Music of the Spheres


Contributing Editor
Walter W. Pickut

I know you just can’t wait for a little peace and quiet.

You’re dying to take your little book of ancient Greek Pythagorean-isms outside, sit under an old apple tree on a sunny summer afternoon, and enjoy some arithmetic. Or not!

But as far back as 2,500 years ago philosophers like Pythagoras believed that the Earth, Moon, and stars—the entire universe—made beautiful, heavenly music as they moved on crystal spheres through the sky. But we humans could only “hear” it through mathematics—or far more deeply in our souls.

It’s a charming and romantic notion. They called it musica universalis—universal music—the harmony of the spheres.

Music is universal, made and loved by every known culture and civilization throughout all of human history.

The master of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, said it most simply: “Where words fail, music speaks.” Music tells of love and beauty, loves lost and sadness, and paints our sphere of existence in new colors—colors beyond words.

Billy Joel says, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”

So, this week your Jamestown Gazette invites our readers to celebrate local music-makers with us—local musicians, educators who teach it, and the rest of us who love it.

Jefferson Middle School’s Band Director, Dr. Carrie Pawelski, is a teacher who inspires her students through her passion for music. Read about her on our cover page this week

One of her own recently graduated students was so inspired that she nominated Dr. Pawelski for a national award, earning her the honor of quarterfinalist in the prestigious Grammy Music Educator Award™ program for 2023, one of only sixteen New York music educators among 219 across the country.

Then there’s the music we hear and love, dance to and tap our toe to, sing along with and buy tickets to hear. Performance music.

But anybody who only enjoys a musical performance is probably missing the best part. Live music makes you part of it!

You’re there, you’re in it. When your really into it, you’re almost on stage with it. And the performers know it. They feel you there and that makes their music even better than before. So go to Frewsburg Saturday and Sunday, July 9th and 10th. Be part of the show.

The Frewsburg Fire Department invites everybody downtown for their 2nd Annual Bash In The Burg! “Dust off those dancing shoes,” they say, “who’s ready to party??”

But then, we already knew all about music and dancing, didn’t we? Ask the man who reminded us that “All I really need to know… I learned in kindergarten,” Robert Fulghum. He said, “I believe it is in my nature to dance by virtue of the beat of my heart, the pulse of my blood, and the music in my mind.”

So, whether it’s the music of the spheres that fill the universe, the colors of Independence Day that dance across our skies this week, or simply dancing to the music, enjoy!

And of course, as always with your Jamestown Gazette in your hand, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.