street yesterday. It was a solo performance not a group one.
I went out to bring in the bin from the street and there was a plumber of some sort doing something with a drain.
He was singing. He was singing a rousing and well known piece of Handel - "Thine be the glory" from Judas Maccabeus.
Or is it well known?
I know it. I was brought up on a musical diet of the classics and light opera and folk songs. "Pop" music was not heard in our house.
The singer went on to Bach and then back to more Handel. He had a good voice. He wasn't overly loud or intrusive. It was certainly more pleasant than the incessant bass beat of music we can sometimes hear from a considerable distance away. At least, I think it was.
I wonder what the neighbours thought? I doubt they even heard him. They probably had their radios on inside - if not the television set. It is unlikely that they would even know the music. Our neighbours on one side are Chinese. They sometimes listen to Chinese opera. I don't understand Chinese opera at all. I don't really care for most Chinese music. I suppose I might if I understood more about it but that is not likely to happen.
On the other side we have younger neighbours who grew up with popular music. Classical music is a closed book to them. The Little Drummer Boy and his brother are not getting music lessons.
The rest of our short street was out.
When this house was built it was done mostly by two Italians. They sang opera while they worked - the lighter operas. Both men sang in a group which each year produces an opera for the Italian community. I wasn't around to hear much of it but my parents heard them occasionally as they came by to check on progress.
My brother-in-law worked to Greek folk music when he was renovating the house they now live in. I never heard him sing but he preferred that music to the incessant chatter on a commercial radio station.
I find people's musical choices interesting. I often wonder how people can handle working with a background of commercial radio, "talk back" and advertisements and songs which all sound the same to me. I wonder why workmen, often making a noise, bother with the radio at all. It would seem some people cannot endure silence.
I know there are writers who have music playing as they work. It would distract me.
I know I am not particularly musical. I can read music - just. I cannot play an instrument or sing in tune (but I do know that I am not in tune). If people ask me what sort of music I like I can give them an answer. Sometimes though I find music physically painful. I simply cannot tolerate it. I have to leave. When I was a child my mother had a recording of Beethoven's sixth symphony. It was emotionally more than I could handle. She didn't understand that at all.
"Don't be so silly. It's just a piece of music. You'll get used to it."
I never did.
Perhaps that is why I still prefer silence - and the music in my thoughts?