To dedicate this work to someone, we need first to understand what/who music is.
Music comes from the term "muse". Muses were those goddesses in Greek mythology who ruled over inspiration. "Inspiration" means two things: It is something that resonates somewhere in our soul causing a natural positive brainstorming, which allows us to grasp a fuller level of reality, renews our forces, motivates us, reinforces our convinctions, etc.; but "inspiration" is also inhaling - i.e. the air we breathe in. Air is that which brings the needed oxygen to our body, without which we would die very quickly. It is our first nourishment, which allows our organism to function. The portion of air we breathe in is our primary life giver - that subtle basic energy that feeds us, before any action is possible. Therefore, music - which resembles a structured air - can become the cause and motivation of the actions we take in life.
Euterpe was the muse of music. However, some relate the term "music" with a princess called Musicaa or Nausicaa, who is a character in Homer's Odyssey. She is the daughter of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of Phaeacia and her name, in Greek, means "burner of ships". She is the helper of Ulysses - the discoverer, the curious hero who travels the entire known world and even the netherworld -, to allow him to return back home and let his dream come true. Ulysses represents the listener - everybody of us - who strives in life to reach his goals against many adversities and becomes lost along the journey. Nausicaa (music) gives him that extra aid/inspiration that allows him to refocus on his ultimate goal and finally achieve it.
Nausicaa, Frederic Leighton c. 1878
In Italian, musica (music) is a female name. Therefore, it is clear that I must dedicate this work to a female figure. Also her nature is clear: She must be supportive, transform our life, allow us to reach our ultimate goal in life - that very same reason for which we are here on earth. Somebody may argue that, often, we do not even know why we are here. Many also renounce finding out. However, this is not an obstacle for Nausicaa. She knows how to pull out the best from ourselves and our ultimate goal will become clear if we receive her help.
It is easy to understand that "music" represents our soul mate, somebody so joined to us that she is our same life-breath. In a certain way, she is a Platonic love, because it is perfect, ideal, and therefore difficult to meet in reality - but not impossible. Indeed, it's a duty to be with her. Otherwise, we miss the entire purpose of our life and we live for naught.
It may seem unbelievable that the Bible says just that: "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'" (Genesis 2:18). Is also defines how a woman should be: "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all'. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates" (Proverbs 31:10-31). Then, we have the entire Song of Solomon describing the soul mate-connection. It suffices to quote this verse: "Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death" (Song of Solomon 8:6). Indeed, there is a direct link between music and love. We could say that music is the ex-pression of love, but in the true it is the im-pression (imprint) of love - because it is in-haling. If we do not inhale, we die. When one finds his true soul mate, he would die for her. Their love lasts beyond death. Therefore, music/love is stronger than death.
It must be added that music is produced by ex-haling in woods and brass instruments. This seems to contraddict that music is in-haling (inspiration). However, love is like mirroring oneself in the other. The physical act of ex-haling and playing an instrument results in its mirror - i.e. the in-spiration that music causes in the listener. But we will come back to this concept soon.
Personally, waiting for my soul mate, I gave her a name taken from my favourite music, which is an opera. It happens to be from Giuseppe Verdi's Il Corsaro (The Corsair), which was one of the only two premiere operas performed in my natal town, Trieste (Italy). Both were a failure at debout, but tradition says that Il Corsaro was not easily forgotten and made its way in a number of recitals. José Carreras made a wonderful interpretation and recording. To all critics, I must say, you are loosers if you do not have some Byron in your blood. Il Corsaro might not have the arias one would expect and is a singer killer, but it has a really complex harmony, an astonishing poetry, and a continuous recitative that takes the aspect of an ever changing aria. Moreover, it is a sort of reinterpretation of the saga of Romeo and Juliet. I am a proud owner of a reproduction from one of the only three surviving original manuscripts.
