Does anyone even know what “musical intent” is? Well, I’m not sure there really has been such a phrase, until now.
Have you ever been with a group of people that you are suspicious of their motives? You’re not sure what their intent is because of either how they’re acting or what they’re saying. There might be an underlying “tone” in the behavior that gives you reason to suspect something may be amiss. (Cue creepy music here…)
Over the past few years, there’s been a lot in the news about what serial killers do to “prepare” themselves for what they’ve set before them. It’s the same with those who go shooting up schools. Not that I pay attention to all the details about these people but there seems to be a recurring theme that’s repeated in nearly every situation. Prior to doing their act of devastation, many listen to music that “inspires” and gets them in the mood. Much of that music involves lyrics that talk about killing people and other hateful speech. I think what my dad said to me as a child was very true… “Garbage in… garbage out.”
Now, let’s take a look at some more positive situations. For those of you who are married, do you remember the first song you heard together as a couple? When hearing it, you say to each other “That’s our song!” Most of the times, these songs focus on lyrics about loving one another. How about weddings… what kind of lyrics do you hear in the music at weddings? (cue sweet and sappy love music here…)
Are you aware that grocery stores play their music at a specific tempo to get people to walk through the store at a “shopping” pace? Music in an elevator is not going to be the same as music in the teen-age clothing section at Macy’s. Music is often prepared for a specific occasion and the intent of that music tends to stay with the music. Instrumental music is no different because the composer often pours himself/herself into the very notes on the page to create either a mood, depict an event, or describe some poetry or piece of art.
“Musical Intent” is nothing more than identifying the intent (purpose) of the music being performed and/or listened to. Listen to the words. What are they saying? How does the melody and harmony make you feel? Are you edgy? Are you at ease and peaceful? Does the music make you want to get up and dance? Do you like the singer(s)? Why or why not?
What does this mean for me?
Many people spend a lot of time on the Internet looking for healing music or specific tones that are more healing than others. If you want to listen to a specific tone, YouTube videos supply long-play tone generated notes. I’m not quite sure how that works for people. I can handle about ten seconds and I’m done. Music for the purposes of healing is a big thing right now. Obviously, I’m one of those producing this type of music. And, after all of my research into the subject and finding a ton of information (often conflicting), I’ve come to a conclusion… It doesn’t matter what specific frequency is supposed to “be” something. What matters most is the “intent” of the person or group creating the music.
There is mounting evidence in quantum physics that intent is everything. So, why would it be any different with music? If you’re one who is looking for music that is healing, you need to choose based on how that music “speaks” to your spirit. Read about the person creating the music so you understand why they wrote it and for what purposes.
Now, I do believe that harmony is important. Being “in tune” with what’s around you can have a positive affect on you that you’re not even aware of. For the opposite effect, check out the ongoing research on microwave frequencies that are in cell phones and other electronics that researchers are finding to be dangerous. It appears there’s “disharmony” within these frequencies that is harmful to our physical bodies.
One of the reasons that I choose to record my music at the A=432 concert pitch is so there’s harmony between what I perform and what’s within the earth itself. Having been a musician all my life, I do understand (and can feel) what poor intonation sounds like! The more I can match what’s natural, the better. As far as my intent? I desire for my music to be healing (body, mind, and spirit), bring a sense of peace, and whatever else will help people better their lives. I know this is the same for many others out there creating healing music.
My parting words of wisdom for you… Choose music that speaks to you and really look at the intent of the composer as well as the performers. Matter has memory so what they put into that music will come back to you.
I always like to throw in little experiments for people to try. Over a period of a couple days, put on some music that fits the mood you’re in. Then, each time, change the music drastically and see how it affects you. I’d like to hear the results so post below!
© 2015 by Del Hungerford