WHY DOES IT MOVE ME?
You can recall when you were casually listening to a song or hearing music accompanying a film, and all of a sudden it has your full attention. Your pulse is faster, feelings well up inside, and in that moment you know you are being reached. Music such as this you can hear over and over again. Some of it you may even refrain from hearing often as it is too intense for just any moment. Have you ever wondered why music can have so strong an effect on you, or what your response to it could mean? If questions like these speak to you, then you are the person for whom this was written. Whether you are a musician, an artist at heart, a music lover, or just curious, the material and services here are provided with the intention of inspiring your inner life.
Guadalupe Radio KSHJ 1430 - featuring guest Samuel Sentmanat at 47:25
EXPRESSION OF HUMAN IDENTITY
“Music is related to us by nature” -Boethius
Beauty is the result of well cultivated ideas expressed by the heart. To echo the words of Dr. Kenneth Clark, the expression of a great people results from “creative power and the enlargement of human faculties”. Human art is inspired and driven by the deep longing inside us, and music in particular is that desire as expressed in sound and ratio. All true art is an icon that points us ever nearer to it’s natural origin, to it’s maker, the original “artist”. Music is the expression of our humanity. It is the fruit of the mind and spirit union that defines us. Art brings to our senses the depths of our longing.
It is the overtone series that dictates how we hear notes and their relationships, much in the same way that the light spectrum dictates how we see color. The OVERTONE SERIES (as presented by Pythagoras) the infinite sequence of HARMONICS created by the vibration of strings (a set of frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental pitch). The overtones are inherent to the nature of vibrating strings or columns of air of any musical instrument. Through the relationships we hear in physical sound waves are conveyed, as only music can, the intricacies and beauty of a human heart.
STRUCTURE OF SOUND
The overtone series is infinite sequence of harmonics created by a vibrating body of equal length and density (a set of frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental pitch). They are inherent to the nature of music. Musical instruments, and predominantly the violin, have been designed based on this natural structure.
Pythagoras of Samos (570 - 495 BC)
Pythagoras was one of the first major greek philosophers and mathematicians. It was he who first described the nature and function of sound and our relation to it. The Greeks had extraordinary insight regarding the material universe and human reason. The tradition is that Pythagoras heard the striking of the anvils by a smith's hammers and noted that the sound made by the striking was altered according to the size of each anvil. This inspired him to observe the sound made by tightened strings and the tones they made at various lengths. In doing so he discovered the inherent structure in sound itself; the harmonic sequence.
Stradivarius Violin Scroll
A fine distinction is made between what is created and what is derived; that is to say between concept and construct. Were we to use the art of painting as an example: the concept is the understanding of the light spectrum and the color produced while the construct is the methods derived by which we arrange color on the canvas. In music the concept is the overtone series and the created relationships of sound while the construct is the arrangement of pitches. A scale, for example is a construct, while a given interval will demand of our ear a relationship found in the concept of the overtone series.
HISTORY AND TRADITION
A course of study highlighting the MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE, BAROQUE, and CLASSICAL eras in chronological order.
This historical approach guides students through levels of notation; Gregorian nuematic notation, Renaissance mensural notation, and standard modern notation using the Guidonian Solfége system.
The music of the west originates in Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony. These inspired the compositional impetus of the great composers, including those such as Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Bruckner, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and the like. Musical repertoire throughout A.D. history has been made from a continuing tradition expressed in sound. Thus, just any other subject is best understood when one studies its roots, learning to hear and understand music is almost inseparable from its foundational repertoire.