musical aphasia

The similarities of music to language are very striking.  While I fancy myself fluent in the latter (English, that is), I’m still very much a novice in the former.

So I sing in a choir, but that does not make me a musician.  In the past 5 years, I have managed to pick up by osmosis a lot of music theory and reading, much like a first generation emigrant would in a foreign land.  But I still lack a lot in the “diction” and “vocabulary” departments, if you will.

For instance, I still don’t know my notes, which is, I am aware, an embarrassing confession.  You ask me where a G# is on the treble clef and I’ll scratch my head and mumble, “It is… how you say?… ‘La’!”  But I do know:

  1. time signatures
  2. note time values
  3. dynamics
  4. even basic interval progression

Back to the language analogy, these are akin to:

  1. how fast we’re talking
  2. the cadence of our speech
  3. how loudly and quietly we’re talking (crowded bar versus a movie theater)
  4. the syllables in our words

At this point in my infant music career, it’s not unlike having a certain aphasia.  I’m like someone who’s woken from a coma, or perhaps a victim of brain aneurism, rehabilitating his linguistic capacity.  Until recovery happens upon me, I’ll continue to read my music with a level of headlighted-dear syndrome.  For those of you fluent in music, you can simulate my condition by staring at John Stump’s works {1}, but mind you not too hard.  It might cause an aneurism!

Here is an example score titled, “Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz (from ‘A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich’)”

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. Oh thank goodness for Google Image Search!  Otherwise, I never would have found such a treasure trove as one John Stump, parody composer extraordinaire []

1 Comments

  1. “It is… how you say?… ‘La’!” I bust out laughing reading that. Love it.

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