Posts Tagged ‘music and memory’

Music and Best Practice of Karma

Saturday, April 30th, 2016



Music and Best Practice of Karma





The 12 Laws of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma


The Twelve Laws of Karma

(An excerpt from ‘Flow Centre’ by David Jean-Baptiste)

Music and Best Practice of Karma


1. The Great law
‘As you sow so shall you reap’. There is nowhere to hide. This law is often known as the law of cause and effect. Whatever you do will come around full circle, irrespective of what other people think of you or say. Go about your business and treat all men, women and things in the world with respect, and things will come around for you the right way.



2. The Law of Creation
We ourselves are in control of the various elements in our lives and the situations we find ourselves in. You are not separate from the universe, we are all connected as a tiny part of one great moving universal system. Creation of the world you live in is born of the mind, your thoughts, mental pictures with emotion supporting those pictures, and beliefs become your physical world.



3. The Law of Humility
Acceptance is the key to change and growth. What you refuse to accept will continue for you, until you have enough humility to accept the truth of your situation to yourself at a deep level. When you have enough humility to accept your current situation to those you love, cheer and desire good for you, this can be a powerful catalyst to rapid change.
When another person behaves in an inappropriate manner, we may need enough humility to take the higher ground.



4. The Law of Growth
‘Where ever you go you take yourself with you’. As human beings we live in the physical world of now, experience thought in the mental world, and expand awareness through the spiritual world. To grow we must change, as we are the only ones who can do it. A burning desire to grow may be all you need. Raise the vibration of thought, give from the heart, and watch your life change for the better.



5. The Law of Responsibility
Situations and events in life reflect how we are and how we behave. When something turns for the worse in our world, we have to take responsibility for it. Sometimes shit happens. We mirror our surroundings and our surroundings mirrors us; this is a universal truth.



6. The Law of Connection
Everything we do matters even if you think it is irrelevant, it is all connected. Take care of the small money and the big money will take care of itself.

It is of massive importance that you take action to start the journey to make those changes you desire to see happen in your life.

Step by step, each step you make brings you a little closer. Celebrate each milestone you reach and enjoy the moment. Learning and growth acquired along the way is even more valuable than reaching the destination. Every particle and wave in the physical, mental and spiritual realms is connected as a form of energy.



7. The Law of Focus
Power comes through focusing the mind completely on something. Think about the power a pointed arrow has to penetrate a hard surface. This is the power of meditation. Meditation, ‘to concentrate on something for an extended period of time’.



8. The Law of Giving and Hospitality

‘To know and not to do is the same as not to know’.

There is another saying that says, ‘give and you shall receive’.

Giving ten percent of what you earn to a charity or organization you believe in is known as tithe. The word tithe can be looked upon as ‘tie thee’. Ten percent of your talent in the real world becomes a seed to tie you to your universal presence; so that the next cycle of the decimal system can grow. It is the zero that matters. You tie 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, then you tie thee to the presence. Tie thee makes a tie, a link to the universe and your source of supply. By giving a tenth you are planting a seed that makes your supply grow into the next cycle.



9. The Law of Here and Now

‘The point of power is in the present’.

Looking either backward or forward must only be used as a resource to build upon our present situation.



10. The Law of Change
History repeats itself until we get leverage and interrupt the pattern of behavior that repeats. The ego is a powerful thing which entire existence depends on keeping you where you are. Gradually loosen the grip the ego has over you by practicing external awareness, through the practice of meditation of all descriptions, practicing no-mind and regular visualizing.
Nerve cells that fire together wire together, a bad habit may give a person pleasure as a secondary gain. All neurological patterns are designed to move you from pain to pleasure, both positive and negative ones. Interrupt the negative pattern. Smoking cigarettes may give a person relaxation, get leverage and learn to relax without the cigarette. Being depressed may get someone attention from other people, scramble this pattern and create a new alternative by getting attention when feeling awesome. ‘You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it’. Nerve cells that don’t fire together don’t wire together, you have the power to change the limited pattern of behavior. Try doing something you don’t expect, the more off the wall it is the more effective it will be.

