#dailywritingchallenge – harmony

I may be repeating myself, but whenever these writing challenges are posted I instantly make a word association.  For me the word ‘harmony’ brings up two ideas.

As a musician and choral singer, harmony in music is where I head to first.  I remember watching a documentary on the history of church music, presented by Simon Russell-Beale and being intrigued by the explanation as to how the concept of harmony in music and singing came about.  To cut a long story short, music can exist without harmony.  Lots of traditional music from around the world follows basic, unharmonised lines and it is more about the rhythm or content than the tune.  Throughout the last Millenium, different experiments with music led to the creation of harmony as we know it.  To see the full details head to this Britannica entry https://www.britannica.com/art/harmony-music/Harmony-before-the-common-practice-period.  I absolutely love harmony from the way it can be used in work by Palestrina, to how barber shop quartets and a-cappella groups use it today.  A good piece of harmony is something to be savoured and enjoyed over and over again.

The other thing that came to mind was the character of Harmony in the children’s book, The Queen’s Nose by Dick King-Smith.  Generally she was a precocious child who had the good fortune of acquiring a 50 pence piece which granted wishes.  I did always wonder why DKS decided to call her Harmony (and her sister Melody.)  Did it have a deeper meaning about the choices she was to make with her wishes or was it merely a hint as to the type of family that calls their children those names?

Outside of the musical world, the word is used most often when talking about people working together effectively.  This could be in a social group or in a work setting.  In schools, children or teachers can work in harmony.  For me it always denotes cooperation in a very positive way.  Right now we need harmony in our lives, be it in our work, with our students or just when we are singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody in the shower.

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