two things that i think help a person to get the idea of possibilities in music

that diagram may be a little off ratio-wise but i think that’s generally the deal with that overall correspondence. a couple points appear in considering this. [and of course it seems like if someone is really into music they kind of are from birth, and if they aren’t they just aren’t.] one point is that i think if a person was interested in music, it would be good to fall in love with it. i guess i’m speaking to the fan impetus, which comes before the desire to play an instrument, in my experience.


two things that i think help a person to get the idea of possibilities in music:

  1. locate some symphonic/orchestral/composed music they can really dig.
  2. find out what’s going on with poetry as a form, and find you a poet that you can really appreciate.


for a. the reason why is, the sense of what the frequencies are doing has been greatly skewed by the whole sub sub-woofer business. the average joe has a 5.1 tv etc., new car stereos are EQ’d like this etc. in order to make an unscrupulous end user think they are REALLY GETTING SOMETHING, an attempt is made to create a bit of an audio spectacle. one way to do this cheaply is to make the sub bins rattle off boatloads of low end, like an action movie in the theater, or a video game with the explosions going to the computer sub speaker. {i think it would be really awesome to put out a record that was nothing but an 80hz sine wave from a bench oscillator for 40 minutes. i also think it would be funny to have a feature film where a guy goes into a scary house and the whole thing is set up really tense and the protagonist says screw it i’m outta here and he leaves and the movie is 12 minutes long.} anyway it would be good to reacquaint oneself with what the frequency range actually is. what does the low end of the orchestra actually sound like? what instruments make up the middle part? what is on the high end of the spectrum? if you listen to 100 hours or so of orchestral stuff at a pleasant volume you can get a good handle on what the frequency ranges are. [hopefully you have full range headphones or regular stereo speakers that don’t have bass boost or any of that hoorah.] try to get a good feel for what an upright bass sounds like recorded very well in a nice room. this will help you because you can develop a mental reference of EQ curves etc. this way you can begin to understand the palette. what does a real piano sound like?

there’s a lot of insight to be gained in relation to what makes recorded music interesting. there’s only so much room dynamically and frequency wise on a piece of recorded medium, so some calculations have to happen to fit it all on there, a bit of robbing peter to pay paul with frequencies and so forth. it’s like watching a good baseball manager they can be brilliant at how resources are allocated.


as to b. there’s been a few things that have hurt the collective understanding of poetics and one is there’s been some really awful songs that become huge. and that’s all fine i’m not complaining about that, my point is that people may forget or have forgotten what actual poetry does or sounds like. the syllables have weight and function like a musical note does. so the lines are constructed with small parts, while keeping an eye on the overall whole, like writing for string quartet or making a computer program or a cake or fixing a transmission or whatever. [if i had a student that wanted to learn about writing songs i’d have them study poetry for a long time.] 


now of course there are some forms where there’s a type of naiveté ….and some forms that are built to be sort of terrible and fantastic at the same time and that’s all cool of course, so i’m speaking in a very general sense just about ideas towards understanding, and these aren’t absolute terms by any means.