Attention To Nuances in Music

Most music lovers can spot a good song when they hear it. Or can they? Well.. This discussion is really not for here.

BUT, for now, I will just assume that people that do seek a certain emotional connection with the music and the artists they love, do feel it for certain songs as they don’t feel it for other songs. This is a matter of personal taste, age, mental state etc.

What most of these people don’t know is WHY they like a certain song, why it makes them feel as they feel or what they like about it. They just love the song and that’s it.

What they do not have is attention to nuances in the music. As ordinary people, the resolution in which they can interpret what they hear in their brains is limited. At best, they can sing the melody of the song without it sounding like a different song. But they don’t know and don’t care about music theory and practice because… They’re not musicians!

From what I said, one might assume that ALL musicians DO have attention to nuances in the music they hear and perform. WRONG!

Attention to nuances is not automatically given to you upon you calling yourself “a musician”. This is a skill that takes years to acquire and be aware of. And no different than music theory and practice – it never ends! No matter how developed that skill is within you, there will always be more to discover (If your music teacher has said that there is nothing more he can teach you, it means just that, and not that you know everything there is to know about music).

Attention to nuances is a skill that does require various levels of ear training, but not always has to be connected to musical education. Over the course of history, there were a lot of successful artists that could not even know the names of the chords they played or how to transcribe the guitar part in their band’s song, but their attention to the nuances of what they heard and played, and more importantly, their ability to manipulate and control them, had made them the unique, sensitive performers they are. Feeling these nuances is just as important as hearing them.

As we discussed earlier, there are numerous ways to write or perform, but this requires experimentation, sensitivity, good taste and attention to nuances in order to make it as unique and powerful as possible. Whereas an artist does not have this important skill or the ability to experiment, he would just be sure that what he’s doing is “good enough”, and… well… Good enough is never good enough!

Being confident in your abilities sometimes requires the courage to question them. That’s when attention to nuances becomes important.

What are these nuances and where do they hide, you might ask…

More on this next time!

Feel free to ask questions or comment below:

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