Friday, October 05, 2007

Language, Music & the Enigma of the Mind

I read an article comparing syntax and memorized word meanings to harmonic rules and memorized melodies. The author, reporting findings from a scientific experiment, was excited about the research, as the findings imply a link between brain activity required to process syntax and harmonic rules (concrete thought) and brain activity required to process language memorization and melody memorization (abstract thought). He went on further to state his interest in how those findings relate to the idea of abstract vs. concrete gender difference theory. Fascinating.

The link between language and music is fascinating to me, and I think it exists. I wonder also if the same applies (actually- I think it does apply) to color theory and its application to artistic creativity. Our brains have a plethora of communication possibilities from which to choose, and it validates my experience over the last few years to see someone draw a link between linguistic communication and musical expression, so that I can now extrapolate out and see the same truth applying to the creative work I've been doing.

What really fascinates me is how some people, completely untrained, can intuit the abstract side of whatever communicative medium in which they tend to express themselves, sometimes without a lick of concrete, explicit training or understanding of the theory involved, and they can create profoundly meaningful and beautiful works of art. I knew a man once who couldn't read music at all, but he could sit down at the piano and improvise as if the piano were an extension of himself. What does that mean? The mind is such a fascinating enigma.

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George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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