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The main question you will be asking "how can I begin to make sense of this music?"

Aural investigation: finding answers using your own ear

When musicians talk about ear , what they are really discussing is the part of your brain that makes sense of what you are hearing. It normally does this without any conscious effort, and most people are not even aware of how much their ear understands. The "rules" that a piece of music follows - rules about what types of sounds are good, how they should fit together, and how a piece should start, progress and end - are actually quite complex. You don't have any trouble deciphering familiar musics, though, because your ear already knows the rules. You picked them up just as you picked up the rules for speaking your language, just by hearing it often, in context. You are most likely to notice "ear" when it fails you, when you hear a piece of music that makes no sense to you. Because you don't understand how sounds are supposed to be organized in this kind of music, it may sound boring, foreign, exotic, annoying or noisy.

So the first few times you listen, your main goal is to find some points of reference, things that you can actually hear in the music. These will be based on the knowledge that you already have about music, including:

    Listen with all the knowledge you already have

  • Ear-based knowledge - Even if you have no formal ear-training, you can make use of the aural knowledge you have about more-familiar types of music. Does the recording sound at all like any of the music you already know and like? What specifically sounds different? See the what do you hear? list for suggestions.
  • Movement-based knowledge - Some of your intuitive knowledge about music may not be in the "ear" part of your brain, but instead is in the part of your brain that controls your movements. If you are a dancer, or if you like to clap your hands, tap your feet, or move to your favorite music, then you may find that letting yourself move with this unfamiliar music - dance, clap, conduct, etc. - actually helps you understand the music, and also helps you locate the elements that you do not yet understand. (For example, I find that the easiest way to check whether I am "getting" the rhythm of a piece is to try to conduct along while listening.)
  • Formal music knowledge - This is an exercise in developing intuitive, ear-based understandings, so it is not necessary to have formal knowledge about music theory and notation. But if you do, by all means, make use of it! You may find that your formal understandings are not that helpful - for example, your knowledge of major and minor scales may be inadequate when trying to listen to music based on ragas - but exploring exactly how and where and when they fail will help you understand how this music is different and help you focus on what to listen for.
  • Instrument-based knowledge - Again, this is not necessary for this activity, but if you do know how to play an instrument (or sing), you may want to get out your instrument and either try to play/sing along with the recording or try to reproduce parts of it immediately after listening to it. Can you reproduce the timbre in the recording? How is it different from the timbre that you usually use? Are there stylistic elements (such as ornaments or articulations) that you have trouble reproducing because they are unfamiliar? Is the tuning in the recording different from your normal tuning? Do the notes used seem to belong to a scale, raga, or mode that you know? If not, how are they different?
  • Cultural knowledge - Where does this music come from? What is it for? Who creates it? Who enjoys it? What are their lives like, and how does music fit in? Again, you do not need to know the answers to these questions, but anything you do know may help you understand the music.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Music inquiry. OpenStax CNX. Mar 18, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11455/1.4
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