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7/01/2003

 
| Ode to Joy, or, The Road Less Traveled




I read an interesting article today. It seems that Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony, one of his most famous, baffles musical experts. Why? Because it is just . . . well, it is just plain different than other symphonies.

In the opinion of musical critics it doesn’t sound like any other symphony before or since. It simply doesn’t work like symphonies are supposed to work. And that confuses people.

The Ninth Symphony is quiet in places where it is supposed to be loud and quiet in places one would expect it to be a thundering crescendo. It mixes different tempos and moods together in a mish-mash that no one ever thought of before.

On paper, it doesn’t make sense -- but to hear it dear reader, to hear it!

Experts don’t understand how Beethoven was able to make the Ninth Symphony work; let alone make it one of the most famous musical pieces in the world.

No question that Beethoven was a genius. But I like the Ninth Symphony and the fact it baffles experts for a different reason: Beethoven was thinking outside the box. And great things can happen when you think differently than everybody else does.

It takes some courage and incredible vision to cut a different path than everyone else. People do not appreciate change. And it is easy to doubt yourself when you strike out on your own.

Often times, in fact most of the time, you will fail. People will tell you “what the hell where you thinking?”

But sometimes you will make a real difference by thinking different than everyone else.

Just ask Beethoven.



ROAD LESS TRAVELED

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference


-- Robert Frost

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