Lying in my room, listening to the soft music play. Everything is so much louder in the darkness, and I realize that it not the music which makes the night beautiful, but the silence that swells up in the spaces between notes, that beautiful sweet emptiness wrapping around me, soothing me, calming my exhausted brain. This is what the night is. The night is darkness. The night is silence. The night is peace. It is best in German. Die Nacht - feminine, soft, and beautiful, with that wonderful 'ach' in the middle that you can't help but wisper. Die Nacht is a flood of memories. Walking with friends through the deserted streets of the neighborhood, climbing the fence to the pool, now locked and empty. Speaking quietly, in reverence. Lying on the concrete on our backs, feet dangling in the water, staring up at the stars, and that endless summer breeze running it's delicate hands through our hair, across our bodies. And later, older, driving, windows down, headed nowhere. The whole world rushes past, empty and silent, it is ours and ours alone. Not speaking, just leaning our heads into the wind letting everything melt past outside, letting it all slip away into the silence of each other's company. Die Nacht is freedom, when the rest of the world ceases to exist. We are alone in all of the graceful beauty of it. More images than I can describe. Always the wind, ruffling the trees, so much louder in the night, and for that, so much quieter as well. This is my time, the peace, the silence, the solitude. All of these words cannot do it justice. They are far too noisy.

The term 'nocturne' was first used by English composer John Field (1782-1837) to describe some of his own pieces. The word was picked up by Chopin in the 1830s and 1840s to describe his own pieces, which were composed for playing in salons. Another composer noted for his nocturnes is Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924). The nocturne, then, is a creation and feature of the Romantic era of Classical Music. It is related to the word 'night' and is typical of the 'natural' themes that dominate the Romantics of all arts.

Noc*turne" (?), n. [F. See Nocturn.] Mus.

A night piece, or serenade. The name is now used for a certain graceful and expressive form of instrumental composition, as the nocturne for orchestra in Mendelsohn's "Midsummer-Night's Dream" music.


© Webster 1913.

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