Make Better Music 2: Dancing About Architecture

make better music. Trebuchet magazine
make better music. Trebuchet magazine

The only criticism I’ve had of this blog is the strange old quote: “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”. The person said that music is for listening to, not reading about. In one sense I agree…describing the actual sound music is a mostly pointless pursuit. Discussing the process of writing, and means of writing is far from it. Some people instinctively believe that structuring and “intellectualising” music is plain wrong. They probably believe that music should be raw and heartfelt, and that over thinking it takes away it’s core.

I agree and disagree in equal measure!

Music is a communication between two living things, one sending a message and the other receiving it. Both of these living things are ever-changing, turbulent and emotional beings, and the language they are using is instinctive and vague….it is not about precision, it is about feel.

Given the nebulous nature of musical exchange between the creator and the listener – I think it can be interesting to see what happens when you use words to describe it…you get a strange translation, because there is no objective meaning. You get a rainbow of possible meanings…none of which nails the essence of the music, but all of which give a hint and an insight…. However…I think the wise musician understands both viewpoints, and makes the most of whatever theory and knowledge appeals to them, combined with instinct and the raw power of inspiration. That’s where the best music comes from…and that balance should be sought at all times!

About Dave.
David Learnt composition (harmony, counterpoint and orchestration) to degree level through studying Schoenbergs Fundamentals of Musical Composition. He is a founder member of avant pop duo Cnut, and orchestral doombience outfit Regolith.

Make Better Music is updated every Tuesday.
Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Dave Graham 70 Articles
David Learnt composition (harmony, counterpoint and orchestration) to degree level through studying Schoenbergs Fundamentals of Musical Composition, the classic text on twentieth century harmony by Vincent Persichetti, Henry Mancini's Sounds and Scores, Rimsky-Korsakov's excellent books on orchestration as well as studying any scores that intrigued me. He is a founder member of two bands, avant pop duo Cnut, and orchestral doombience outfit Regolith, and have performed across Europe with them.

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