Scramble the sensations we link to our stupid patterns of behavior beyond recognition, and reinforce with new and better ones. Your brain cannot tell the difference between something intensely imagined or what is experienced in reality because the same neural nets fire for both.
The law of reinforcement, any pattern of emotion or behavior that is continually reinforced will become an automatic response. Creating new choices of behavior or response without reinforcement won’t last. Continually reinforce attitude behind the shifts you desire to make, and the changes will appear.



11. The Law of Patience and Reward
Anything worthwhile requires work to begin with. True satisfaction comes through working towards something we value, and enjoying the process; knowing that the rewards will eventually appear.



12. The Law of Significance and Inspiration
People get back from something what has been put into it. The true value of something is a direct result of the energy expended.

Albert Einstein’s groundbreaking equation E=MC2 is interesting to look at in view of what it means in daily life. E as Energy, M as Mass and C as the Constant of Proportionality. Mass energy is proportional to mass. Twice as much mass means twice as much energy, therefore no mass means no mass energy. C2 does the job of converting from the unit of mass to the unit in which energy is expressed. In a similar way C2 is a price. It is energy per unit mass.
Let’s change it to C=SP2 C being the cost of shares, is equal to the number of shares S multiplied by the price per share P.


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Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Music and Best Practice of Karma



Playing Music with Passion

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Playing Music with Passion


What drives your passion positively?

Playing Music with Passion

Passion sometimes reaches boiling point. What happens when your passion for something, someone or a situation in your life was so intense it was on fire, burning inside you with life?
Passion is it!!!
You need to locate your passion button and turn it on. Can you think of a time when you felt passionate towards something you did or someone in your life?
Passion is the magical elixir that makes things happen.
What are you positively passionate about?
What do you love?
What gives you strongest feeling positively?
What makes you sizzle?
What melts you?
Where are you?
What are you doing?
Explain the scenario in detail.

What do you hear see and feel?
What’s in the picture?
How are you dressed?
Is there any color you focus on the most?
As you think of it is it a movie or a picture in still frame?
Is it in color or in black and white?
Is the image on the right, the left or centre weighted?
Is the image positioned up, middle or down?
Is the image bright, dim or dark?
Is the image life-size bigger or smaller than life-size?
Is the image near you or further away?
How does your level of pleasure change when you bring it closer to you?
Is the speed of the image fast medium or slow?
Is there a particular element focused on consistently?

Are you in the picture or watching it from afar?
Does the image have a frame or is it picture panoramic?
How does making your picture 3 dimensional change the level of pleasure you feel?
Is there a particular color that impacts you the most?
From what viewpoint are you looking at the picture, are you looking down on it, up at it, from the left or right or at an angle?
Is there anything else that triggers strong feelings?
Find the zoom lens of your camera and zoom in.
Are there sounds in the picture? Is there a sound that impacts the level of pleasure you feel the most?
Are you saying something to yourself or hearing it from others? How do you hear or say it?

What specifically do you hear or say? How many sounds are there, and where do they come from?
If you are imagining the sound of someone’s voice experiment with different inflections and accents.
What does raising the volume do to the level of pleasure you feel?
What tonality is it? Are there deep and bass sounds and or higher ones?
Are they even or changing sounds?
At what pace do you hear it, how fast is it?
Can you feel the music in your body?
How does the rhythm and vibration impact the level of pleasure you feel?
Does it speed up or does it slow down?
Where is the sound coming from?
Is the sound melodic or unmelodic?
Is the sound in harmony or noisy?
Is the sound regular or unusual?

Do you hear it more in one ear than the other?
If there is a voice is there inflection in it?
Are certain words emphasized?
How long does the sound last?
Is there something unique about the sound?
Is there anything else that triggers strong feelings?
Now double the feeling and the passion…and then again.
As you remember this pleasurable experience, how does changing the feeling elements intensify or decrease your pleasure?
Does raising the temperature intensify the level of pleasure you feel?
Did you notice a texture change, rough or smooth?
Is the sensation on touch rigid or flexible?
Is there vibration?
How intensely do you feel the vibration?
Is there an increase or decrease of pressure?

