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Topic: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music  (Read 2456 times)

Offline amo

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WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
on: September 27, 2004, 12:24:24 PM
They are so many things that one can hear, they are so many things on which one might be focused at . So, basically, my question is: WHAT DO YOU ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO?What is your impression?What do you perceive?
-an arhitectural construction
-a scenario, with themes as characters
-something that is strictly...aural, and cannot be descriebed exactly by any other sensations
-you make associations with other kinds of sensations
-a mouvement, an evolution, motifs that combine, rafine and so
- feelings
-any others?
And what number of auditions of the same piece do you need until getting a really good idea of what is actually happening in there?
I look for your answers with very much interest...

Offline Nightscape

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #1 on: September 27, 2004, 06:07:46 PM
It really varies sometimes.  Occasionally, a section of a piece might sound like something - like a scene or an image.   But usually, I follow the melody and rhythms, it's more of an aural thing.

It depends on how lengthy the piece is and how familiar I am with that composer's style (or the style of the piece).  It's hard to listen to a really long piece for the first time and not get lost somewhere... however.  I would say I could probably only absorb about 4-5 minutes in a single hearing.  So a twenty minute work would take me about 5 hearings to really understand.
But if the piece is really good.... it gets better and better with each hearing, even after you 'understand' it (ie don't get lost in it).

Offline amo

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #2 on: September 27, 2004, 07:47:26 PM
Thank you very much, nightscape, that's very interesting! :D

Offline chopiabin

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #3 on: September 28, 2004, 06:57:47 AM
I normally associate pieces with colors and somewhat indescribable "patterns and shapes."

Rach 3 is mostly pale and slate blue
Rach2 is lots of yellows and some blues
Chopin's Ocean etude is lots of dark grays, charteuse, some darker greens
Aeolian Harp -  Lots of pale lavenders and magentas
Scriabin's fifth is lots of Chartreuse, reds, blacks, yellows and feels very organic
Scriabin's 8th is lots of rich purples, blues, grays
The 7th is very silvery and gray

For some pieces I simply can't describe the colors, but there is definitely a visual image of some sort.

Offline nick

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #4 on: September 28, 2004, 04:48:30 PM
Quote
They are so many things that one can hear, they are so many things on which one might be focused at . So, basically, my question is: WHAT DO YOU ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO?What is your impression?What do you perceive?
-an arhitectural construction
-a scenario, with themes as characters
-something that is strictly...aural, and cannot be descriebed exactly by any other sensations
-you make associations with other kinds of sensations
-a mouvement, an evolution, motifs that combine, rafine and so
- feelings
-any others?
And what number of auditions of the same piece do you need until getting a really good idea of what is actually happening in there?
I look for your answers with very much interest...


I listen to the music and try not to think about much of anything. No space for that. Just like if someone is talking to you, not a good idea to be thinking of something else or you might miss something.

Nick


Offline Daevren

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #5 on: September 28, 2004, 06:46:17 PM
I hear pure music. Not colours, stories, emotions, associations, scenarios.

Pure music, musical ideas, I hear the chords, the intervals, the relationships, the rhythm, the tone/chord/key colours, the moving harmony, etc.

Totally abstract. Musical ideas are probably more natural to me than stories, colours, emotions etc...

Offline amo

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #6 on: September 28, 2004, 10:50:09 PM
Thank you. Your replies are so interesting, and also they show how different we are  ::). Is faschinating to find out what actually happens in the others minds or souls or.... :P you figured it out. i sometimes wish to hear what you're hearing. Are you prepared to rent me your mind, Daevren? I think it will get me a lot of hearing music before i could reach up to that level.
I've heard before about what you describe, Chopiabin. But do you associate with colours every note,phrase, or only the entire work?
Anyone has any ideas of some kind of approach or exercises on hearing? And please do not tell me just that i should listen more :P!

Offline namui

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #7 on: September 29, 2004, 06:48:19 AM
I don't have intention to concentrate on any particular aspects of the music I'm listening.

