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February IN Newsletter

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

This month we commemorate Valentine’s Day by focusing our Newsletter and our IN Day on love songs.

Not long ago, I read a book in which one of the main characters argued that all books are romances. I very much doubt that assertion but I propose to you that all songs are love songs. I see your raised brow and the doubt in your face. Let me explain: Of all art forms, music is the one most akin to feelings. It is invisible and evanescent, making it impossible for one to store or hide a song in the back of the closet. You can’t cage a song or hold it hostage because you can’t hold it in your hands. Once it is formed by the string of an instrument or a voice, it jumps free in the air. It delights or affronts the listeners and dissipates. You can carry the memory of it, you can carry the key to the enchantment in the form of music sheets, you can even carry a recording of its brief existence, but you can’t carry a song. Nonetheless, it is an art form most people understand and enjoy. When you see Broadway Boogie-Woogie by Piet Mondrian, do you see the excitement and the restless motion of cars and lights of New York streets or do you see color squares on a canvas? Music seems to be easier for people to understand and appreciate than any other form of art.

Don’t take me wrong, there are plenty of contemporary music that demand an equal amount of study and reflection as Piet Mondrian’s paintings to be understood (I remember how difficult it was sitting through a concert of compositions by Arvo Pärt) but music stirs emotions at their core. Music is passionate because it uses the composer’s feelings and the musicians feelings to stir the listener’s feelings without the need for a creative vessel like a painting or a sculpture. It is perhaps not surprising then to realize that music has always been believed to have an important place in divine realms in different mythologies.

At this point, I will assume that you at least agree with me that music stirs the listener's emotions, but are all songs LOVE songs? Love is the center of our humanity - without love there wouldn’t be new generations. Love and the feelings and complications arising from love is what moves us. Hate (the lack of love), lust (carnal love), envy (for the love you don’t have), desperation (for love lost or out of reach love), but also passion, patience, kindness - all these feelings circle around love and therefore, I put to you that, yes, all songs are love songs.

I will challenge you even further by asserting that not only are all songs love songs, but that Brazilians in general are the most melodic nation in the world. Ha! I see now I have stirred your feelings without the aid of a song (a love song). How can you say such a thing, you might ask me? And I say it is because I have proof! You can read my story in “Music Runs Through Brazilians’ Veins”. Still not convinced? Do you want to prove your country has better love songs? Well, be my guest! We made it easy for you: Send us your love songs and music sheets so we can sing them together on our next IN Day (see details on the poster below)!

Meanwhile, delight your ears and eyes with the music and writing of your fellow IN members. Most of our articles this month have links to songs, videos and lyrics.

Marcy gives us an example of (mostly) American love songs in her list of “Favorite Love Songs”, divided by different types of love. I’m especially intrigued by the songs that describe love towards pets (animals).

Marcela writes about “The Music Trio from Mexico”. I’m sure you have seen them: Three musicians and their instruments serenading with their love songs. If you have never seen a serenading trio, you are overdue for a vacation in beautiful Mexico!

Gina writes about her love of “Songs in Movies”. How can you not appreciate the music while watching a movie? Even more powerful if you watch the movie at the theater and feel the surrounding sound, the bass coming through the soles of your feet…

Marcela also writes about one of the most well known Mexican songs, “Besame Mucho”. I remember my father singing it when I was little.

Phyllis writes about love and its transformation throughout all phases of our lives in her "Cycle of Love".

Renata writes about “February”, in which she affirms my theory about Brazilians’ melodious nature by giving us an overview of Brazilian Carnaval among other important dates of the month.

Please join us at our February IN Day to sing Love Songs from Around the World!

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