Where was the pressure located?
How was your pulse rate?
Was there an increase of tension or relaxation?
Was there movement if so what was the direction and speed?
How was your quality of breathing, deep and even? Where did it end/start?
Enjoy the weight, possibly of your feet on the ground, are they heavy or light?
Are the feelings steady or intermittent?
Did it change size or shape?
We’re feeling coming into body or going out?
What is the quality of air on skin, thicker than air?
Lighter than water?
Is there anything else that triggers strong feelings?
Was the aroma sweet, musty or fragrant? Was the aroma uplifting or relaxing?
Find your passion button, step into it and fire up your intention in motion.

David Jean-Baptiste

The Wellness Clarinet LTD


Playing Music with Passion

Music and Creative Flow

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Music and Creative FlowFC02

Music and Creative Flow. Have you ever had a creative evening when time suddenly flew by? A day when you executed a difficult project at work flawlessly? A brief moment in time when your challenging exercise routine felt effortless?

All of these times you were in a state of flow.

Flow is a concept developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the University of Chicago, who has studied the phenomena his whole career. Daniel Pink reintroduces the concept in his new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Many people flow through their lives in an effortless fashion, while countless others have a difficult time achieving a flow state.

Why flow is hard to achieve
Flow is a moment in time when you’re both challenged at the activity that you’re doing, and when you also have complete autonomy in the task you’re conducting.

We engage in flow under your own volition, with a skill which we’ve had some amount of experience.

If you’re not flowing, it’s probably because you aren’t allowing yourself to be challenged, you’re completely overwhelmed, or someone else is holding you back.

The majority of my experience with flow has been with dance and writing. I’ve studied dance for many years, and one of the technical skills that dancers work on is called improvisation. Improv is very tricky in dance. You have to turn off your mind and simply dance with your instincts.

When you’ve mastered improv dance, you’ve reached the sweet spot between your brain transferring commands to your nervous system. There is no longer any thinking involved, as thinking in improv dance will make everything stop. There just isn’t any time for brainwork when you are constantly moving.

Csikszentmihalyi hypothesizes that these moments of flow occur because we’re simply activating too many neurological functions. Because of this we no longer have capacity to be aware of what functions we’re engaging in. So the ‘conscious of me’ part of the mind switches off, your awareness of yourself slips away, and you just do.

You’re simply flowing in the the present moment
I have also experienced flow in writing. I think it’s very important for writers to engage in flow. A lot of writers stop and meticulously edit their work after every sentence, but writing this way (for most people) is counterproductive.

Why? I believe it’s because of the same reason that dancers can’t stop dancing in improvisation. If you just keep writing for 30 minutes without stopping, you give your mind a chance to turn off the ‘conscious of me’ brain functions. This in turn grants more brain power to challenging the boundaries of your writing ability.

You cannot edit while you’re producing work. If you do, you’ll be constantly switching between your right brain and your left brain. Your creative center will be switching off and on and it will be harder to produce anything meaningful.

A classic example of real world flow
Ray Bradbury was a freelance writer who was trying to support his family. However, he was working at home with his cute little children. This proved to be incredibly distracting, so he had to find somewhere else to write. So, he headed over to UCLA’s Lawrence Clark Powell Library.

In the basement of the library there was a number of typewriters that gave 30 minutes of writing time for a dime.

Ray was very poor at the time, and needed all the money he could to support his family. Whenever he popped in the dime, he wanted to get his month’s worth. This forced him to write at a frantic pace until his time was up. The most frustrating element of writing the novel was when the typewriter keys tangled, because it meant that he was wasting valuable time.

In between these 30 minute typewriter banging sessions, he would wander the halls of the library studying books and contemplating what he would write for the next 30 minutes.

