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We Are Each An Echo Of Empathetic Resonance

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posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 03:27 PM
This is an extended "metaphor" (though I see it as being a fairly "true" model of the Universe) which might encourage we "creative folk" (musically inclined or otherwise), to more confidently, consciously, and actively collaborate to change the world we live in, instead of just "confronting it"..

There are many layers to each person's existence, and i think that this "metaphor" can really give people some insight which might otherwise go overlooked, not to mention bring attention to the way in which we interact with people or harbor expectations from them..

From a distant proximity, most people seem to fit into a broad dichotomy of some sort.. "the squares" and the "the spheres"... "the normals" and "the creative types".. terminology isn't important.

For our purposes here, I'm going to start by saying that most people (from a certain distance, remember..) seem to be like a black or white key on a piano keyboard..

From one point-of-view, both groups are essentially "the same" (they both generate equally musical tones, they are made of the same substance, they are relatively the same shape, they both have an equal function in terms of playing music) but it is their one and only difference which we notice immediately..

..their contrast of "color"..

This is similar to the issue of race for obvious reasons, but also extends to apply to just about every other differentiation in society made on a human-to-human basis..

class/racial/gender stereotypes, genres of creative works, categories of paradigms..

We know that most of them have some root in truth (the white key IS indeed different in a certain way, than the black key) but when taken to extremes and people make radical claims such as "white keys are better than black keys" and vice versa.. is too distant a perspective for truly sincere music to come out of this perspective..

indeed, certain notes seem to be more consonant when grouped together, but when one goes as far as dictating what are universally "good" and/or "bad" combinations, i think this is where people run into trouble..

when you get closer in proximity, however, most people seem much MUCH more complex, and perhaps could be said to fit into one of 12 (or 24) categories, not unlike astrology..

..or musical Keys..

This is where you get close enough to see (or hear?) how "well versed" a person is..

Instead of perceiving a person as only one contained note, we see how they each have their own set of chords and scales which they gravitate towards.. This is most obvious during a really exciting and interesting conversation between two or more people..

Most people come to a "jam" or a conversation with what THEY know, an eagerness to prove themselves as a valid "fellow musician", and are very limited to the scales and chords they know.. not necessarily the intent to make beautiful music or learn something..

it's really truly sad to me, how rarely "musicians" with backgrounds in only one "style" or "genre", can truly jam together..
i believe this is due to the fact that most people stick to what they "know" (i.e. what they have been taught) and what they are comfortable with. Even the most virtuosic player is stuck talking to himself, if he/she never learns to listen..

.. as I'm sure many of you are already thinking, astrology/personality tests/any categorical model are also a very vague ways of looking at a person, just as reducing the concept of music, down to keys/chords/scales, doesn't quite cover the entire territory..

This brings us even closer to the scale of seeing a person at the level of their "musical timbre"; being able to distinguish them as their own, individual instrument..

most people can hear the difference between a saxophone and a piano immediately.. but when it comes to not only distinguishing between a piano and an organ, but distinguishing between a Grand Piano, and a Rhodes electric piano.. most people haven't a clue.

This also seems to be the current condition of most people's sensitivity to HOW they interact with other people, and being able talk WITH a person, and not AT them..

If this "timbre" were to relate to any area of psychology, i would say that it is "the ego", just because many people are stuck with just ONE version of themselves that they believe is "true"..
this is only as true, as it is to say that a person can ONLY learn to play one instrument in one's lifetime..

When one can hear the subtleties in an individual's personal philosophies, interests, ambitions, faiths, and fears, they can usually find a place where both people can learn something and essentially collaborate in evolving as people..

not stoking each other's egos..
not looking for reassurance or validation..
not looking for pity or emotional charity..

simply challenging, stretching, and growing each other's vocabulary of existence itself..

..but i know that even here, there's a few of us who find ourselves dissatisfied with even this level of rough communication, and in our pursuit, find ourselves at the edge of where "vocabulary" is useful in expressing what we "hear" or "experience" in our minds' eyes, and cannot find any help in furthering our understanding "outside of ourselves"..

this is when one becomes a composer and innovator, without knowing it. The game of putting such labels upon oneself tends to drag one back to the "keys/chords/scales phase", but sincerely pursuing the sound which one hasn't heard anywhere else, outside of his/her own mind, is where things get unbearably interesting..

This is music which you cannot English, you cannot write down, you cannot explain..
but you CAN play it and hope others hear it..!

