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Postby Crow » April 24th, 2012, 8:49 am

cnev wrote:if you can tell me how to do the second I'll go with both.


The best I can do is try to stay fully in the moment with anything I play. But I'd love to hear from David or Tom on that point. Surely students talk about "playing with feeling"... What do you guys tell them?
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Postby fleaaaaaa » April 24th, 2012, 9:29 am

Hey.....

Ive been reading this but not commented yet at first I felt like ....... hmm dont agree at all with this of course music has emotion (or at least makes us feel certain ways) and I think you will find theres a general consensus on many songs of how it makes you feel - the reason why many bands like to close with a certain number.

Anyway I then saw this thread keep going and yeah I agree with CNEV it does depend on the listener how the song will come accross and whether it makes you feel something....... but that makes the music experience a kind of interactive thing..... and isn't that great? :lol:
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Postby cnev » April 24th, 2012, 9:54 am

Fleaaa you agree with me... :shock: Are you feeling Ok?

But you are right it is an interactive thing the brain receives the sound waves then interprets them, it's in that interpretation that the emotion comes in and that's only in the individuals brain.
Last edited by cnev on April 24th, 2012, 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby fleaaaaaa » April 24th, 2012, 10:00 am

Well....... I'm british, we always root for the underdog :lol:
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Postby cnev » April 24th, 2012, 10:09 am

Bada bing!!
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Postby NoteBoat » April 24th, 2012, 10:11 am

@ Crow - Yes, some of my students talk about 'playing with feeling'. I don't "correct" them - I just stress the musicality aspects I mentioned earlier.

About as close as I get to ascribing emotions to sounds in lessons is when I talk about chord functions, which I typically do at the first or second lesson. I'll describe major chords as "happy or cheerful", minor chords as "gloomy or sad", and dominant chords as "nervous - like they want to go somewhere" (all accompanied with me playing various chords in that family)

My goal isn't to attribute an emotion to a chord, because that can't be done - even your emotional response varies with context. I just want to get students listening more closely for the sounds of the chords, and doing that by describing them in terms of "mood" is effective.
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Postby imalone » April 24th, 2012, 3:10 pm

I suppose music is very similar to spoken language in this, there's nothing intrinsically emotional in individual sounds, or even particularly in many words, it's once you start to build them up that meaning and emotion appears and it's something shared by the performer (or composer) and the listener. Music is the medium, meaning and emotion lie in the communication. That said there are lots of words that do have loaded emotional meaning, spring, joy, baby (and lots of negative ones too), but the response depends on knowing the shared language - hence major and minor chords and of course tritones. People occasionally try interesting experiments where subjects listen to unfamiliar musical traditions e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_maqam#Emotional_content.

Actually I've just finished reading Maryanne Wolf's book Proust and the Squid on how the brain learns to read (language), which might have some interesting implications for the eternal discussion about learning to read (music). It might not be such a take it or leave it thing as people suggest, I'll see if I can write something up, but not enough room in this margin...
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Postby almann1979 » April 26th, 2012, 11:35 am

This is a good thread.

To me, a chord, does not have any emotion, and a single note does not have any emotion.

However, a B played over an A minor sounds tense, and resolving to an A releases that tension. So in a sense is it not the interval that carries the emotion?

But then it could be argued that we only feel the emotion from that interval, because we have been brought up listening to the type of music we are used to. An Indian, may feel completely different emotion from exactly the same interval as they have been brought up with a different type of music perhaps?
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Postby cnev » April 26th, 2012, 11:49 am

Al my point exactly what goes on in your brain is not just the notes you hear it's everything else you know, have heard etc., that comprises who you are and how you will react. The music carries nothing but sound waves.
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Postby almann1979 » April 26th, 2012, 11:56 am

I agree, I have seen thrash metal fans throwing themselves aroud in ecstasy claiming the thrash metal band playing made them feel "so alive".

However, all I could think of was "I wish somebody would turn this @@@@ noise off".

The same music very different emotions
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Postby cnev » April 26th, 2012, 12:08 pm

Your a science guy like me and I tend to look at things that way most of the time. If music carried emotions thent he emotions would be universal to everyone that heard it yet like your example everyone reacts differently.

But your brain is like finger prints two people have the same neural connections, brain chemistry, history, environment etc. so everyone reacts differently.

we have been trained either consiously or unconsiously to react to certail music in certain ways so that tends to skew how we feel but that's not related to the actual notes we are hearing.
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Postby Crow » April 26th, 2012, 12:16 pm

imalone wrote:...there's nothing intrinsically emotional in individual sounds, or even particularly in many words, it's once you start to build them up that meaning and emotion appears and it's something shared by the performer (or composer) and the listener.


Maybe...

almann1979 wrote:...a B played over an A minor sounds tense, and resolving to an A releases that tension.


I think "tension" is closer to the mark than "emotion." I'd also go with "drama," which also can cause different responses in different folks.
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Postby Cat » April 26th, 2012, 11:18 pm

Crow wrote:
cnev wrote: The best I can do is try to stay fully in the moment with anything I play.


The toughest thing to do...but that's where unbridled talent resides.

Good point...

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Postby Crow » April 29th, 2012, 12:10 pm

Crow wrote:The best I can do is try to stay fully in the moment with anything I play.


This thread was on my mind this morning, as my church band stumbled through "With A Little Help from my Friends" (Unitarians!). At one point the drummer completely lost the "one," & there were moments of mystery... but we all just stayed in the moment & picked up the "one" when it made itself clear. We made people happy, so it was a good gig in spite of rotten playing.

Anyway... playing McCartney-esque bass lines carries some responsibilities. I had my Macca toolbox out, but you can't duplicate the freshness & freedom that lives in those recorded lines. So I tried to be fresh & free, while keeping close enough to the part that people wouldn't be confused. That probably sounds stupid. I probably missed more notes than I hit. But PEOPLE DON'T KNOW that you're f#cking up, and when you're staying in the moment you yourself don't care that you're f#cking up. We all had a wonderful time.

Was there emotion in Paul's original bass lines? Maybe, if "stoned" is an emotion. Mostly, I think, we were acting out parts, the way actors do. And it worked great.
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Postby dhodge » April 29th, 2012, 1:57 pm

Another thing to realize about McCartney is (at least according to George Martin) is that they often recorded the bass parts last of all on most of the studio recordings. That gave McCartney a lot of freedom as a bass player, simply to hear where all the space and melodic potential was in any given song. Not sure how (or even if) that little fact ties into the emotional aspect of music, but it's a great recording technique to use is you're playing all the parts yourself!

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