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stealing music

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by Edward Guglielmino

The great Master was asked a question: “Master is it wrong to steal music?”

The master answered:

“There was once a great musician Mandelo, and people came from all over the land to see him play and give him gold pieces. The musician was famous across the land. One day he discovered that a musician at the far reaches of the land was playing his music. This infuriated Mandelo, so he decided to travel across the great land to demand a portion of this musician’s gold.

“Mandelo spent many days traveling across the country and when he finally got to the town, he knew he had reached that farthest part of the land. The people had strange accents and dressed very differently. He went to the town centre where the musician was playing Mandelo’s songs and receiving gold pieces. He approached the musician ready to yell at him and demand his share of his gold, but before he could the musician yelled: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the great Mandelo which I speak of, this is the man who wrote my songs.’

“Before Mandelo could do anything, the town was around him in a flurry. They lifted him upon their shoulders and took him to the town hall. They made a great feast for him and celebrated all night.

“The next day Mandelo played for the town.

“During his song about the river a young mother cried because her child was born while the river was full.

“During his song about the sun an old lady smiled because her husband used to sing this song to her.

“During the song about rain the farmers rejoiced and sung along.

“During the song about love those who had just found love smiled and those who had known love for many years were reminded of their first days in love.

“Mandelo left the town having made no gold, but he was smiling from the inside out. On the way home he stopped in every town to rest and discovered that each town had a musician playing his songs. Mandelo realised that his songs, like all great songs, belonged to everyone who had music in their hearts.

“Mandelo was never to grow rich, but his days were filled with happiness. Every town he visited from then on had a warm bed and a nice meal, and people told him every day what his music meant to him. When he died his music lived on forever.”

The master paused.

“It is wrong to steal music, but if your soul is alive you won’t be able to, the music will move you in such a way that you must say thanks in the way best you can. If the music does not move you then it is not for your heart and you may disregard it.

“There will be artists who live for gold but they will never be happy, for the life of an artist is rarely the life of a rich man. On the occasion when the artist does become rich she will lose her spirit and lust for life as everything has come to her too soon. A great artist knows that some things are worth more than gold. A person whose soul is alive knows what these things are and will give them to the artist daily.”

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