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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Musical Emotions

I'm thinking about using the linguistics of music to reveal the assumptions of how you can put meaning into words. So much of what can be said become fused with the words you use to say it with. Music lets pure emotions be freed from whatever words that were used to describe feelings. The emotional experiences that music brings out can reveal how someone can use the sequences of what is presented for a certain emotional effect. Emotional experiences are filled with meaning only hinted at by words.

Steve Miller Band, Houston Astrodome floorIn a sense, it's a little like learning the skills for making a movie/a story affect people emotionally. In words, how can you present a sequence of what you choose to talk about, and how you talk about it to have certain emotional effects that you'd like the meaning to carry?

It's not something many people would imagine, but there are some people who already have made the connection that music is really another language, with its own syntax, etc. It helps to know how to play any musical instrument. Just like it helps to know two languages well so you can compare them to reveal their differences.

My instrument designer friend Bill Wesley says that everyone agrees on the qualities of music, so that's why he agrees that music is a language. People differ widely on whether they want to experience any particular quality or not that music can provide. There are many people who are very arrogant of which music is "real music." He says they are really only opinionated about whether they want to feel a certain way or not.

Once you start looking for these qualities of music, then you can begin to notice what they have in common with the way people use language.

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