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The mystery of music.

Bill Hicks

Can someone explain to me how music works. I'm not talking about music theory as I've had several attempts by various tutors who have tried to explain that to me before with moderate success. I'm talking about how and why we all can appreciate a melody and instantly know when a duff note or badly timed beat has been played.
What in our development as humans has given us this natural ability to appreciate melody/harmony? Why does the use of minor keys make us feel sad and major keys feel happy. How does a raised key change in a song make us feel the exhilaration the song writer intended. We all feel it but why do we feel it?
Is it something to do with pacing our strides to catch prey that has provided us with the sense of musical timing? That I can understand but what about melody. Was it birdsong that gave us the sense of melody? And for what purpose? How would a knowledge of harmony benefited us during our early development as human beings?
Everyone inherently knows when something sounds right or wrong, even if you are one of the fabled tone deaf. But why and how is this apparent.


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Distinguished Member
No idea....but I'm having a Smashing Pumpkins night. :thumbsup:

As you say we all know what makes a good tune so why is it so hard to come up with one? I often wonder how artists feel when they put their instruments down after the first run through of a future classic. The nearest I got to an answer was the U2 documentary "From the Sky Down". There's a great piece in that about how the song "One" developed and you can see on the faces of the band members that they just new it was a great song.
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BBC Two - Howard Goodall's Story of Music, The Age of Discovery

that guy can explain it better than i can in a few minutes before i go to bed

in a nutsell you can't always tell a bum note or offbeat playing

as to why we like music and melodies, it's basically frequencies affecting parts of the brain (notes are airpressure that move hairs in ears which have nerve endings that transfer to the brain). the body has natural rhythms based around the heatbeat, so the right frequencies at the right time can affect the chemicals produced in the brain in ways that people enjoy

and that's the nuts and bolts of it. it's no mystery at all

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