Yoshizen's Blog

Bach — Bernstein — Gould — Zen

Oh my Goodness.    I bumped this old film clip, on Youtube = Leonard Bernstein and Glenn Gould talked about J.S.Bach.
Film was shot on 57 years ago, 1960 then Glenn Gould was 28.   Naturally the film showed the two’s younger looks but what surprised me most was, on that time Bernstein was already “the Educator Bernstein” and Gould was “the Only one, Gould”.

(Other nearby Youtube posts, Gould or Bernstein posts are very educative and highly recommended to watch !)
In fact, me to encounter Bach first time was in the Fellini’s film, “La Dolce Vita” —– in the film, a gossip journalist, Marcello met a church organist and the organist played Bach’s music, Toccata and Fugue in D-miner (the most famous and popular organ music — famous still it was the first encounter to my 15-years-old ear)   (incidentally, that the same actor who played the organist later appeared in the other film “Emanuel” as a sex-gulu ! )

I think, it was the early 90s, I listened a BBC annual radio 3 event, the Christmas Lecture, Bernstein talked about the structure and the music language.  It opened my eyes. —– in fact, it taught me more about our emotion than of the music. —– If the music could expect the same effect, it is the proof of that our emotional pattern is much simpler = such as how we feel from major or minor key, even B-miner is associated with the feeling of death ! — how accurate his view was the other matter, but such a view-point to analyze the relation of us to the music was a shock to me. 

So that, that was the same stance, how and why I adapted my view toward the Zen = instead to see it as a holly spiritual mumbo-jumbo but the scientific / medical phenomenon of the neuro-physical function.

Amazingly looks ordinary young man, Gould was already a master of the finger of a Harpsichordist and already know what is the Bach = mean what he is going to do with him = the man aware of his own karma.  (People became aware of their own karma on their later life —– I wonder how he found it in such early life ?)

***** PS:   Related post (following links)  J.S.Bach,  Aaaaaa~~~~~!  are highly recommended post to go. (They clearly explain what I said here.)


Principle and Reality

Oh, holy Mackerel.     Is it Palm Sunday ? ! —– It must be April-Fool.

In principle, I don’t buy a calender. —— May be not such a principle but I just don’t buy.

Regardless whether a calender says it or not, the days come.  Next of 31st March is definitely 1st

of April.  In that case, why DO I need to have a calender.   It is a waste of money isn’t it.   😀 😀

In a principle to be a Buddhist, I should be a humble, poor man, hence not spend a money for non essentials.

A calender comes in this category. —– Therefore, I hardly know when is the Easter.  Ha ha ha 😀


Without having a calender, how do I know, this is the Palm Sunday = because the Radio said so.

(I don’t have TV) And I’ve been wondering, why BBC Radio 3 plays such as J S Bach Mathieu Passion. ? ? ?

Then blimey, the so-called Easter said to be coming soon.

Unlike Xmas, the exact date of Easter is always drifting = it’s a headache, especially before, suddenly, all the

shops were closed, as they say it’s Easter —– What a hell, I don’t care Easter, I need to buy a bread. 😀

—– So, for a wise precaution, I have to make sure, in my fridge, at least something to eat is there.


Principle or just a mean man’s habit, it often cause a conflict with the reality of the world.    He he he.

—– I don’t care Easter, is a principle though, in the same time I got so used to listen Baroque music,

especially J S Bach’s.   In my view (or should I say, my ear ? ) Bach’s Mathieu Passion is one of the

zenith of the human musical culture = just a combination of the sounds in a sequence, how such

purely sound stimuli can make a person to tear. ? ? ?

I don’t care and not necessary believe the whole story of the Passion, and unlike Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s

view of him, Bach may not necessary wholly committed Christian ( such as a fact in reality, he composed

Mass C miner, in order to seek a position in Roman Catholic ) —– still, (regardless Protestant or Catholic )

he knew what is the Spirituality in the human mind and in the ear = Sound of the God is

beyond the argument of the Christian sects.


From the principle, or a posture to be a Buddhist, I should find something Buddhists Music though,

there are virtually non.  (the President of Mitsutoyo Co. Japan is a profound Buddhist, and organizing

International Buddhist’s Music Competition though, I haven’t heard any music from its event)

Virtually non mean, of cause there are some, such as Nen-Butsu Wasan (念仏和讃) or

Tendai Shomyo (天台声明), name but few though, sorry to say they are in musical term, not listenable.

May be only the exception is the one composed by Takemitsu (武満徹), using Tendai-Shomyo in very

powerful contemporary music style —– yet, I have heard its broadcast only twice in my life.


Leave the Moslem, as they prohibits religious music (still, their secular, so-called Arabic music has

literally Arabesque universe of rich music culture —– their rhythm automatically drives my body).

The Hindu has such great tradition of religious music which gave an influence and flourishing in the

Indonesian Gamlan music too (incidentally some Gamlan tune were even imported to the Okinawa (沖縄)

music = some use of chromatic tune are unmistakably Gamlan !)

Whether they are religious music or not, Jewish music is one of a basis of the western music.

—– yet still, where the influence of the Buddhism, of its music tradition has gone in China

and in Japan. —– was there any prohibition, or repentance of music in the early Buddhism ?

To keep the music kind away, —– was it in the teachings and in their principle ?

Didn’t Lord Buddha sang a song with followers ?

(Imagine, Pope singing popular song. Doesn’t he?  Didn’t he ever ? — I’m sure he got his real life as a human.

Enjoying a wine and singing loud   😀 )


Historical facts showed, at least the musical instrument from India had reached to China and to Japan though,

it seemed it was only as a fancy goods = not accompanied by a musician, hence no music came together.

Such as a string instrument called Piipa (琵琶) in China, Biwa in Japan is the same Veena in India

(incidentally, it is the origin of Lute in the west)

In China and in Japanese traditional performance, a story teller use this as an accompanying instrument.

( In Japan Hei-kyoku (平曲) or Heike biwa (平家琵琶) and Chikuzen biwa (築前琵琶) is an old tradition,

but now kept by only handful players —– how sad )

How sad is my principle.  Though, in reality, I play its tape only as an sample sound when I have a

conversations with friends.

And in reality = regardless whether I’m Japanese Zennist or not, I listen and deeply appreciate

J S Bach’s Mathieu Passion = in this very moment it was played by the radio. (come from Amsterdam)

( The sound of Mathiew Passion, but in Miku Hatsune version is in this post (in enbeded YouTube ) )

If it is a good music just listen it.   There is no Dogma in Zen.

If anybody having fixed view, the mind has just stacked ===> free your mind.

If the song and dance is such bad, Dharma wouldn’t have created the musical tone

in the first place.  Don’t you agree ?    Ha ha ha 😀



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