Apr. 17th, 2014

mishak: (gotplur)
I love it when music theory nerds explain pop songs. I don’t know shit about music so stuff about chord progressions and time signatures are lost on me, but it’s so cool to hear the breakdown of the song’s structure, and why it affects us the way it does. How a tune is designed to be soothing, or off-balance, or an unstoppable juggernaut; how a song constructs an expressive framework and executes the emotional payoff. It all comes together in our brains in a way that’s irresistible, but I don’t know _why_ it’s powerful. Until the music theory dude sums up Get Lucky with “It sounds off-balance and playful and sexy, like a foreign exchange student who might be a little drunk” and I think YES THAT’S EXACTLY IT!! I love music theory because it reminds us that notes and chords and rhythm are all Math. And then reveals how songs are intersection of Math and Emotion, which are two things most people see as polar opposites. The tension of opposites brought together to make the most powerful and universal force of all human existence – music.

My question for you people who actually create music, when you’re constructing a new song, do you have this stuff in mind? Do you intend to make a song that’s dark, or tense, or uplifting, or another specific emotional ride, and so you plan the keys and chords and rhythms to generate that effect? Do you precisely engineer the emotional effect, or does it just flow from your magical music-brain?

The fact that I just said “magical music-brain” shows how much I know about the process of creating music. Some songs I love so much, they are so perfect, nary a note out of place, that it is inconceivable the song could exist in any other form than its finished perfection, it must have sprung fully-formed from its creator, as like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. But I take it that making music might actually be hard work?

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