The novel Ray finished was classic sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451. He created this novel in record amount of time, and recalled feeling as if the flow of time had accelerated. The novel wrote itself, effortlessly.

Think about how important it is to flow
I really believe many people miss this aspect of engaging in their work. If you aren’t flowing, you’re not reaching the peak of your ability. There is so much untapped hidden potential in flow, just waiting to be retrieved.

People who have learned flow are challenging themselves and creating work at their best.

We no longer have dime typewriters at the library, but there are a number of ways to practice flow without them.

Music and Creative Flow

9 simple ways you can bring yourself into flow

  1. Pick a enjoyable, challenging activity. The easiest way to enter flow is by doing something you love. The activity also needs to challenge you, one you are extremely passionate about, that you enjoy doing, and that causes you to grow. If the activity is boring to tedious you won’t enjoy it, and so there is no way you can engage in flow.
  2. Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, log out of twitter, switch off gmail. If you’re constantly flipping back and forth between different tasks you’ll never be able to achieve flow. A foreign distraction will quickly bring you out of the flow mindset.
  3. Think before you do. Do any research or preparation before you engage in the activity you wish to flow in. If you stop and do research while writing, or have to grab a bite to eat in the middle of a run, you’ll throw yourself out of the grove. Preparation is the only way to avoid that.
  4. Isolate yourself. The best way to achieve flow is alone. If you’re in a room full of people, your mind will constantly be drawn away from what you’re doing. Shut the door, put on headphones, or find another way to isolate yourself.
  5. Let go. Give up any expectations that you have for yourself. If you enter a flow situation with preconceptions about the results that you’ll get from the practice, you’ll inevitably disappoint yourself. You also run the risk of narrowing your focus to a point where you can’t change coarse naturally if your flow takes you down a road less traveled.
  6. Give yourself a time limit. Like Bradbury, set a timer on your activity. Give yourself 30 minutes of uninterrupted flow time and just go at it with everything you’ve got. Forget about how much time you’ve been doing the activity, and how much time you have left, just flow. You may just find that you lose track of time completely.
  7. Keep moving. Continuous motion is key to flow, don’t give your mind a chance to start second guessing what you’re doing. Keep moving with the activity you’re flowing in. Go at a pace that’s challenging for you, but not overwhelming. You want to be calm and collected, but also have forward momentum.
  8. Don’t think. Switch off the part of your brain that observes what you’re doing. This is your self-consciousness, your ego, your sabotage. Why flow is so important is that it circumvents the necessity to constantly critique yourself. This can be hard, if you’re used to constantly second-guessing everything you do, but it is so important to successfully entering flow.
  9. Practice. Like any useful skill, flow takes time to master. Don’t stress if you can’t do it right away. If you’re interested in achieving a state of flow, you need to practice regularly. Set a time every day that will be dedicated flow time. Eventually you’ll start to recognize when you’re flowing, and when you’re not. After many hours of practice, you’ll eventually become a flow master.

Music and Creative Flow

Everett Bogue is the author of The Art of Being Minimalist, and writes about living a simple minimalist life at Far Beyond The Stars

Jazz Clarinet Players

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Jazz Clarinet Players

When you hear the phrase, “New Orleans jazz,” what three instruments immediately come to mid? That’s right: cornet, trombone, and clarinet. In those early jazz combos, the clarinet provided a soaring, high register obbligato that enhanced, and, in the hands of the amazing Sidney Bechet, challenged, the cornet’s lead line. A decade or so later, the clarinet occupied a rightful place as one of the signature instruments of the big band era, serving as a distinctive tone color in the ensemble and an important solo voice. After all, the so-called “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman, was a jazz clarinet player.

But starting with the bebop era, the clarinet inexplicably began to fall out of fashion in jazz. Despite the persistence of such gifted boppers as Buddy De Franco and Jimmy Hamilton, by the end of the 1950s the instrument had all but disappeared from the music’s mainstream. None of the important small bands of the day, and, with the exception of Duke Ellington, very few big bands, featured a clarinetist. As a consequence, few pure clarinet players – as opposed to saxophonist doublers – came to prominence in jazz in the post-war period.

