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Cymber Lily Quinn

Quote: “The Idea is Not to Live Forever but to Create Something That Will.” – Andy Warhol

Cymber Lily Quinn, music for relaxation, sleep, study, focus and meditation

Music Alone Shall Live

When I stumbled across this quote, it sparked a distant memory in my ear: a round that I used to sing at Girl Scout in Colorado.

The words are famous:

“All things shall perish from under the Sky
Music alone shall live,
music alone shall live,
music alone shall live,
Never to die.”

So if we are to follow AndyW’s sage advice, and we know that “music alone shall live,” then it’s a pretty good bet that if you create music, you’ll be creating something that will live forever.

Hello. It’s been a while…

Hello. It’s been a while since we chatted. I imagine you have a few questions…

Cymber Lily Quinn, Harpist, Teacher, Hilo, HawaiiQ: What have you been up to lately? What are you harping on?

Last year was a big year for me. I spent a lot of time working on boring, difficult but technically necessary projects, including adding a store to my website for the first time, and experimenting more with social media.

All of that work meant that I had to put creating new music on the back burner for longer than I wanted to. And performing less than I wanted, as well. But I want you to have a wonderful experience with my music, all my marketing was way overdue for an upgrade.

Q: How’s Hawaii treating you?

The transition back to Hawaii has been just about as good as it could be. I have a really cute upstairs studio in downtown Hilo where I teach in the afternoons. I’ve been performing the Queen’s music, and getting ready – equipment wise – to play out more. I need a Gig Assistant for local gigs, if you know someone. And I’m still working on getting the word out more about my music…I’d love your help with that. Share my posts and vides?

Cymber Lily Quinn, Harpist, Teacher, Hilo, HawaiiQ: What about the World? How are you feeling about all that?

As a Taoist, I tried to see the good and bad in everything. As concerned as I am about the dehumanizing actions I see happened all around the globe, I also feel a great hope, especially when I think about the younger generation. I see them already taking action to bring love, peace and harmony back to the forefront of our thinking.

Q: How do you help the younger generation?

At this point in my life, I feel that my best choice is to teach and play music. If I can inspire children and adults to express themselves creatively and freely, then they are much less likely to be shackled in society as well. As a life-long teacher, I know that it only takes the right word, the right moment – which I may never know at all – to propel a student into a positive life that will change their life, and of necessity, change the life of those around them. How far the ripples of my teaching and music will reach, I will never know.

Q: What’s next in your music? Do you have new music coming out soon?

Yes! In fact, I just released a harp meditation version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” last week. I hope you find it relaxing. You can download that for free on my blog>>>here…

I’ll be adding songs by piano dudes Billy Joel, Elton John and Bruce Hornsby. I’m looking for songs that make great meditations and also reference harps. If you have favorite piano or harp songs, let me know. When I have collected 11-14 songs, I’ll release them all as a CD, and the free downloads won’t be free anymore…

Q: What about the Christmas/Holiday CD?

I know, I know. I’ve been promising a holiday CD for a while now. I’m starting with “O Holy Night,” which I am recording right now. I’ll post it soon.

Keep in touch and let me know what you’d like to hear…lots of new music is in the cooker!

New Music: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

Hallelujah Cymber Lily Quinn, Hilo Hawaii HarpistIf you’ve been with me a while, you know that until this very moment, all of my music has been my own, composed and improvised, recorded just for you. Part of the reason for that is that the byzantine world of getting licenses to play other people’s music was really difficult. In the old days, I’d write letter to the publisher to ask permission, and then wait. And wait. And WAIT. For nothing.

Now with the wizardry of the internet, it is possible to get song licenses in just a few days. And thus, the world of “everyone else’s songs” is finally open to me.


Leonard Cohen was a curmudgeon and a poet first, and a singer later. His version of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” has become an anthem of love. But when you look at the lyrics, it’s a song about the Old Testament king, David, who was a harpist and musician first and a great leader second. It seems totally natural that this song would sound great on the harp.

Is there a Hidden Message in Hallelujah?

According to ClassicFM.com writer Sofia Rizzi, Leonard Cohen hid a sneaky message in his lyrics, and it’s all reflected in the music.

Below are the lyrics of the first verse:

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.

It’s all about chords, music, numbers, minor and major. But what does it all mean?

What is the “The Secret Chord” in Hallelujah?

The ‘secret chord’ is a biblical reference. David was a King from the Hebrew bible, and although we all mostly remember him for being the underdog who defeated Goliath when he was a young man, he was, first and foremost, a musician.

King David Cymber Lily Quinn Hilo Hawaii HarpistIn 1 Samuel 16:23, the Bible reads: “So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.” 

So we know David played a ‘secret chord’, whatever that may be.

What is “The fourth, fifth, minor fall and major lift”?

The line ‘the fourth, the fifth / the minor fall, the major lift’ is in fact a description of the chord sequence taking place under those words. Here’s the breakdown:

  • ‘The fourth’: This phrase sits on the fourth chord of the scale, or sub-dominant chord (IV) of F major.
  • ‘The fifth’: The melody moves up one note to the fifth chord of the scale, the dominant (V) of G major.
  • ‘The minor fall’: Again, the melody moves up one note here to the sixth chord, the submediant (vi) of A minor. The ‘fall’ in this phrase is referring to the minor, or ‘fallen’ third of the chord.
  • ‘The major lift’: This is a first inversion chord of the fourth, or sub-dominant (IV) of F major. The ‘lift’ refers to the chord changing from a minor to a major chord, and in the process ‘lifting’ the harmony. There is only one changing notes in this chord, it moves from A–C–E to A–C–F.

So is David’s ‘secret chord’ in fact the underlying chord progression of the song – which in essence makes up the whole song? You decide.


My version of “Hallelujah” is the first cut of a longer CD that will be coming out later this year. I will be posting tunes as I finish them, and the tunes will be available for FREE DOWNLOAD only to my blog readers. Don’t delay in downloading, though. Once the CD is finished, all the songs will be taken down and put into a CD for purchase. So as the reader of my blog, you get these songs for free.

(To download, right click and save to your computer).


Do you love this tune? Want to hear more? Write me and let me know your favorite tunes, and I’ll see what I can do about including them.

Copyright © 2019 Cymber Lily Quinn All rights reserved