Seeking Balance In Music & Democracy

C. Coimbra photo

The majestic beast that I’ve had a passionate, hot and cold, on and off, but continued affair with for over 40 years is tragically out of balance. When my fingers touch the hard, but smooth and pleasure-giving black and white keys that give rise to a wooden and felt hammer that strikes the high-tensile steel wire strings into an explosion of magnificent sound, the sensual acoustic fusion delights me.

It’s a world that resonates between a treble and bass clef, masterly written by gifted and wise musicians, and at times, from the depth of my heart.

But like the world around me, the middle ground is damaged and needs repair. Of my piano’s 88 keys, 11 middle octave keys have weakened from excessive humidity. Only a skilled technician can repair the damage. This leaves me with the high octave keys on the far right end, and the low octave keys on the far left end. Both ends have their place and purpose, but require balance from the middle octave keys in order to fill the air with a pleasurable roulade.

It’s much like our current political discourse. We no longer hear the middle octave because the balance is damaged by climate, and the atonality that comes from nothing but bass tones and nothing but treble tones. It’s thunderous. It’s shrill. It’s unpleasant and unreasonable like the current sounds from my piano when I try to play through my Hanon exercises or lessons assigned by my piano teacher. Without a middle C, F, G-sharp, or B-flat, the music dissolves, as well as its intention.

Summer wanes and I await the technical skills of a piano technician, with whom I have either had miscommunications or a cacophony of time complications. Does this sound familiar?

The piano technician will bring his skills to my ailing love. He’s patient and thoughtful when it comes to the mechanics of such a majestic beast as my object of a long-time affair. You see, he understands, as do those who live within that rarefied world of delicate balance, that each of the 88 keys is important to each other, regardless of whether they are noted as whole, sharp or flat. It’s neither a tweedledum nor tweedledee world. There is no balance in bass only or treble only. They need to meet in the middle for a perfect composition.

And perhaps like my piano, a total collapse of harmony is what will bring a technician of fine tuning and repair to bring us back to the glorious and balanced symphony of a well-played democratic republic.

The moment my lover is repaired, I have every intention to give our affair unbridled love and attention to detail with the balance of study and creativity.

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