This is where music indeed IS it's own language, and is IN-DEED Universal.. No matter if "the listener" (which includes your own ears) doesn't understand the message..

the music is still the product of that earnest pursuit of a pure level of communication and is heard by everything within earshot..

The birds, the slugs, the grass, the rocks, the dirt.. they are all subtly changed by this act of playing your music, just as you are changed by their deeds and presence..

This is the level of true "empathy" and the door to being able to trust yourself to play ANYTHING, in any key, on any instrument, while jamming with ANYone, of any "skill level" or background..

It seems to me, that this is a door to "true Freedom", and perhaps one of the few we have left..

I bid you all a good journey

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 09:59 PM
People are not at all like musical notes. They differ from one another in genuine, substantial ways. Notes, on the other hand, are just sounds. Their effects on us, when arranged in combinations, are largely culturally determined. The only difference between E and B flat is a difference of pitch — so many cycles per second. Two notes produced by the same pure-tone oscillator are, physically speaking, identical apart from the difference in frequency.

Musical keys do have individual character, but only if we stick to the near-universal convention of equal temperament, where each note on the keyboard has an unchanging, assigned pitch but the intervals between them vary slightly depending on which key you're playing in. In 'natural' harmony, these relative differences between harmonic intervals in different keys vanish. In their place, natural harmony supplies modal variations. But keys and modes are sequences of notes, so if notes are like people, keys and modes are like teams or troupes.

You might say that tunes were like people; every one different and unique. But tunes are not the people who play them.

Moving on, tone or timbre is what makes the same note sound different when it is emanated by different sources. This is due to the dissimilarity in waveforms produced by different sources. This is less like 'ego' than it is like the fact that people have different faces, voices and capabilities. It is true that timbre is also a personal signature — every accomplished singer or instrumentalist has his or her own personal 'tone', and many musicians spend years developing their own particular sound. But this is precisely what makes different musicians worth listening to; without it everyone would sound exactly the same, and the world of music would become immeasurably poorer and duller. Your analogy only works so far as that a world without ego would be a lacklustre world indeed.

it's really truly sad to me, how rarely "musicians" with backgrounds in only one "style" or "genre", can truly jam together... i believe this is due to the fact that most people stick to what they "know" (i.e. what they have been taught) and what they are comfortable with. Even the most virtuosic player is stuck talking to himself, if he/she never learns to listen.

Are you a musician?

Every style or 'genre' is identified by certain ways of playing notes and certain combinations of notes characteristic of it. These things cannot just be performed off the cuff; you have to dedicate yourself to mastering them. It takes years. And the better you get at one style, the more difficult it is to play or sing in any other. It is true that the secret to good ensemble playing (improvised or scored) is listening to your fellow-musicians and fitting in with them; that is why flashy virtuosos are rarely good musicians. But that has nothing to do with style or genre.

There are people — session musicians, mostly — who pride themselves on being able to play in any style, but the truth is that they don't actually sound convincing in any of them. Wise musicians stick to what they know for the very good reason that they play best when they do so, just as writers write best when they write about what they know. Some people are born musical avant-gardists, but they are few and far between. To most of us, challenging ourselves to stay fresh, original and moving within our accustomed style of playing or singing is hard enough to do.

Experimental or 'free' improvisation, though commendable in its way, nearly always results in hideous-sounding almost-music. That's all right if musicians are playing for each other and not for an audience; but unless the audience members have come specifically to hear this kind of improvisation, it's discourteous to tax their ears and their patience with it. I have plenty of experience of listening to and jamming with 'musicians' of this kind, and they do not impress me.

Experienced musicians also jam to 'stoke each other's egos' and to 'look for reassurance and validation'. These are among the reasons why we get up in front of people and risk making fools of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with it, and even if there is there's no escaping it, because it's the same for Joe Satrianai or Anne-Sophie Mutter or Chick Corea, just as it is for for the clumsy three-chord wannabe rockers you played with in high school.

People like Carlos Santana, who boast that they have 'no style' and can 'play anything', are usually stuck fast in their own personal groove, which is obvious to everyone except themselves. They are often the biggest egotists of all.

edit on 19/10/14 by Astyanax because: of grace notes.

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:21 AM
a reply to: HyphenSt1

I love analogies. I think you played that beautifully!

I've often thought about the sounds that are between specific notes. Between, say, A and A#. It's all on a continuum, even if the in-betweens are not 'named' notes. I feel infinite possibilities.

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:32 AM
a reply to: new_here

I feel infinite possibilities.

Here you go. All the notes you could possibly hear, and some you can't, too.

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