Today, many (perhaps most) jazz listeners regard the clarinet as a relic of the past, the property of moldy figs and swing-era diehards. Nevertheless, though the 1960s and 1970s the avant-gardists, in their quest for new sounds (as well as old ones), rediscovered the instrument, at least in a limited way. Some even began to feature members of its extended family, like the alto, bass, and contrabass varieties, occasionally in multi-clarinet ensembles. And during recent decades, this music has been enriched by a handful of dedicated clarinet specialists, like the late John Carter, Alvin Batiste, and Don Byron, who have fought to keep their instrument in the forefront of creative jazz.

Sidney Bechet: The Best of Sidney Bechet (Blue Note, 1994; original recordings, 1939–1953)
This New Orleans-born master dominated every ensemble he ever played in with his florid, vibrato-driven bravura. Among its treasures, this collection includes two genuine jazz masterpieces: Bechet’s soulful clarinet blues, “Blue Horizon,” and “Summertime,” featuring his inimitable soprano saxophone.

Jimmie Noone: An Introduction to Jimmie Noone: His Best Recordings, 1923–1940 (Best of Jazz,1997)
Originally a New Orleans contemporary of Bechet, Noone made his mark in Chicago as both a blues specialist and a singular interpreter of such popular tunes as “I Know That You Know” and his lovely theme song, “Sweet Lorraine.” He also was an early and important influence on the young Benny Goodman.

Barney Bigard: Barney Bigard Story, 1929–1945 (EPM,1996)
Bigard brought the New Orleans Creole clarinet tradition into Duke Ellington’s orchestra, where, from 1928 to 1942, his fleet solos and intricate embellishments lent color and character to countless jazz classics. His long post-Ellington career included a stint with Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars (1946–55).

Benny Goodman: Complete RCA Victor Small Group Master Takes (Definitive,2000; original recordings, 1935–1939)
Although his big band defined the Swing Era for millions of fans, over the years Goodman played his best jazz with his various all-star small groups. This two-CD set spotlights BG’s original trio (with pianist Teddy Wilson and drummer Gene Krupa) and quartet (which added Lionel Hampton on vibes).

Buddy De Franco: Mr. Clarinet (Verve,1953)
De Franco emerged from mid-1940s big band reed sections (notably that of Tommy Dorsey) to become the essential bebop clarinetist. This typically brilliant session features his stellar working quartet of the day with pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Art Blakey.

Jimmy Hamilton: Can’t Help Swingin’ (Prestige,1961)
For 25 years (1943–1968) this technically superior musician served as Duke Ellington’s principal clarinet soloist. Hamilton plays both clarinet and his Ben Webster-inspired tenor saxophone on these tracks, which also feature two all-time jazz giants, trumpeter Clark Terry and pianist Tommy Flanagan.

Eric Dolphy: Out There (New Jazz/OJC,1960)
More than anyone else, this visionary multi-reedplayer established the bass clarinet as a jazz instrument. On this pianoless quartet date with Ron Carter on cello, Dolphy is heard on bass (“Serene” and “The Baron”) and B-flat clarinets (Charles Mingus’ “Eclipse”), as well as flute and alto saxophone.

John Carter: Castles of Ghana (Grammavision,1986)
A gifted instrumentalist and an important composer, Carter helped carve a niche for the clarinet in the jazz avant-garde. This recording, the second movement of his monumental five-part epic Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music , is regarded by many as Carter’s finest work.

Clarinet Summit (Alvin Batiste, John Carter, Jimmy Hamilton, David Murray): In Concert at the Public Theater (India Navigation,1981)
Formed by John Carter, this quartet united three hardcore modernists – Carter, Batiste (who lives and works in New Orleans), and Murray (on bass clarinet) – with respected veteran Hamilton. Their now legendary debut concert offered a wide-ranging repertoire of Ellingtonia, bebop, and free playing.

