Why music should be magical
We can over analyse music. Maybe that’s not so surprising when you consider that the theories of music and of sound production borrow so heavily from maths and physics, and many mathematicians are also keen musicians. But somehow that misses the point.
Music is much more about emotion. It has the capability to really move us, not because we are fascinated by the scales, the harmonic frequencies, the beats per minute or the time signatures but because those things – plus the occasional mystery magical ingredient – have the ability to make us relaxed, tense, happy, mournful, angry, defiant or proud. Sometimes many of these – and more – at the same time or in the same piece.
And because music is about emotion, that also explains why so many people who are not interested in mathematics or musical theory, can still make wonderful music.
Where does the magic come from?
This section of Instrumentality is, of course, entirely hypocritical because I’m using analysis to try and reveal the mysteries of emotion. But hey, it’s worth a try. So what is it that makes some music so magical and, conversely, why does music without these ingredients just pass us by?
I’ve made a start by looking at the idea of timbre, because some sounds produced by instruments and singers are beautiful in themselves, almost regardless of what notes are played.