What Music Means to Me
When you listen to this music, there is nothing else in the world, only those prescribed notes flowing around you in perfect harmony. Alex Ross tells us that the greatest music of the world makes you forget about all other music, everything else in the world. The best music in the world has a certain power over the listener–it makes him forget about everything else in the world. * It is not clear from Ross’s quote if he is a musician. He does not explicitly state that he is a musician, although his interpretation of music does suggest that he is in fact a musician.
His interpretation of the meaning of music suggests that he is himself a musician. However, whether Alex Ross is a musician has no bearing on the meaning of the quote what so ever. Ross could simply be an avid listener (although his books and background make it clear that he is indeed a musician) who finds that when he listens to what he feels is the best music, he forgets all other melodies in favor of the current strain that captures his brain. I find that for myself, this is also true.
I have found that when I listen to truly excellent music, it captivates me completely. Exemplary music holds my attention for as long as it plays; it does not remind me of other songs; it does not bore me or make me daydream. The best music in the world, while in the eye of the beholder, still makes the one it is meant for sit and listen, truly listen. Not listen while reading, writing and doing other things, but captivates and holds the attention, solely with its melodies and rhythms alone.