There is this book. It’s called Hearing and Writing Music: Professional Training for Today’s Musician (2nd Edition). Anastacia, if you’re reading this, I highly recommend. This opens entirely new dimensions, and so unassumingly. I got stuck on one of the first sections, dedicated to Resonance, and can’t seem to move forward. I just want to stay there, in Resonance, for ever.

Ron Gorow, the author of the book, writes this, “Every human recognizes the harmony that is a product of natural resonance. The human body responds sympathetically, so we actually feel music physically as well as emotionally. This simple fact, this gift of nature, provides pleasure when listening to music.”

Each instrument matches the sound vibrations of the tones produced, thereby enhancing and enriching the auditory experience. The way I understand it, the human body, as a receptor of sound, or a producer of it, vibrates as well. When we perceive sound vibrations, our body physically vibrates, “responding sympathetically”, and we experience a real, physical pleasure as the music literally moves through us.

I would venture to say that perfect resonance is achieved when a human voice sings with other voices, when the bodies vibrate at the same rate.

Gorow goes on to say, “Anyone who has played in an orchestra or sung in a choir has experienced the thrilling sensation of resonance. It is not only auditory; it is felt through the entire body…” As someone who’s been fortunate to have done both, I can attest to that claim. There’s nothing more powerful than blasting on your violin Mendelssohn’s Elijah, or bellowing out Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Your feel it in your gut. Your hands begin to shake. You sort of want to cry.

Still, if there is one musical dream I hold fast to, it is to be able to sing in a choir Rachmaninoff’s Vespers.

When those voices sound sublime and surreal out of the mire of mundane tedium, you are lifted up and your breath is cut short. You feel as if something divine is moving through you, in you, as you sing along, resonating with the unseen voices surrounding you. It is both physical and metaphysical, tangible and spiritual. It is pure good. It is joy. And I am, at these moments, overwhelmed with gratitude to God who has given us “this gift of nature”; voices with which to resonate with Him . He has given us ways in which we can experience Him even if we do not believe in him.

There is other music and art that create for me a spiritual experience: select compositions by the Russian reggae band, 5’nizza, the Christian death metal band Believer, Ella Fitzgerald, especially in combination with Louie Armstrong, and Pieter Bruegel’s Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap. What is the common denominator? Couldn’t tell you. I see courageous creativity, honesty, pure talent, pure heart, and something of the eternal, respectively. Of course, this is subjective. But then again, worship always is.