Now, let us go to her, which is what we all want. Her name is Medora, which can be written as "me-dora" (she gilds me). This is a fancy name that does not exist in reality, but it is simply beautiful. It is similar to the common name Eleonora (Eleanor), which starts with the name of God (El) in Hebrew. But instead, it starts with an "M", which is also the initial of "morte" (death in Italian) and "mavet" (death in Hebrew). The relation of music/love with death comes out again. Moreover, "M" is also the starting letter of "music" and "me/mine". Being "me/mine" it is that which comes back from something (the object of our thought), becoming incorporated in us - i.e. becoming part of us. Here, we go back to the meaning of "she gilds me". We could quote from the Bible, "My beloved is mine, and I am his" (Song of Solomon 2:16). The link is now completely spelled out. Italian was established as the choice language for music. Therefore, it has some more inherited weight when we want to draw those comparisons.
Music's Latin Anagram
(Music, horizontal; Death, vertical; Love, oblique)
Gold was historically considered the most precious metal (nowadays, platinum has even more value, but here we will stick to tradition). Its color was likened to that of the sun. It was the only known metal that did not rust and resisted combination with acids. It simply spelled out perfection. Therefore, the act of gilding represents the highest expression of esteem and sanctification. Me-dora makes her soul mate her most precious thing and transforms him, so that he becomes a realized man.
Obviously, this is a two way equation. We could turn around the roles of man and woman and it would apply the same way, because soul mates are similar. In Solomon 2:16, it is the woman telling the man that he is hers.
To picture what soul mates are, we can use the image of the mirror. They eyes are traditionally that which shows directly one's soul. Therefore, one mirrors in the eyes of the other. And as it happens in a mirror, he sees himself - not the "other". This has a deep meaning. In true love, one only thinks, cares, provides for the other, selflessly. No thought is for oneself; all are for our precious soul mate. But, when this happens, our soul mate "disappears", as we find our image reflected in her. This is love going to and coming back. In order for this to happen, both must act selflessly. If one acts for oneself for even an instant, the link is broken. If a cloud runs in the sky (the eyes) of our beloved, we feel it at once, as love does not come back the way it should. And that is how soul mates heal and take care of each other. There is a direct connection between them - mind to mind, heart to heart - and they know everything of the other even at a distance. Their emotional love becomes a sort of magic, telepathy, foresight.
This continuous "exercise" to be in the shoes of the other, amplifies their perception of the world. They have their horizons enlarged and a broader sight that a single cannot have. This is the so called "God's blessing" on earth: The woman is the body of a dove and the man is its wings; the dove cannot fly without a body or without wings. And where does it fly? To heaven. Therefore, the perfect couple can touch heaven and partake of God's gifts on earth, while a single cannot, because he has no wings to fly. When there is love, there is music. There is the old saying, when the couple embraces, that they hear the violins playing. This is no joke. It really happens that way and it can be seen through the change of mood in the couple, their smile, their renewed emphaty. Music is that enhanced perception that is given to the soul mates, which is like an additional spirit - which somebody calls "sixth sense", or divine gift. It bestows the ability to enter the shoes not just of our beloved one, but every shoe.
The same way that there must be selflessness and unconditionality in soul mates, there must be selflessness when we compose or just listen to music. When this happens, music talks to us, as it would happen in any other language. We come to know exactly what its message is and we can either resonate with it or not. When we resonate with it, we experience that sort of goose bumps, our heart seems taking fire, and our mind becomes very focused on a certain thought.
Another requisite to experience love and music in the correct way is that one should be free - i.e. not tainted by other links, previous experiences, bad environments and friends, etc. If someone has a hidden agenda, looks for money, beauty, status, he can forget love - and understanding music. This also happens if a person has a broken and conflictual family, was hurt and cannot let go, etc. It is very important for the person to be free to allow the spirit of music to rise. A dark mirror does not reflect. One needs to keep his inner mirror (mind, heart) free from any possible contamination and constantly clean it, so that it can be transparent and conductive of light.
