Really interesting posts. My first encounter with music classes was in the first year of secondary school. At the age of 12. Very quiet, nervous kid, so never really stepped forward in the music/drama class hence the teacher never really saw potential, or took interest... so, when she began to teach music theory, it was confusing, complex. Almost like a new language.
Embarrasingly, I failed classes. Really badly. The teacher was quite harsh. Little did she know though, here was a kid, sitting at home, hiding shyly listening to records and cassettes. Not sure why I hid like that... But looking back those quiet times alone discovering music was the beginning of deep appreciation...
JoeV pointed out something that explains the appreciation. Timbre. The turning point came about the age of 16. First hearing Moonchild, and Peace by King Crimson, then Awaken by Yes. It was the timbre of the singing... and the accompianment of the musical instruments that enhanced the timbre. These two songs, as example literally led my mind to a place of imagination, of story...like a good book would do.
Beginning reading music now, I can discover how these bands like King Crimson play what they play. Learning some basic classical pieces remind me of these songs in little snippets. Ah, theory...
What I do appreciate most of all these days, is sitting quietly listening to an accomplished player. Just recently there was a street busker here. He had a very expensive hand luthiered nylon guitar with 13 or so strings, and playing reading scores. That beautiful guitar enabled him to express just like a master vocalist. His timbre? hm.
Nylon guitar, love the timbre of the instrument, and its possibility.
ps. I love the Timber, also. Timbers.