Life is immanent in all objective form and in which One Life is also transcendent; Life that is within and without all things. Nature has a living soul just as much as man has. The soul of the universe is not divided, separated, or detached. One Soul lives in all, and through all and above all. Everything is a manifestation of the divine Love and Wisdom that underlies all existence. Everything is brought into objective form through the rhythm and melody of vibration. Divine Love is at the centre. Divine Love permeates the whole. Love begets the rhythm and melody, and harmony forms the outer evidence of the music that lives in divinity.
Every movement of life represents in an exact way the causes which produced it. Music is not the result of just one emotion in life, but of every true, rhythmic emotion. Love is the white flame of life which gives to us the prismatic colour of music. Love represents the summing up of the full passion of life. Joy and gladness, faith and peace are differentiations of Love. Every real emotion, then, has its own rhythmic vibration. Every real emotion tells its own story through melody and harmony; so that outwardly the world receives from the invisible, and translates it into the visible; for there is nothing hidden but shall be revealed. Real music tells of God and heaven, of love and joy, when left, as it were, to tell its own story. In reality, it does not deal with man's superficial, emotional nature; it knows nothing of hate, jealousy, anger, and revenge. Man may have prostituted music to that end through the introduction of certain elements foreign to the highest music. The written libretto with its words conveying jealousy, hate, murder, the excessive use of chromatics and certain uses of the minor chords has, without doubt, made the average person believe that pure music could be made to express man's lower emotional nature to the same degree that it could express the divine nature. Music does not deal with the unrealities of life, but deals with the whole and the complete; not with the things that are changing and passing, but the changeless, the eternal side of life. Love is the essence of music. Love permeates the whole universe and Love does not contain within itself any quality which in any way contradicts itself. The music that comes to the composer from cosmic consciousness is never filled with the strife of life, but with the triumph of overcoming the joy of living, the strength and the perfection of life. The composer in giving form to his music, possibly through not being able to comprehend fully the import of the message he had to give, has not always succeeded in giving to it the highest or the best possible form. Practically all the great composers, at one time or another, have known that they were unable to give full and complete expression to that which they had received.