Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MUSIC (04/02/20)
TITLE: Thankful for Bugs
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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The quirky antics of Bugs Bunny, the cartoon rabbit popular in the 1960s, led to my introduction of classical music. Kids were exposed to this genre when animated TV shows used well-known operas and popular orchestrations for the storyline or incidental soundtracks. Although I can’t sing or play an instrument, music is an important part of my life. I appreciate how classical scores elicit so many emotions ranging from goose-bump-inducing joy to sorrowful tears.
One of the most heart-wrenching instrumentals I’ve ever heard is Samuel Barber’s “Adagio For Strings.” Performed at presidential funerals, and during national tragic times, this piece elicits a feeling of desolation, grief, and pain. During a Good Friday service at my church, this was played on solo violin as we partook of communion. The heart-breaking melody emphasized the sorrow in the ceremony. It was mournful, but we knew the joy was coming.
At the opposite end of musically induced emotions is the soul-stirring finale of Peter Tchaikovsky’s “1812 overture.” With its fanfare of trumpets, cannons, majestic bells and choral voices ringing out, I get chills each time I listen to it. This piece is often used as the grand finale of pyrotechnics shows. Understandably, watching high-shooting fireworks explode in synchronized time with booming cannons makes for an emotional experience.
Many well-known classical composers proclaim the glory of God in their written works. Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, a stately piece, declares that Jesus Christ arose and will reign forevermore. What a joyful reminder this is as we celebrate the resurrection while in global pandemic isolation.
Despite mandated social grounding, I’m thankful we still have music. Ever since I was a child, I’ve appreciated how it makes me feel. Although I did not inherit my father’s musical talent, I did acquire his love for it. Mainly, I’m grateful for old cartoons that encouraged awareness of classical music. Bugs Bunny was funny when performing his musical parodies, and I will always remember certain pieces as played out by the silly gray rabbit.
So, in answer to his “What’s up, Doc?” I say: “Bugs Bunny, thank you for the music.”
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