Musical Imaging | INFJ Forum

Musical Imaging


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Retired Staff
Nov 12, 2008
1w2 sx/so/sp
Hear me out on this one. I understand that there are several different threads relating to music floating around the forum right now, but I feel this warents it's own topic in this case. Music seems to be central to nearly everything about me. Most things I think feel and do somehow link back to the idea of music. Most people are like this (some more then others), so this could be why there are many threads on music at this current time.

I was talking with a friend of mine last night, and of course the topic of music came up. It seems to always because it is very important to me. We were showing each other examples of music to each other to see what we thought. Anyway, I found myself at an impass with it again. I was trying to word out why I like some music, and why I dislike some. I eventually came up with this analgoy to shape and motion. Hear me out with this because it might sounds muttle on paper (it is easier for me to explain person).

For me, when I hear music, certain sounds, clips, and patterns are appealing to me, and I am drawn to them. When I hear them, it illicts a certain emotional or mental response in me that I align to. If I imput it in my head enough and focus on it, I can translate it into a simple motion, shape, or pattern that can be physically seen. Some patterns are longer then others, but they are rarely longer then a few seconds. Longer ones are hard for me to actually make tangiable for others to understand. Let me use an example. When I hear this song, there is a sound pattern I hear in it that I greatly like and align to. It has to do with the core beat of the song (this is where transcribing it on paper becomes limiting, because I can motion it out with my hand and point out the exact sounds in person). When I listen to it, this is a relative shape-motion pattern that I can derive out of it:


The image is horrible, but it is the closest I can come to explaining it without being in person. The reason I chose this song is because this pattern I can "derive" is rather simple. Also, this is important, this is not a static image. If you can imagine a "marker" tracing along the image from left to right, with varying speed. The image I create in my minds eye is not always present, it is a motion. Nevertheless, having it drawn down as a static image helps others visualize it. This image also does not repeat constantly, it does change when the sound changes with it. Finally, this is not the only image I can derive (there are others that are more complex that have more meaning). I also really simplified this down to draw it out.

Here is some important notes I want to get out: One, this is not a form of synthesaia, I do not have that. As such, I have to focus and derive these out. The problem with that is these shape pattern motions will not always be constant. As this is new to me, I don't know this for sure, but I feel that over time if I don't focus on a specefic shape pattern motion that I will in effect forget it over time, and when I rederive it it will appear different. There is often more then one pattern to just one song that I could pull out. Not all song have patterns derived from them. The final bit is many of these patterns that I would want to transcribe down, can not be. Most are 3 dimentional, and I could not put them down online unless I was a skilled graphic artist. I can motion it out with my hands, but that doesn't always give the correct meaning to it.

If I can't derive a pattern out of a song, almost always, I will not like the song. This is just applying some kind of tangiable meaning to music in the way one relates to it. These shapes and motions are alignments in effect, something I relate to. This song, which I do not like at all (in fact I can't STAND it), I can not derive a pattern from. Also, just because a pattern is derived, doesn't mean it will create an alignment. Patterns are important, and usually needed, but not required for me to like music.

So, now that I got the explination and reasoning out, I have this to ask of all of you. I know this is esoteric, but I want some of you to try this out for yourself. Are you able to derive motion patterns in this way, and if so, make it out and post it here. I also wonder if some people inately do this. I feel that I have always done this in my mind but never actually brought it out until I forced myself to explain sounds further. As such, I bet most musically inclined people do this as well. It will be really interesting to see of people come up with similar image motion patterns. Also explain how you derive these, and any shortcomings the image has, as I know that it is hard to draw. Also add anything you feel you want or need to. This is really hard for me to explain and I know I missed some points.
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I would find it extremely hard putting my images to paper, they are way to complicated, and sometimes too simple.

[ame=""]YouTube - Solar Quest - Singtree (interstella hubble deep field mix)[/ame]

I am interested as to what image you 'see' in this song. Mine has the waves of the almost binaural beat going up and down with circles getting bigger and smaller beside it every now and then. That is mainly the background noises giving off that vibe.
Ok I honestly don't have time to listen to that song cuz I got class like.... now. But I experience musical imaging so often I really shouldn't listen to it while I drive...
I do this too. I'm pretty sure it's almost impossible to put on paper. It's like having a..visual feeling or something. So weird, I can't explain it. But I know what you mean. I hadn't really thought about it that much until now, but you're right. It does have a lot to do with whether or not I like a song. It's like it just connects somewhere deep in the brain where it's too hard to put into solid words or images. Music is amazing.
this is how i see music, too. literally, i see it. like patterns. and then i relate those patterns to scenes. those scenes create a story. the story elicits a mood. that's how i convey my feelings.

i really like ableton and other programs like those for music because you can see your patterns. i draw my song ideas out but more like tablature (ithink it's called). Mostly, to me, becuase of electronic stuff, music is patterns that r like tetris. certain little pockets of sound align with the correct other little pockets of sound at the right time in clusters (the patterns).
I wonder if it has anything to do with musical training? I mean, is it more common or pronounced in people who have taken music lessons or actively play and create music? At least more than someone who just listens occasionally for fun. It seems like it would be enhanced by experience in trained listening and making of music. I don't know.
I do not experience what you describe at all. To me, sound and music are just what they are. The only other thing that sometimes enters my awareness is a parallel of the sound/music to math, and that can be an intense experience of aesthetic/cognitive/emotional beauty leading to pleasure. That said, the math part isn’t visual at all either.

I have had some musical training in my life as it concerns playing an instrument and reading music, but it has been fairly casual, and not extensive by any means. If musical training extends to listening to music as well, I can say I have had a lot of training. Ask tovlo about my music and sound fascination and enjoyment. :wink:

i really like ableton and other programs like those for music because you can see your patterns.

This is precisely the reason I dislike most sequencing and audio software - the use of the eyes changes my state of awareness such that musical free-flow comes to a stop. Music-making becomes a technical process in that environment.

I tend to like to use algorithmic or modular-generative processes, e.g., Clavia Nord Modular, Eventide H8000FW, Five12 Numerology Pro 3, and so on, in making sound and music where the process of creation can be abstracted in my mind, but can’t be represented either directly visually or temporally linearly.