An Ode to Chopin's Nocturne No. 20

no picture Founder and President of The Space Between the Notes; Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Onism Journal
Jennifer Boyd
Member since August 22, 2016
  • 13 Posts

Credit: Danvers Public Schools

Credit: Danvers Public Schools

I sink into a dream where I love bravely, and I am loved in return.

In Chopin’s Nocturne No. 20, this dream unfolds into reality. I am drawn in by the piece’s meditative lull when I play the opening bars. The melody is hauntingly beautiful. My impulses to question and observe are halted temporarily as I become immersed in the nocturne’s splendor and resonance. The richness of the harmonies provides a break from the continuum as I exchange analyzing for feeling. When my fingers trace the expanse of keys between C and G, I remember that we make the world softer with the music we create.

I am locked into an oasis of tenderness as I experiment with my own musical interpretation. The symmetry in the black-and-white keys keeps me grounded. I find balance in the transition from allegro to adagio. Unraveling the sixteenth-note triplets, I embrace the gentler world I’ve discovered in them.

The music is supple and lyrical. It introduces sensitivity to the discipline I’ve learned from years of practice. The dynamic markings teach me versatility. The articulations teach me expression and patience. Performance shows me the beauty in vulnerability.

When the nocturne ends, I open my eyes and wake to a world lighter than I remembered it. I’ve learned how to empathize. I grow with this ability as I create.

I am softer, more grateful. When I float from legato to dolce, I remember that music is what makes me compassionate. It teaches me how to love bravely, and it loves me in return.





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