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Listen Actively

Have you ever wondered why music has the power to change our moods? The Greeks understood this power, assigning different scales to spiritual forces. The Bible even tells stories of David playing the harp to cure the mental imbalances of King Saul.  Perhaps you have soothing melodies  you turn to, when  in a slump or vocal artists who can transport  you  beyond your present emotional landscape. What is the secret power of music?

For starters, the way our brain processes music is unique among our senses. When we “see” a soothing scene, our sight is actually a chemical interpretation of reality . The rods and cones in our eyes fire, but the image is inverted in the back of our eye. Our brain must interpret these stimuli to “see”. There is no actual image in our occipital lobe, rather a complex chemical process and neurological interpretation.

Sound does not work that way. When a string is plucked, the vibrations moves the molecules at the same velocity and those sound waves physically move the fine hairs of your inner ear, which then fire at the exact rate in your brain. This means your brain is actually being mechanically and electrically activated. Your brain is actually being “massaged” with sound – the exact pitch that exists outside of you indeed exists within you!

So the neurological experience is not an interpretation of sound, but your brain is vibrating MUSIC in real time.

I believe that is why music has a mood-altering power that is head and shoulders above other sensory experiences.

Music has the ability to quite literally “touch” us  and enter our inner world in an immediate and profound way. It’s no accident that young people like “pumped up” volume – that brain massage is a more intense experience!

When Beethoven, who was hearing impaired in his later years,  would put his head on his piano to feel the vibrations of his compositions, he was accessing music in its most fundamental form. He was able to create his greatest work by accessing the frequencies of his compositions in the most raw and basic form.

With this understanding of the power of sound, we can appreciate just how complex our musical world has become in the 21st century. Our modern studios are a digital Disney World of endless auditory possibilities. Sphereo has taken music creation to the next level. And  the art of listening has never been more critical.

When you listen to your favorite instrumental tracks of music, challenge yourself to tease out all the elements that make it the great song you love. Between choice of instrument, rhythm, vocal qualities, harmonies, tempo, pitch, melodic contour, mode, and polyphonic density – there is much to discern and process. The more sensitive your hearing becomes, the greater power you have as a creator.

With Sphereo, your creative journey starts with your ears!

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