This quote made me pause and think: I wonder what Saint Augustine thought wh
en he expressed this?
Listening to music awakens within me visions and sensations I wouldn’t otherwise be aware of and helps me to access my creativity; e.g. when I want to clarify how I feel or express myself, I often do so through writing a song about it (a few can be found on bozenazawisz.com).
I can also appreciate the powerful impact of music on our emotional experience.
As someone who plays the organ in church, I often experience spine-tinkling silence as my congregation hangs on to the sensation invoked by a particular piece of music, sang for countless generations.
Research suggests that words stripped from an optimal level of emotion are not processed as well and are harder to attend to. Maybe it’s the emotional authenticity induced by the music, together with the meaning behind our words that helps to create a particularly memorable prayer experience that’s easier to savor?
Or did Saint Augustine refer to the ability of music to unite the hearts of members of a congregation in beautiful harmony, as (for the duration of the song) they put to the side their individual differences and prejudices and unite with one another in worship and meditation; and perhaps also unite in thought with so many other generations that sang the same songs before them…
Either way, music makes for powerful prayer... What music could inspire you today?