Hamiet Bluiett: The Clarinet Family (Black Saint,1984)
This eight-clarinet ensemble (plus bass and drums) truly encompasses the instrument’s entire family, from the tiny E-flat sopranino to the large contrabass. This one-time-only live performance features Bluiett on alto clarinet, along with such accomplished clarinetists as Buddy Collette, Don Byron, and J.D. Parran.

Don Byron: Music for Six Musicians (Nonesuch,1995)
Committed to bringing the clarinet back into the forefront of creative jazz, Byron respects no musical boundaries. His creed is, “If it can be played, it can be played on the clarinet” – swing, klezmer, lieder, show tunes, funk, or, on this sextet session, skronky, Afro-Cuban-inspired original compositions.

Paquito D’Rivera: The Clarinetist: Vol. 1 (Music Haus,2001)
On this rare all-clarinet recording, the Cuban-born reed virtuoso performs with a chamber orchestra and a Latin jazz rhythm section, and in trio with piano and cello. D’Rivera skillfully bridges the gap between classical and jazz, with a healthy helping of tango á la Astor Piazzola mixed in.


Jazz Clarinet Players

The Nebulous Paradox of Modern Clarinet

Monday, March 7th, 2016

10386755_10152589713867726_4162785759336460068_nMay the classical player play Weber’s concertos differently from the last time performed. Some may say this is a challenge, but when looked upon in the bright light of reality it is not really. Great clarinetists do this consistently and naturally making hairs stand on end each time at that. We may embrace the same intention of awareness when playing the music of Brahms and Mozart, Poulenc and Milhaud. Playing the notes and then forgetting them. Meaning our spirit and true nature takes command over our controlling and suppressive musical tendencies. So we can flow and therefore speak through the notes of the music like a new wave of consciousness. So we can feed our audience something new and inspirational; even though the presentation of notes, their order, melodies rhythms and harmonies of the music, may have remained the same as they have always been for the past 300 years.

A key goal in jazz music is to be open to the moment musically and to respond accordingly, rather like a medium of sort; a musical response to the musical inclinations of the other performing musicians on stage. Also to the audience; aiming to create a new melody or feeling. I know a Danish pianist composer and improviser who can improvise complete works of music. Every time he plays it will be different to anything you heard previously. He simply has an open channel to universal energy flow. So therefore if we can do this It must be possible for a clarinetist to tap into subtle energies in a room of people so to create a euphoric feeling in them when playing the music of Bach for example.

Once at a small Improvised music event in London, two experimental improvisers toyed on stage. They toyed around looking for new ways to turn their performance, and to take the audience by surprise. At one point the bassist of the duet rolled up a carpet he was using to keep his bass in place while playing and began hitting his bass with the carpet, producing some weird but different acoustic effect. “What is that man doing to that lovely instrument?” was the general feeling in the room. Through the ensuing shock that followed and general apprehensive atmosphere in the audience created by this action, someone shouted out “Rubbish!” a brief pause followed, then…”rubbish rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.” The very next turn in the music saw the musicians using the word rubbish spontaneously in their improvisation. Be clear on this, not to say improvisation is rubbish, because it is an art form as valid as any.

The new iPhone 7 comes out this soon, if you want to be on the edge of it all; include a new ringtone from the latest iPhone in your current recording. This is something that could never have happened in the past.

So in summary modern clarinet performance has everything to do with present moment awareness and responsiveness to what’s happening in the moment. These might be thought processes, sensations, dreamscapes as well as physical occurrences. Both jazz and classical music it is the same processes at play; tune up and tune in.

Have Fun, David

© The Wellness Clarinet Ltd 2016

Music and Memory

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012


Retention and Recall are quite simply what memory is all about. It is the ability to hear music in your head by heart, and to be able to recall the music by heart where and when it is needed. Your brain’s ability to retain and recall information is staggering, you have virtually unlimited potential; you will find practical techniques to master retention and recall later in this book.

