Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Brains of Musicians and Mine

I think that people who can write and play music must have brains that work very differently from mine. Unless it's very obvious I can't tell whether notes are going up or down and I can't keep a beat with anything but my right foot. I asked my musician friend Erik one time what it was like for him to listen to a song. Did he just automatically know the key signature? Was he always thinking about what the song would look like written out? Could he usually find things that he would have done differently if he had been the one writing it? He said yes to all of those questions and it amazed me. I love music, I love it a lot and I've always wanted to be the kind of person who could write it and play it but I'm not, and it's something that can't be taught. I was in band for a few years and I made it through but only because I understood the mechanics of playing my flute, not because I had any innate sense of what playing music should be like. Any deviation from the written notes and I would have been totally lost, forget "jamming."

It's been so nice out in Arkansas lately. People are starting to go to parks and go hiking and canoeing and do those things that you would imagine people who live in a state whose motto is "The Natural State" would naturally do. As I drove by a baseball field the other day I saw two people standing in the parking lot. The girl was wearing some kind of athletic clothes, which made sense, but the guy was just in jeans and a t-shirt. There were two cars there and they were standing outside of one of them talking. I was watching them and wondering what they were talking about. Why are they in two cars, and why does she look like she's ready to go jogging while he's just wearing street clothes? What business do they have having a conversation in this empty parking lot by a baseball field? Then I thought about Erik. Could he drive by this scene and not wonder at all what brought these two people together on this day at this time, in those clothes? Or would he just be worrying about the key signature of the song playing in the background on the radio? It's interesting how people's brains must work so differently.

1 comment:

  1. I miss the way our minds mingled - your blogs are like music to my ears~