Terri's Airy Fairie World

Musings on Music, Tea, Gardening, Food & Life…

Dreaming in Music…

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Do you ever wake up dreaming music?

Maybe you’re just hearing it in your dreams, as a soundtrack, and then that song that is playing in your head when you wake up remains with you throughout the day, along with the feelings associated with it. This morning I woke up hearing The Old Castle from Mussorgsky’s ‘Picture’s at an Exhibition’. Here’s a link to the Tishmalov version, if you’d like to give it a listen. It’s beautiful and rich and haunting. Take the time to close your eyes and allow a story to unfold. That’s the best way (IMHO) to experience music, especially orchestral music.

Last week there was a day I woke up with ‘Soon It’s Gonna Rain’, from the Fantasticks!     I love that show! It’s my favorite musical, and so much fun to play. The orchestration is just a harp and a piano. If you’ve never seen the Fantasticks, here’s a link. Oh, and that is not me playing the harp, it’s just a random video I found on Youtube.

I’m a big fan of dreams, a vivid dreamer, a dream journaler, and so many of my dreams have been portents of things to come. I often write my dreams down, but the really vivid ones stick with me for years, their  impact resonating in my life. My first musical dreams, and the first dreams I remember, took place when I was 3 or 4. I dreamed I was a Fairie, with beautiful butterfly wings, playing a harp and singing.  It has been and is a recurrent dream, and for those who know me, it is proof that dreams can & do come true, in ways we can never imagine! During early childhood, while all the other girls were pretending they were princesses, I was pretending to be the Magic Singing Harp from Jack in the Beanstock. All of my life I knew I would eventually play the Harp,  and when the opportunity came at the age of 19, I gave it my all. Now I AM the Magic Singing Harp. I AM a Fairie, and music gives me beautiful butterfly wings. The dreams we manifest can point the way to our Heart’s desires, and help us to manifest the lives we dream of.

I often dream that I’m playing music, usually on the Harp, occasionally on the Piano (which I also play), and sometimes on instruments that I still don’t know how to play, like the Kora, a West African Lyre/Harp.

or the Guzheng, a Chinese Zither, which is a cousin to the Harp. I’m hoping to buy one of them sometime soon 🙂

or the Qanun/Kanoon, a Turkish Zither.

Thirty years ago I wrote a letter to Jalaleddin Takesh, a famous Kanoon player, introducing myself as a professional Harpist and telling him of my interest in that instrument. I asked him where I could procure a good quality Kanoon, and written instructions on how to tune & play it. He actually took the time to send a reply, informing me that as a woman, I lacked the complex thinking required to play such an instrument, and some other demeaning BS. At the time I owned all of his recordings, which were wonderful. I broke them all. There are plenty of other gifted musicians in the world, who don’t view women as incompetent or less than. I listen to them instead. And as you can see, the person playing the Kanoon in the video above is a woman.

I also have dreams where I’m composing music. That can be a little crazy, as I wake  up groping for the light switch, my journal, and a pen to jot down notes, lyrics, rhythmic patterns, etc. A few years ago I dreamed it was snowing, and I heard the opening to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and then superimposed over that was ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, by Gustav Holst. I woke up, quickly went downstairs, sat down at my harp with my practice journal (I have journals for everything), and started testing it out, and with a few harmonic tweakings, it worked! That dream became the inspiration and the title cut for my xmasy CD, MidWinter’s Canon.

Years ago I wrote a song called ‘Journey to Serenity’, which is on my Cynical Serenity CD. The lyrics were written while I was on a plane, flying from St. Louis to visit my folks in Florida. The music didn’t come to me right away, however, which can be frustrating for songwriters, and I do have a drawer full of song lyrics that I’ve never set to music…yet… Anyway, I’ve learned that you can’t force it, so I just let it go for awhile, contemplating the lyrics, tinkering with some ideas on the Harp, but otherwise believing that it would happen in it’s time. Lo and behold, a few weeks later I dreamed that I was in a plane, and it was kind of like a crazy music video, where sometimes I was playing and singing and sometimes I was sitting in my seat looking down from the sky. In the early morning hours I ended up down in my studio, playing my harp and singing softly, and jotting things down, and by the time the sun rose, the song was complete.

If you’d like to see and hear it, here’s a video.


About year ago, I woke up with Tom Petty’s song, ‘I Won’t Back Down’ stuck in my head. It’s probably my least favorite Tom Petty song of all time, and it haunted me for a couple of weeks. I thought I’d never get that song out of my head!

Do you dream in music? If so, what kinds of music do you tend to dream?


Author: terriharplady

Professionally speaking, I play the Harp: Electric & Acoustic, Classical, Folk, Blues, Rock, Jazz, & Originals. I also teach Harp in St. Louis. When I'm not doing music related things, I sip tea, make awesome food (Paleo), & garden. That's is pretty much my life in a nutshell!

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