The Balm in Beethoven


God is using a dead composer’s classical music to deepen our relationship, heal emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain, and awaken creative potential He has given me.

So about six months ago, my life changed because of music. One night, as I was falling asleep, I started listening and watching Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on YouTube. It was performed as part of BBC Proms, a classic musical festival held each year in London, England. The actual symphony Beethoven wrote is one of the most famous, noticeable, and lauded works in all of classical music. Most people have heard, and likely sang, some rendition of “Ode to Joy”, which comes in the fourth and last part of the piece.

This one-time event turned into a bedtime ritual. Night after night, I would start watching from the beginning—listening in utter delight as the powerful opening unfolded. The horns, then strings, oboe, flute, and eventually the fullness of the orchestra reaches a fever pitch within the first minutes of the roughly hour-long rendition.

I became so fascinated with Beethoven’s No. 9 that I started searching for the sheet music to various parts. I had no idea that a Wikipedia-style website exists that is solely devoted to classical music. I printed out the flute part-which I play on my recorder-and the clarinet sheet music.

Day after day, I started closing myself off in a room, connecting my computer to speakers, and playing along with the orchestra. At this point, I have printed and played Beethoven Symphony Nos. 1 thru 9. and have started expanding to other classical composers.

I mention all of this because I firmly believe God is using music to communicate and meet with me. I experience God’s presence in the sounding of notes played, and imagine them float in and out of each other like leaves dancing in trees. These notes create harmonies and discords that link together and render a complete picture.

Music is a form of love. It speaks to anger and sadness, joy and enthusiasm, in ways words cannot. When I don’t know what to say, I can always find a “hum” on the inside of my soul that comes forth readily. It speaks for me. It soothes me. It is my balm.

God has opened me up to a whole new world that existed before I did and that has been present within me all along. It was up to me to access the spiritual reservoir. Memory and experience allowed me to remember how much I loved playing my alto saxophone in band, which then caused a yearning to play some kind of instrument again. Interestingly, I am now quite good at the first instrument I ever played—a recorder—and an instrument I always wanted to play—the clarinet.

God can use anything to connect with you, if you desire to connect with Him. Music is one of the many ways I commune with God and find peace, comfort, and joy in our relationship. I encourage others to seek out not-so-traditional ways of honoring God and spending time with Him. You might luck up on a new hobby that could lead to greater purpose. Most all of, whatever way you connect with God, just make sure to practice it regularly, and keep building and strengthening the bond.

~Ty A. Allison

January 29, 2016

Ty Allison

To hear a sample of this classical piece click below:

Beethoven Symphony No 9


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