Now before you read this post I need to warn you. This post deals with the scary topic of death. That doesn't sound like a very "devotional" topic. If you are intrepid and fearless and you think something might be gained then read on. But if you are squeamish or if death scares you, then you.... should especially read on ;)
Do you know what a pedal tone is? It is typically a throbbing, rumbling low note that is constant in a song. The chords and melody of the song go off in their own direction while the pedal note keeps rumbling along underneath the composition. A pedal tone has a drawing factor - like a suspended note. It is typically the tonic or dominant in the key and it demands that the music return home to it at some point. A distinguishing feature of a pedal tone is that sometimes it matches the chord being played in the other voices, and sometimes it is dissonant, but it always pulls a composition back to the "key center" - sort of the home base for a song.
Take a moment and listen to this short clip from Toccata (don't worry - it's only about 30 seconds). At about 20 seconds there is a great example of a pedal tone. If you want to see and hear it played by a virtuoso master check out this awe inspiring YouTube Video.
Why am I rambling on about pedal tones? Because they serve to illustrate a lost sensibility of modern life. We no longer feel the nearness of death.