Is It Hummable?
It used to be a failed Broadway musical was one where no one leaves the theater humming – no tune to stick in the collective music box. The success they’re after is that sense of music in us, the intuitive rhythm we respond to, the notes reverberating in every ear in the same way. The producers know catchy music will bring people back and encourage them to recommend it to their friends, so they too can get that thrill of recognition. There must be celestial music that we know inside, but don’t always hear – the music of any emotion, whether mournful and depressing or celebratory or worshipful – that we all dance to without realizing, frequency beyond all but our basest instinct. We don’t have to know the words, but if we do, they are words all of us speak, all of us nod, all of us sing. None are above this human response, none have not experienced it. Rhythm pulses through blood in our veins and every beat of our hearts binds us to all humanity every second. Perhaps the next time we write or compose or express our art, we should ask ourselves, “Is it hummable?”