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A 'note' on Silence

View ProfileLudwig Van Beethoven once asked a famous question:
What ‘is' music and what is its function, its part to play in life?

These are two amazing questions that can be more accurately explained due to the advancements in science and understanding as we progress into the 21st Century. Our new discoveries into the structure and development of life itself have opened our understanding of ‘what music is and its function in our lives. Problem is, we have forgotten why we need it. Music now plays a much more commercial role in our lives, from the harshest harmonic dissonance to the most exploited manipulation of the power of commercial suggestion music has become a non-coherent cacophony that serves only to highlight the money making ideals of the industry moguls.

Since the dawn of recording, the duplication of music has become that industry, to the detriment of our ears and soul. Imagine the days before recordings when there was a world of quietude. A canvas of musical silence that you only recognized by the power of music breaking through from within its own silent cacophony. The greatest power music ever had was silence. From afar the wind and the breeze would be gently broken by a melody and rhythm that ‘caught your ear' and made its way into your mind and heart as something you recognize as a friend. You would have feelings of being drawn to the source of this mystery to further heighten the recognition factor and embrace its presence in the world.

Music means a lot to us, to all of us. Like an old friend, she is always there, ready to be created, communicated and appreciated. Our need to fill the silence with anything and everything is not beneficial to our appreciation of the great language of nature.

The more we understand about astronomy, physics, biology, geology and nature the more the scientist keep running into vibration and resonance, In simple terms, Music could be said to be the organization of these vibrations into an artistic and communicatively descriptive vibrational ‘package'. It is much much more than that. So much more that it makes you wonder why it is not recognized more in the fields of younger education and politics. It is highly valued within religious, cultural and ethnic beliefs, yet completely used and abused within our societies infrastructure as a method of utilizing and accumulating wealth/money.

Humanity is not the first to interact with music as we all know. Every morning you will hear a bird symphony that has been created over a millennia of time to arrive at a song that resonates with the birds world of today. It would be so interesting to jaunt back a million years and compare the songs the birds were singing then to their current command of music. They must be pretty good by now.

Whales and Dolphins especially come to mind as great experts in the creational field of music using sonar to not only communicate but locate prey, mate, fall in love and the ultimate functional synthesis in music, heal.

With all this time to develop their existence and integrate music into its own survival, I would say the birds, Dolphins and whales did a pretty good job up until now by building there social network and life survival around a musical system. Natures balance and metronome is this system. Human beings have not really grasped the concept of its beneficial qualities to the natural harmony of our own lives.

Anyone who has left a late night club in the early hours of the morning after listening to a Bass Drum beating at 280 bpm will know what I'm talking about, the sound of the birds in the morning as you walk home is a connection and natural lesson on how to appreciate and command the laws and power of music. The silence before the dawn chorus is of course much more impacting but the reality remains the same. Animals have achieved a great thing, survival using silence and sound, without complicating the system to an extent that no bird knows what ‘music is' anymore. They know music better than us all, yet they manage to employ silence to express and implement this system for their own survival. And they don't even take a bow…

This is the reason I enjoy the order of silence in order to enjoy the beauty of sound.

Like a poem of nature that never ends, our lives are carried along with the breaking of silence into a world that is set, ordered and infinitive.

Music carries on where words leave off. ..

© Stuart Mitchell. Article used with permission.
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