Christmas tunes. I am humming Christmas tunes all over the place. Songs in my head, jingle bells, and dashing all the way. I am a walking CD mix tape of Over the River and Through the Snow, I’ll Be Home For, We Wish You a Merry, Silent Night, Here We Go A Caroling, Must Be Santa, Deck the Halls, Up On the Housetop Reindeer…pause.
You know you do it too. Even in crowded store aisles, or loitering in long lines at the checkout. Idling in your car at a red light flipping through radio stations. It just happens. You hear a few bars and you hum along, sing along, tap along unconsciously drifting through the snow.
So I ask you, in all seriousness, when did music begin?
Who was the first person who hummed? Whistled? Trilled a La La La? Tapped fingers in 3/4 time.
I mean it truly.
Whatever possessed that certain someone to Yodel?
How did that single solitary exceptionally unique humanoid discover what a breath of air over vibrating vocal chords could produce? Was it an accidental discovery or a response to a stimulus?
Of this I am convinced. It was a Natural progression. Human Nature mimicking Mother Nature. In the garden. Or a forest, the jungle, a cave echo, on a fjord. Copycat sounds. Rushing water splashing in a stream. The crunch of twigs underfoot. Rain plopping on leaves overhead.
Or maybe, creature features. The hoot of an owl. A toad belching. Bees buzzing. Monkey chatter. Birdsong. Creature communications. Imitations. Repetitions. Rhythms back and forth. Pitter patter. Chitter chatter.
In my mind’s eye, I see a person of indiscriminate shape and size one second after the sound emerged, mouth agape in the sweet “O” of wonder.
How in the world did I do that?
What if I did that again?
What if I can make it louder or softer?
Higher or lower?
Longer or shorter?
Oh no. Maybe that was it. A drop the mic moment.
If it was me, I know exactly what I would do. I’d run as fast as I could to show a significant other. Not a stranger who might think I was crazy. Rather, someone who already acknowledges my crazies and loves me anyway. Someone who would listen. Then copy me.
I would look for a vocal partner, or more. Maybe enough for a trio, a quartet, a chorus, or a mixed choir of voices.
What if all of our La La La La sounds are the same?
What if they are different?
So I run. Hurrying, I pick up a stick and in my hastened glee club chase, tap the bark of a tree. Once. Then again and again. Then a rock. I open my mouth and match my La La La to my Tap Tap Tap. Another “O” of wonder.
I am an orchestra. Capable of accompaniment.
That is THE moment. That’s when my “O” of wonder becomes a whistle.
I have TUNES.
There you have it. The first story in the garden revolved around an…
The second story, MINE, is the beginning of…
Wait for it…
APPLE. I TUNES.
Sorry Mr. Jobs.
Excuse me for leaving you here, but I need to go and update his Wikipedia page with my footnotes. Well make that musical notes.
I still need some healthy advice in understanding the first Yodel, but I am working on it.
Remember please, that I am ALMOST old enough to have been there…at the beginning of Tunes.
I am continuing in this tradition,
by singing my way through the Christmas Season.
I hope you are too.
Together we can make this a global choir.
La. La. La.
Sing! Sing! Sing!