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mASF post by J-Ho

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Philosophy Snippets & PU
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mASF post by "J-Ho"
posted on: mASF forum: Advanced Discussion, April 4, 2005

On 4/2/05 9:32:00 AM, artist wrote:
>As an aspiring PUA, and lyric
>+ music writer, this is very
>On 3/31/05 2:16:00 PM, J-Ho wrote:
>>I have always had a very good musical
>>intuition, and I can hear music in my
>>head at all times, sometime original
>>music from my subconscious mind and
>>sometimes pop songs, classical music
>ditto :)
>>I used to keep thinking about whatever
>>music I was trying to write, until
>>eventually I would get inspiration, and
>>I would just sit there thinking 'oh my
>>god how did I think of that'.
>i feel you.
>>now that I have studied music to a very
>>high level (all the way from analyzing
>>symphonies to examining the physical
>>vibrations in the air),
>Can you point me to some helpful online
>resources regarding this please?

I'm sorry, I didn't actually study at all online so I don't know any, I learned
almost everything I know about music from my music teacher.

I can quickly describe the most amazing thing with the air vibrations: Middle C
is at roughly 260Hz (exact numbers are not that important here, it is the
theory that is amazing) and every few Hz that the pitch changes will make it
out of tune. Every time the pitch moves one octave up, the number of Hz (say)
doubles. Every time the pitch moves one fifth higher, the number of Hz (say)
increases by two thirds. If you start at middle c and increase the pitch twelve
octaves, assuming the rough numbers I have used, the pitch of the twelfth c
above middle c would be 1064960Hz, if you increased by fifths until you get to
the same note, you get over 1500000.

Basically, what all that boring stuff is proving is that naturally, the human
ear hears fifths as harmony and octaves as harmony, and yet they cannot truly
exist in the same scale. All pianos are intentionally out of tune so that the
western scale can sound relatively in tune, and we are all so use to hearing it
that we don't notice that it should sound unnatural. Anyway, enough of my
slightly off topic under explained musical ranting...

>I find that I
>>will often find myself musically
>>repeating myself, writing music very
>>similar to something I have heard etc.
>>I.e. thinking someone else's musical
>>thoughts has made my own thoughts
>>Although I can now compose far more
>>reliably, and I am far more technically
>>skilled, in that I can write a high
>>quality pop song or classical piece on
>what process did you go through? That's
>one of my aims.

A lot of it is learning rules. It is like the difference between fools mate and
solid game in terms of PU. Every chord, note and rhythm is there for a reason.
Often when you hear a rule with it's explanation, you will think 'oh, that is
why xyz that I wrote sounded so great, whereas pqr did not work because of...'

Basically, it is like gaining understanding, and then you gain ability through
understanding. Often I feel like I use to be like a small child reaching up at
a great banquet that I could barely reach, eating what I could get my hands on,
whereas now I sit at the feast and take what I want. I don't try out notes or
chords anymore, I work out what will fit, what naturally belongs in a certain
place etc. The only thing is, when I was just grasping at the musical feast I
occasionally brought down a combination of favours that, totally unexpectedly,
happened to work incredibly well.

Other than learning rules, it was also analyzing music all the time as I
listened to it. This has given me a much better ability to know what note/chord
ought to fit in a particular place, basically learning from other musicians
experiences and mistakes.

Without knowing your current knowledge or what instruments you play, I am not
sure exactly what I could say that would help you. For example, how familiar
you are with different chords and intervals. The most important ability I think
I have gained, is that I could listen to (for example) Gmajor, Cmajor, and I
could tell from the way it sounds that it is chords five and one of a major key
(I wouldn't be able to tell the pitch as I do not have perfect pitch). Playing
the piano is another big bonus as it is a great visual aid.

Once you can hear 'oh look, it is chords one and five (you must also know most
other chords)', and you know how to play piano well enough to know what those
chords look like then you can play whatever you hear. Now if you are trying to
write music, then the ability to play what you hear in your head is very useful
indeed. One amazing thing about music is that the melody, normally considered
the most important part of music, is in fact only beautiful because it suggests
a natural chord progression.

Most importantly, don't always listen to music emotionally. Try to listen to
each note, and try to see if you can naturally hear what is beautiful about
each note.

I feel like I have written too much and yet I have not scratched the surface.
If you have other questions, could you tell me something about where you are
musically, and ask something a bit more specific :)

>> however I am rarely inspired to
>>write something that is truly special.
>why do you think this is, and what is
>"truly special"?

You know it when you hear it, it is a combination of beautiful music, and
particularly in the case of pop/rock, perfect emotional performance. Think of
any piece of music that seems to take you to another place and you will be
there. But if I could truly identify the essence of truly special music, then I
would be called Bach or Mozart or Paul McCartney or Freddie Murcury...

> I also find that I
>>repeat myself when I improvise now,
>>which I never would have before,
>>I suppose you could compare it to
>>something common in sport, a young
>>player with that creative spark can have
>>the 'x factor' trained out of them.
>so what is this creative spark?

If you can hear beautiful music that you know nobody has ever heard before,
then that is the creative spark. It is effectively the ability to create
beautiful music for yourself, and the ability to hear any music at all is half
of the way there.

> I
>>sometimes wish that I had not studied
>>music as I effectively swapped my raw
>>ability for a trained skill that anyone
>>could obtain with that degree of
>Maybe you can "go back" - if you quieten
>your mind using meditation - or
>something? What options have you tried?

If I leave my mind quiet, then it will sometimes think of original music, but
often I will just get some catchy dance tune or something stuck in my head.
Many times I have to almost force my mind to produce music. I sometimes find
that if I start playing random notes, my brain will make sense of them into a
pattern, like a beautiful tune arising from the mud of all the discord. This
can be effective. I will also sometimes start playing a well known song, and I
will improvise and change it more and more until eventually I think about what
I am playing and realize that it is in fact nothing to do with the song I
started out playing. I always start thinking 'wait, you are copying a song!',
but when I look carefully there will be hardly any similarities between what I
have thought of and the song I was originally playing, so I guess that is just
getting inspiration, not in any way copying.

Unless otherwise noted, this article is Copyright©2005 by "J-Ho" with implicit permission provided to for reproduction. Any other use is prohibited without the explicit permission of the original author.


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