• Developing The Ear To See And Create Music

    in Vocal

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    If you want to learn how to develop your ear to see and create music, then this lesson is for you.

    I want you to open your ears to improvement because your ear needs development. Do you know it is actually possible to see music? Over and over again, you would hear that music is abstract, right? But, let me ask you this simple question:If music is abstract, why is it so useful? Why is it very applicable?

    How are you able to create what you can’t see? Vision is very necessary in the art of creativity, and the ability to see and create is what makes composers superior in the music industry.

    You should be able to feel and see what you are working on, and what you are working with. Let me tell you something, it is possible to see music. The only difference is, the organ of sight in this case, is not the eye. Who says it’s only the eye that is used for sight?

    If the eye was the only organ of sight, then what about the blind composers? Now, I want to draw your attention to another level of sensory perception. Our five senses, the sense of sight, sense of taste, sense of smell, sense of hearing, and the sense of taste, cannot be restricted to eye, nose, ear, tongue, and our skin.

    The arrangement can be reversed, and some other organs can even come to play. At the metaphysical realm, your ear becomes a gateway to your perception, and consequently, human instinct – the organ of sight which I want you to discover and develop.

    “How Do You See Music?”

    You can see music by listening, for a start. Listening is different from hearing. You just hear because you have the ability to hear, but listening demands that you desire to know. Listening happens when you go the extra mile, you pay attention to details.

    You play, and replay, and replay, to study and memorize. To connect to that heightened perception, you are going to be doing a lot of listening. You are going to be doing a lot of listening because that’s the only way you see music.

    Things To Look For When Listening To Music

    When you listen to study sound, these are the things you are looking for:

    • to explore its nature
    • to understand, and be able to identify the length and breadth of the sound
    • to memorize the feeling
    • to make your ability to see music even more credible

    You should give names to these sounds you study because each time you hear the sound, you can call it by name, and be able to differentiate one from another easily. Another major improvement your ear would register is the ability to know how far apart one note is from the other.

    The Ability To See Music

    Ability to see music which can best be expressed through ear development, makes you appreciate all kinds of sound. You would know which sound is peculiar to each musical instrument, and you would know which sound is peculiar to an animal or thing.

    When you hear the sound of a parrot chirping, you would know it’s a parrot. When you hear the sound of a cat, you would know it’s a cat. If you hear the sound of sheep bleating, you would know because you can see it. Yes, you can because you can explain its characteristics.

    When you hear the sound of a person speaking, you can tell who that person is just by the sound of the person’s voice. At this point, you have passed the stage of being a mere listener. You don’t know how much your ear is capable of until you apply your heart to developing it.

    Being successful, being exceptional, and being creative and sensational as a musician or vocalist, depends on the extent of ear development you have attained. Now, just like your ear is the gateway to being able to see music, there should be another way for you to make your visuals more physical if you may.

    Develop A Form Of Writing

    Developing a form of writing what you’ve listened to, what you’ve heard, what you’ve identified, makes it more vivid and unforgettable. Let me paint a scenario for you. You see, the words that we speak, it’s more visible because we have a way of writing it down.

    To an extent, it can be argued that words are visible because they can be documented for someone to read. You can read them, you can see written description of a place you have never been to before, and it will guide you to that location safely.

    Hence, you need to develop a system of writing down the notes of your melody as a singer. Every system of writing that has been developed, beginning from the solfege to staff, makes it clearer, makes it more vivid.

    Take the staff for instance, when a note is represented on the lines and spaces, you can see the interval between them, and if the note is increasing, you would see the notation moving up. If the note is reducing, you would see the notation moving down.

    That’s visual, that’s sight…that’s ability to see. You don’t know what the ear is capable of achieving unless you try.

    Another function of the ear is balance. The ear helps you to maintain balance. The ear is the organ of balance in the body, so go and research the word ‘Homeostasis’.

    If you are experiencing difficulties in terms of not knowing how high or how low a sound is, you need to apply your ear. Your ear, as the organ of balance, can adjust with signals received from the brain, can adjust itself to help you establish height, length, and breadth of the sound you want to vocalize.

    Ear development is necessary whether you’re tone deaf, an upcoming artiste, or a pro. Everyone will applaud your ability to receive signals from your ear. Ear development is necessary for you, so you can include that in your daily itinery, to spend at least ten minutes just listening.

    Here Are What To Look Out For when Listening To A Song

    1. You’re listening to find the key of the song,
    2. You’re listening to establish the melody of the song,
    3. You’re listening to appreciate the feeling that the song was able to express,
    4. You’re listening to get the harmony – if the song was harmonized,
    5. You’re listening to study the music style in play.

    I can go on and on. There’s so much to listen for, and you cannot listen to all these at once. You might have to listen to each harmony part or instrument, individually at first. By the time you become so good and can see sounds easily, you might be able to hear them all at once, or more than one at a time.

    You just have to pay attention because it’s like a track game, you just have to follow your track. You can listen to the drum beat, you can listen to the piano accompaniment, you can listen to the bass guitar, you can listen to the lead vocalist’s ad-lib, or to get the lyrics of the song, there’s so much to listen to.

    Next time, ask yourself, “Have I really listened to this song enough?” See, you cannot listen enough. Listen again and again. You can even listen to hear what can complement the song, that is not even part of the original sound arrangement – that is how you improvise.

    When you listening long enough to a particular song, you hear something extra. Have you ever listened to a song – probably a solo piece – and then you start to sing along in your own harmony? You see, you’re singing something else that was not part of the song.

    If you’ve done that, I’m so proud of you because that means you’ve listened to the extent that you can even swim along. It’s like a tide, and you’re in sync. Ability to see and create music is available to you if you commit to ear development, so make that a continuous habit.

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Zino

    nice

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