But it seems to me that what mostly get my attention are the harmonization and some communicative intentions that are simple, direct and pronounced.

namui
Just a piano parent

Spatula

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #8 on: September 29, 2004, 07:45:17 AM
Beethoven's Appassionata..I "see" black

Symphony No. 5.  Crimson Red

Shubert's Symphony Nr 9 - Great - I see slight red and a touch of brown, yellow, and green

Chopin - Fantasie Imp .. I see dark blue, then green, then dark blue again

Rachmaninoff PC 2 - 1st movement Warm red, 2nd movement soothing yellow, Finale - decisive blue


Offline Nightscape

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #9 on: September 29, 2004, 09:03:00 AM
Yes, sometimes a piece feels like a particular color... when I think of the piece, sometimes a color with associate itself with it, although it has more to do with the sound and style of the piece than with individual pitches (not synthesia then).

Its opposite for me, I find the Appassionata to be crimson red (1st and 3rd movements) and the 5th Symphony to be black (1st movement).

Scriabin's 8th sonata is blue and green.... turquoise in some ways.  The ending is very "green".

For some reason, I like to think of the Rach 3 as mostly a reddish orange (1st movement), with the cadenza being more of a crimson red.

Ravel's Introduction and Allegro is also reddish orange,  but it isn't at all like the Apassionata or Rach 3.  But that color just seems to fit for that piece, I don't know really.

Offline Daevren

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #10 on: September 30, 2004, 02:52:39 AM
Quote
Are you prepared to rent me your mind, Daevren? I think it will get me a lot of hearing music before i could reach up to that level.


My ear isn't that good as my post might suggest. I don't know if my way of listening is more advanced as other ways of listening to music. I used to think it was less good. I tried to force myself to make up stories, emotions etc. But I didn't find that satisfactory.

My point was, music for me is very abstract. Although my ear has gotten pretty good in the years I can't identify every chord/note(at least not consciously, maybe subconsciously I can) and I don't have perfect pitch or something. Its just that the music itself is more important that the emotions, memories or colours they might bring up. At least, in my mind.

Hearing colours in music is called Synaesthesia. I did some research into it and I found out that its different colours for every individual. This makes me wonder what causes these colours. It can't be the music itself directly, otherwise it would be the same for everyone.

This just shows how complex the human brain is.


Offline chopiabin

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #11 on: September 30, 2004, 05:03:15 AM
It seems to follow phrases more, although a piece will generally have an overlying color scheme.

The opening trills of Scriabin's fifth sonata are like swirls of gray, black, chartreuse, and maybe a little red, then the ascending figures from those trills ascend into a sort of bright yellowy chartreuse - that's just an example.

A lot of times there are indescribable patterns of brightness or darkness within the colors.

It's really hard to describe, but it's not just asscoiating one exact color with a piece - its very dynamic and fluid and follows phrases etc.

Offline Tash

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #12 on: September 30, 2004, 05:58:52 AM
oh yeah i think of colours for different pieces, but that's more when i've listened to them more than once. i like to listen to the melody at first, and then hear what the other parts are doing, and then thinking about the rhythms and tone colour and texture and stuff- result of doing way too much music analysis at school last year- like describe the melody with reference to tone colour and texture, so that's all we think about now!
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Spatula

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #13 on: September 30, 2004, 07:30:56 AM
Quote
oh yeah i think of colours for different pieces, but that's more when i've listened to them more than once. i like to listen to the melody at first, and then hear what the other parts are doing, and then thinking about the rhythms and tone colour and texture and stuff- result of doing way too much music analysis at school last year- like describe the melody with reference to tone colour and texture, so that's all we think about now!


same...I can't "see colours " until I'm familiar and intimate with the piece (in the mature way).

I can't seem to see colours yet out of say...prokie Piano Concertos or Bart 3...yet.  

Actually, I REALLY REALLY like Prokofiev's First PC, its very...adventury-like, some swash-bucking film score.  Like some indiana jones movie....I dunno.

