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  •  Yes, but when you break it down, that magic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MTmofo, dsb, sallym, Man Oh Man

    breaks down into math. You CAN produce deep emotions in people with music. It's one of the reasons many totalitarian regimes have persecuted composers, like Schostakovich. Music is dangerous because it can stir emotion. But I think the magic is in the creativity of composers, how we manipulate sound and metre, and I would agree that where that talent comes from is mystical. But the effects are the result of quantifiable, scientific cause and effect--though I would also concede that we don't understand everything about how that works.

    But look at how music is structured, and we'll use Western music as an example here: in 4/4 time, a whole note equals two half notes, which equals four quarter notes, which equals eight eighth notes, which equals 16 sixteenth notes, etc. Generally speaking, the strongest beat in a bar of four quarter notes is the first, second strongest the third, second weakest the second, weakest the fourth. Now, if I want to skew that rhythm, I can accent a weak beat, or tie four and one over the bar to create hemiola. I once wrote a walz in 4/4 time, tying four to one with an accent on the second beat of the measure. The effect was that to suggest drunkenness. That's math, not magic, the magic is in how our brain perceives it. Learning how to make those effects requires a scientific understanding of musical theory.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 09:58:39 PM PST

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