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Mastering Chaos: The Composer's Way

There is something about the way music is created and performed which can help all of us work and play better together.

Creating Music
Here we take a look at how we humans use our natural ability with sound to create music.

Here, the Formal/Informal & the Reason/Emotion ranges still apply (see the complete model) and the states are still present except that we've renamed them.


18th century Classical music has a considerable degree of Structure about it. 19th Century Romantic music can by many to be said to both passionate and inspiring due to its concern for individual personal expression. Jazz has a strong Challenging ingredient especially so because of its strong association with protest. True Improvisation is completely free and has all the characteristics of spontaneity and free play.  

So you can see that music in all its varied styles exists across the interplay of communal structure and human emotional and rational traits. Equally it's important to keep in mind that the four states are not separate. They all have a relationship to each other, and at their healthiest, each will have elements of the other states. As an example, many musicians are no doubt concerned to perform classical music with considerable accuracy. However without a sense of 'play' the output could easily be quite dull and boring. Paradoxically, in free improvisation, it is quite surprising just how often structure emerges even though one wouldn't necessarily expect it. Jazz, despite the sense of freedom it embodies, is surprisingly highly structured, however there is a strong challenge to convention about it.  Romantic music lives off Classical music's form. It uses the structure and the process of classical music to create huge tensions. It does this by stretching the forms, enlarging the array of instrumentation and, most importantly, uses increased dissonance and subsequent resolution to heighten tension and invoke emotional bliss.

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Copyright © 2023 Andrew Hodges & Philippa Lowe

Now take a look at where things can go wrong. Musicians aren't angels, we are good at what we do, but when it does go wrong it's very obvious. Being able to observe features of musical mistakes can be very informative in other areas of life.

Check it out here

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