"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Friday, April 18, 2008

Music and Grey Matter

This article superficially discusses the relationship of brain organization in musicians versus non-musicians. As one who has dabbled with drums for 35 years (mostly in high school) it rang somewhat familiar--the body learning a lick or a beat then the mind storing that info for later use. Conversely, it rings true that when you hear something musically you don't initially understand, yet alone can play, the brain makes you fully aware that its on standby waiting for your next move. Give it up, or try to learn it and "store it."

In music, as one progresses in skill and variety one's willpower somewhat beacons to stay in that comfort zone resisting thoughts of improving and expanding one's lexicon. As practice slides, skill slips as does variety. This is frustrating, a continual battle, and a roadblock to be acknowledged, conquered or both. This function of the brain likely has cross-application and isn't just for musicians and athletes as the article states.

Somewhere in the world are the most accomplished musicians, vocalists, athletes, etc. You can decide for yourself who they are. They too have the same frustrations that we rank amatuers have--the encountering of ruts. The virtuosos of the world have immeasurable talents that the rest of us can't dream of comprehending or duplicating. Nevertheless, we marvel at skill, or hear things that move us, and therefore accept it, not caring whether we can't duplicate the feats or not. Normally we can't. In fact, they elites probably marvel at one another's gifts and wonder, "why didn't I think of that? Could I do that?" Look at these short videos of different drummers. Notice how great, yet how different they are.

Thomas Lang

Simon Phillips

Buddy Rich

Tony Royster, Jr.

Music and art aren't amoral, but when it's moral and good, we like it. It's good that the grey matter cooperates.


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