Music in the soul can be heard by the universe

I think I’ll step away from divination for a few days. Just because there are so many methods of auguring and I’m feeling restless. A world of symbols beckons! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m referring to auguring or reading signs as part of my symbol series. I’ve covered many different symbols from body language to tarot. Do scroll back and enjoy.

notes2I’ve been singing a lot lately. Humming, chanting, outright singing, you name it, I’m vocalizing. (perhaps the polar vortex and snow are making me batty!) Today with music on my mind, I’m talking about notes.

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”
~Lao Tzu

Many kids growing up in 1950s-60s America had piano lessons as part of our lives. So were the Lawrence Welk and Sing Along with Mitch TV shows. Nothing interfered with those programs coming into our house. My dad enjoyed them and so did I. I don’t need to follow that bouncing ball when the Blue Skirt Waltz or Battle Hymn of the Republic comes to mind. lol

My sister played piano with skill, she still does. I had my favorites and I’d ask her to play them —Favorite Things from The Sound of Music, or the theme song from the movie Exodus. My two sisters together could play Heart and Soul. While they got into it, piano just wasn’t the instrument for me. The very pinnacle of my career as a pianist was being able to play Down in the Valley. I kept losing my place on the sheet music and my left hand took issue with harmoniously working with the right. I tried because it was expected, but I never really wanted to play the piano. I wanted to play the fiddle!

If anything is a symbolic representation of emotion, it’s musical notation. The earliest form of musical notation was found on a cuneiform tablet in Iraq dating from about 2000 BCE. It showed a basic 8-note instruction for playing a tune on the lyre. The ancient Greeks went further; their notation added pitch and duration. Several complete compositions from that time show symbols above text. The first sheet music. A different notation shows up in the Arab world in the mid-1200’s as geometric representation on a graph. It took the monks of 8th century Europe to devise the ancestor of the familiar musical notation we know today.  By the 16th century, the common 5-line staff was in play. The concept blossomed in France, and spread from there. That’s the history of musical notation in a nutshell.

But it doesn’t stop there. From my background in living history, I know a little bit more that takes these music symbols to a whole new level. In the United States of 1801, a new form of musical notation developed to teach music reading for singing at a glance. It was called Shape Note, and under that umbrella, another form called Sacred Harp.

This method replaced the standard notes with these distinct shapes. Each shape corresponded to the Do Re Mi of pitch. The song was first sung through using the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do instead of the lyrics to set the tune. After, it was sung again with lyrics. People who do this professionally say sight reading the music comes instantly for nearly everyone who tries it. I can’t possibly explain it better than this:

Learn more here:

I’ve recently discovered a group that regularly meets to sing Shape Note style. My husband is game so we’re going to try it.  We often sing together — a tenor and an alto tenor. There’s a gathering tomorrow night and it’s a long drive to get there, but Chicago‘s lax response to the mountains of snow makes it impossible to park anywhere in the city. Next month we’ll give it a try.  Hopefully winter will be on it’s way out by then. I sure hope so.  😀


Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 59 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Alabandical (adjective common 1656-1775)

barbarous; stupefied from drink


Wash Line Monday!washline Monday

Over on the Exquisite Quills blog it’s a day dedicated to clothing. In 300 words or less taken from the pages of their novel, authors can describe what a character is wearing.  Come join us today!

4 Us iconToday is Author R. Ann Siracusa’s blog day..

The February contest is on Romance Books ‘4’ Us and it’s all about Cupid. Find the little cherub hidden all across the site to win. This month’s contest will have 2 winners who’ll each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N, then split the remaining prizes (randomly chosen by RB4U). Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives.


Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.

Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

Free to join in each week
Wash Line Monday ~ share your descriptions of clothing in your novel.
Tickle Us Tuesday ~ Share fun and funny snippets from your novel.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.

Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.

Book a spot
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel.
Author Interviews ~
We’re booking late spring now.


all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Sample my love stories for free!


Coming soon~



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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12 Responses to Music in the soul can be heard by the universe

  1. rosgemmell says:

    Love that quote about music, Rose, as several types of music affect me very deeply. In fact it’s one of the things I mention in the interview I just gave someone (on her blog today). I’d never heard of that amazing sacred harp type of singing.

    • Doesn’t it look fun? I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

      I too am affected by certain types of music. Music and singing are such ancient things. Some melodies play strings we have inside us, strings we don’t even realize we possess.

  2. Sandy says:

    A fascinating post, Rose. I, also, grew up on the Lawrence Welk show. Did you watch the 50 year tribute to the Beatles? I was in and out of it, but I loved the performance by Alicia Keyes and John Legend.

  3. Marianne Stephens says:

    I remember watching those shows, too. My mother liked to sing and I loved singing with the shows. Did you ever get to play the fiddle…or just the piano? I wanted to play piano but settled for an accordion!

    • Accordion! Now there’s a skill. You can play Blue Skirt waltz and I’ll sing it. 🙂

      No actual fiddling in my life, sadly. I fill the void with fiddle music and I get my kicks from drumming. 🙂

  4. I can always count on you, Rose, to learn something new everyday. Thanks so much for sharing. I’d never heard of the Sacred Harp. Have a wonderful time! By the way, I’m also drawn to sing a lot lately and I haven’t done it much in years. It’s very uplifting!

  5. melissakeir says:

    Singing does fill the soul and lifts everyone’s spirits. I sing to the students all the time. Last time we went to music class, we sang a song for the music teacher. Music is one way I use to keep the kids’ attention. I’m also teaching them about musical beats and repeating notes back. 🙂 Loved your post and it lifted my mood!

    I hope you do get to sing with your husband at the Harp group. I’d love to hear how it goes.

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