Music is more than just a word



By Marilyn Delk

When you look up the definition of music, you’ll find it defined as “vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” That’s a pretty good description, and more to my liking than this alternative: “the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.” However, music is much more than these definitions can possibly convey. Music is a form of expression invoking joy in the human soul, providing comfort in the time of sorrow, celebrating the heights of jubilation or recognizing the depths of despair, as well as a wealth of feelings in-between.

Next Tuesday, June 21, the first day of summer, Darke County Center for the Arts will join over one thousand communities across the nation and around the world to celebrate music! “Make Music Day,” a free celebration of music where anyone who wants to take part in this festive occasion, regardless of experience or even recognized talent, is invited to sing, play an instrument, organize a choral group or marching band and share the joy and power of music. Planned performance times are 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Greenville Public Library, 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Sadie Grace boutique (where a piano is available) and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at YOLO Park in Greenville. If you have not signed up to perform, then you are invited to attend the festivities and enjoy the efforts of your neighbors who are sharing their musical talents.

Among those participants is Greenville Public Library’s Miss Joanna, who will present a special interactive storytime at 11 a.m. on the Library lawn. Not only will Joanna read from two bee-themed books for the enjoyment of all, each child in attendance will be gifted with their very own kazoo so that they can create their own music! If this bit of news is not enticement enough to join the festivities, other local performers will continue the merriment on the lawn immediately following storytime. And at 12 noon, the Darke County Employees Choir, which so memorably performed at our community’s first Make Music Day, will once again perform from the steps of the Darke County Court House.

“Make Music Day” began in 1982 when France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed up a musical holiday with music abounding everywhere — street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, storefronts and porches — with everyone invited to join in. The original event, “Fete De La Musique” (which is defined in English as both “festival of music” and “make music”) took place on the summer solstice, and was a huge success. The Fete has since become a French national holiday, with the whole nation pretty much shutting down on June 21 and music taking over. Almost 8 percent of the country’s population, 5 million people, have performed for the holiday.

Now 40 years later, the holiday is celebrated in more than 120 countries around the world. DCCA initiated our community’s participation in “Make Music Day” for the first time last year, with participants of all ages performing for appreciative audiences throughout the day. Some of the performers were seasoned professionals, while others had never before publicly shared their musical talents. And to say that a good time was had by all would be a vast understatement! The camaraderie, the joie de vivre, the exultation shared among performers and audience members profoundly expressed the power of music, which reverberates yet today.

You are invited to join the free “Make Music Darke County” celebration saluting the start of summer and the wonder of music. Final performance schedule will be released on Friday, June 17. For more information, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or visit

Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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