Wild Blue Pixel
TIP OF THE DAY
Monday, October 12, 2009
Music has two fundamentally different aspects that combine into something incredible. One aspect of music is very mathematical. The way the notes combine into harmonies, the way the intervals between notes in a scale relate to each other, and the timing grid that underlies most music are all sequential things that the left hemisphere experiences. The mechanics of making music happen is a left hemisphere thing. But if music was left to the left hemisphere functionality, it would probably be boring.
Music is also a vehicle for emotional and spatial experience and expression. The transcendental experience of music seems more rooted in the right hemisphere.
I would say that the left hemisphere is more involved in the initial stages of learning music or learning a particular piece of music. But the process of interpreting the music, of internalizing it deeply and making the music fit and flow and be meaningful - these are aspects which the right brain is more closely associated with.
But the key point here is that, totally apart from your hands and what part of your brain controls them, music requires the special gifts of both right and left hemispheres, and requires that these two sides of our brains work together in a beautiful and fluid manner.
Put it this way: whenever we make music that works, we are whole—we are left and right united.