Offline Tash

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #14 on: September 30, 2004, 03:03:47 PM
you can't see colours in bartok3 how can you not! have you not listened to like the WHOLE thing as soon as it starts it's like pale purpley blue and then builds up to stronger colours omg i cannot get over you not liking bartok3
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline teresa_b

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #15 on: September 30, 2004, 11:58:33 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm feeling kind of sea-blue today... :D

I have posted in the past on another music forum in which there was a heated discussion of whether it was even valid to discuss "bright" vs "dark" sound, let alone different colors!!!  (It's a verrry stuffy forum, needless to say.  I was asked not to usa a smilie.  :-X)

Synesthesia definitely exists, and probably more commonly than you might think in some degree.  A few rare people actually SEE the colors simultaneously, but for most, it is not quite so immediate--but I don't know how anyone can deny music evokes colors in the mind.  

BTW--Daevren, you might want to read "A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness" by V.S. Ramachandran.  It's a fascinating little book with a nice discussion of synesthesia and what may be happening in the brain.

Teresa

Offline nick

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #16 on: October 01, 2004, 03:25:49 AM
I knew I was different, and this is another example. I see no colors when I listen to music. Never have. Reading the posts was an eye opener.  Enjoy the colors.

Nick

Spatula

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #17 on: October 01, 2004, 03:25:54 AM
Quote
you can't see colours in bartok3 how can you not! have you not listened to like the WHOLE thing as soon as it starts it's like pale purpley blue and then builds up to stronger colours omg i cannot get over you not liking bartok3


Okay...fine I'll take another shot..

right now first time listening to Shotakovich PC1...sounds original to say the least, but powerful with ideas of conflict (at least what I hear so far in 2nd movement)

Offline rph108

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #18 on: October 01, 2004, 06:25:46 AM
Teresa, what do you mean people actually see colors. Do the actually see them in their vision? And does by simultaneously do you mean more than one color or do they see colors right when they hear the music? This would be mostly people with perfect pitch I'm guessing.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #19 on: October 01, 2004, 01:51:58 PM
rph,

I think synesthetics "see" color in their minds--I don't know the experience exactly, as I don't have it.  I can imagine colors as I hear music, but they don't immediately pop into my consciousness.  

The book I mentioned talks about it, and there are probably other sources that discuss synesthesia, too.  There are also people who have cross-over experience with other senses like smell.

Teresa

Offline Daevren

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #20 on: October 01, 2004, 02:17:47 PM
OK I don't hear colours but the note B is clearly black. And E is clearly red.

Offline Tash

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #21 on: October 01, 2004, 02:32:59 PM
i doubt i have what you're talking about but i do tend to associate colours with numbers and letters and scales and stuff, like i'l say that the number 9 is brown and 2 is green etc, and my friends are like what are you talking about. maybe it's my whole artish background and i'm too obsessed with colour... but i'm interested in that book damn it's not in the uni library hmmm
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline Daevren

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #22 on: October 01, 2004, 03:22:44 PM
Hmm, 9 and 2 are the same...

Offline benji

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #23 on: October 02, 2004, 12:20:04 AM
Scriabin was synaesthetic.  ::)

I'm with nick; I don't see colors with music.  

Offline Daevren

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #24 on: October 04, 2004, 12:28:55 AM
Most people agree that he problably wasn't.

He did have hypochondria, just like Gould.

"Though often considered derived from Scriabin's synaesthesia, a condition wherein one experiences stimulus in one sense in response to real stimulus in another sense, most likely Alexander Scriabin did not experience the physiological condition of synaesthesia, and his color system, unlike most synaesthetic experience, line up with the circle of fifths, indicating that it was a thought out system that was influenced by his theosophic readings and based on Sir Isaac Newton's Optics. "

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: WHAT DO YOU HEAR when you are listening music
Reply #25 on: October 04, 2004, 01:04:27 AM
When I'm strictly listening, and not trying to judge or critique or anything, but just listening for the sake of it, I don't really concentrate on much of anything.  It's hard to describe, but I'm a rather distant listener, I just let the music share an emotion, and if it has intense rythms, I pick up on those very quickly.
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