Sunday, March 30, 2014

Paranormal Music Fact for the Day

Music is a big part of most people’s daily lives. Today in Winnipeg we will host the Juno Awards which is the big music award show for Canadian musicians. This being the case it might be important where music comes from and how musicians get their songs.

In studying the music writing process I have come to see that it is much more a paranormal, non-local, and a right brained activity, than anything even close to being rational or carefully planned.

One of the key surprises in his study turned up what might become one of the key elements to the process. Consider the following list of highly successful musicians.

Elvis Presley

All four of the Beatles

Michael Jackson

Jimi Hendrix

Keith Richards – Rolling Stones

Eric Clapton

Jerry Garcia- Grateful Dead

Jimmy Page – Led Zeppelin

Thom Yorke – RadioHead

BB King

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Marvin Gaye

Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden

Angus Young from AC/DC

Eddie Van Halen Slash of Guns and Roses

Jackie Gleason whose orchestra produced 20 record albums


The key thing that links all these musicians is that none of them could read or write music.
Lennon UFO Drawing

The process of what actually happens is best summed up by how John Lennon described the music writing process,

“When the real music comes to me – the music of the spheres, the music that surpasses understanding – That has nothing to do with me because I am just the channel. The only joy for it to be given to me and to transcribe it, like medium.”

The most popular rock song every composed was Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” No one in the band knows where the song came from. Band member Robert Plant described what happened,

“Pagey had written the chords and played it for me. I was holding the paper and pencil, and for some reason I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing our words. I just sat and looked at the words, and then I just about leapt out of my seat.”

Or the process as explained by Michael Jackson.

"It's the most effortless thing in the world because you don't do anything. I hate to say it like that, but it's the truth. The heavens drop it right into your lap, in its totality. The real gems come that way. You can sit at the piano and say, "OK, I'm going to write the greatest song ever written," and nothing. But you can be walking down the street or showering or playing and boom, it hits you in the head. I've written so many like that. I'm playing a pinball machine, and I have to run upstairs and get my little tape recorder and start dictating. I hear everything in it's totality, what the strings are going to do, what the bass is going to do, the harpischord, everything. "

Next question..."Is it difficult translating that sound to tape?"

 Michael: "That's what's frustrating. In my head, it's completed, but I have to transplant that to tape. It's like Alfred Hitchcock said, "The movie's finished," but he still has to start directing it. The song is the same. You see it in its entirety and then you execute it."

The moral of the story might be. If you want to your child to be a great music star don’t send him to music lessons.

For those who thing music is a rational process involving random neurons banging into each other, randomly pulling melodies and words out of thin air, to create music they should watch the following 4 year old destroy the theory.

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