As simple as all this may seem, it is not. We are taught that we have a soul mate, the other half of the apple, and together we make unity. But the oral tradition has somehow lost some elements. Fortunately, those elements have been preserved somewhere - for example in the mystical Jewish tradition (see Sefer Shinuyim). Both music and love lie in the world of duality - i.e. good and evil. The opponent of music is noise (drum) and the opponent of love is hate. Therefore, we do not have only one soul mate, but two. We seek only one of them, because she embodies all the virtues and qualities we have enumerated so far. The anti-soul mate - i.e. our dark soul mate - introduces herself as our real soul mate. She is very clever in faking what is going back from her inner mirror, so that we think she is a clear mirror, while in the true it is dark.
Our anti-soul mate may save us from some important issue we face in our life, in order to gain our trust. Finally, when she is established in a relationship with us, she shows her true face and becomes our worst enemy. Her goal is simply to get everything she can from us and suck all our lifeline. She will make our life miserable, put our friends against us, and give us any kind of discomfort. As we said, music includes love and death. A soul mate is a potion of life, while an anti-soul mate is a potion of death (incidentally, a similar sentence is also used to address the Torah).
In Il Corsaro, the chief of corsairs - Corrado - is in love with his true soul mate, Medora. He needs to guide his crew to assault the sultan's palace. Medora has the premonition that something may go wrong, but Corrado cannot withdraw and sails. The corsairs can take the sultan's army by surprise and break into the palace. However, something effectively goes wrong. The harem takes fire and all the sultan's women are in peril. Due to the corsair's code of honor, they cannot let them burn alive and they go after their rescue. This is enough for the sultan's army to reorganize and take a good deal of corsairs captive. While the sultan prepares for Corrado's hanging, Medora receives the bad news from the few corsairs that managed to escape. At this point, Gulnara - the sultan's favorite in the harem - comes to rescue Corrado. She wants the freedom of the corsairs. She despises the sultan and wants to show gratitude to the one who saved her from the fire and a certain death. Therefore, she goes to Corrado and asks him to fly with her. Corrado refuses, as he already has a soul mate and cannot be bound to gratitude with another woman. Nevertheless, Gulnara kills the sultan and goes to rescue Corrado from jail. At this point, Corrado learns about the sultan's death by Gulnara's hands and decides that he will bring her to a safe place and return to his Medora. Here, Gulnara is his anti-soul mate. She wants to be with Corrado and tempts him in any way to forsake everything and fly with her. She has her own agenda and Corrado is just a means to make it happen. However, Corrado is faithful to his beloved and does not cede. Once they reach the corsair's island, Corrado can only see Medora dying, as she took the poison thinking that she will never see him again. As she is selfless and Corrado's true soul mate, with her last words she can only recommend Gulnara to Corrado, having learned that she rescued him. But Corrado will not abandon her in her last journey, and he throws himself down the cliff.
Given the age in which we live, which is characterized by widespread godlessness, false values, sexual promiscuity and freedom, the number of failed marriages - or any other kind of union - surpasses the number of successful marriages. However, not all marriages endure because there is a good relationship and they are truly soul mates. Many times, it is just a matter of convenience.
Soul mates can also come in our life in a "partial" way. The most common thing is that we encounter many anti-soul mates, and they split among them the ways they will harm us. But also our true soul mate can take on many forms. There is a saying that God sends us the right person for every moment of our life. When this person ends her duty, she just disappears and another comes, addressing our changed needs.
I am not immune from all this, and I mistook my soul mate. I received a little angel, who stays always at my side and gives me the reason to move forward. However, I cannot avoid the miserable life caused by the action of my anti-soul mate. Therefore, I am still waiting for my true soul mate.
Therefore, I dedicate this work to my still unknown soul mate, or my Me-dora, asking her to inspire me, so that my pen may write about the wonderful secret tradition of music for the benefit of the collective human soul.
If somebody wonders how I imagine her, I can only use a famous painting to describe her.
The Kiss, Francesco Hayez c. 1859