Types of memory

There are several kinds of memory and it’s useful to know about them.These are, muscularmemory; aural memory; visual memory, where the musician creates a mental picture of the music score and or the geography of an instrument. There is standard memory, hand memory, intellectual memory, the type of memory that is based on analysing the music in detail, working memory, long-term memory, eidetic memory and déjà vu.

Muscular memory consists of the movements of the hands, arms and fingers that the brain recalls easily if there has been a lot of repetition in the learning process. So for muscular memory repetition is vital. Dancers have a saying `get the dance in the muscle´. The same applies to musicians.

Aural memory consists simply of remembering the tune in your head, basically picking the notes from out of the air. This can be developed to include the chord changes of the song, recognising patterns, scales and intervals. We all have some natural aural memory because everyone can sing or whistle a tune without access to the music. Attaining a highly developed aural memory requires much training; jazz and folk music demands its performers to be particularly
developed in this area.

Visual memory relates to the written music page. This is about recognising patterns and shapes on the page, and reproducing them in your mind’s eye; this could be called photographic memory. You can remember the way the music is set out on the page and actually what the notation looks like in the form of a picture in your mind.

Standard memorization gives the musician the ability to begin at any point in the music, and to play until a specific point in the music. This type of memorization requires more practice and concentration than hand memorization (see below). Those who want to become instructors must be good at standard memorization, because they will be required to play small portions of music during the teaching process. It is also very convenient to cut the
length of a particular piece for time-constrained performances.

Hand memory is not a conscious type of memorization like you might use to learn musical terms like adagio, allegretto or the running order of songs in a concert. Instead, the brain actually memorizes the pattern followed by the fingers and the musician generally does not need to think about what they are playing as it happens. This type of memorization is excellent when the musician needs to play the entire piece from memory. However, it is not quite as powerful as standard memorization.

Intellectual memory consists of knowing and analysing how the music is constructed in every detail inside and out. Things like knowing all the scales, arpeggios and chords, recognising and remembering them as they appear in the music aid intellectual memory. Chords are particularly helpful since they show how most of the notes
relate to each other. Knowing about chords, progressions and structures helps to understand how the music unfolds.

Working memory or short-term memory is quite simply the amount of musical information that a person can hold for a brief period of time in the conscious part of mind. Modern research has shown that a person can hold up to seven plus or minus two chunks of information at a time, before they basically trance out. This can be a very useful thing to know when taking in information.

Long-term memory is information that we keep stored for a long time. Most people can remember the first song they learned to play on their instrument. Long-term memory has virtually infinite capacity.

Eidetic memory, photographic memory, or total recall is the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with great accuracy and in seemingly unlimited volume; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had this ability.
Déjà vu , a subjective feeling that an experience that is occurring for the first time has been
experienced before. This is moving more into the paranormal aspect of memory. However this has happened to me on more than one occasion, where I found myself playing in a place where I had only previously visited in a dream.

Fringe Benefits

In addition to music, musicians are generally excellent at memorizing just about anything. Many times, the unconscious ability to memorize comes as a surprise to adults who began music education as a young child. Often, they do not equate their unique ability with thecountless hours of instrument practice and sight-reading. However, there is definitely a significant advantage when memorization skills are developed at young age and are not the sole focus of one’s efforts. Memorization abilities are merely a side effect of doing something amusician loves to do, playing and playing well from memory.

Those who realize their unique ability to memorize will excel in other areas of their life, in education for example. And, the ability to utilize the brain’s power to memorize increases confidence and allows older adults to maintain their memory function longer than those who have never had any sort of musical training. Certainly piano players are often considered the best memorizing musicians. In reality this is not really true, playing any musical instrument
well and spending the time necessary to perfect passages of any sort will give the musician a definitive ability to stay sharp and focused throughout their lifetime.

There are many ways that music assists our memory processes. Some music helps to hold part of our attention, and we take in more information in a highly focused state. Such music can lead people into an alpha brain wave state. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has power to do this. Try writing or reading while listening to Bach. Alpha is a perfect learning state for taking in information through auditory channels. Music also evokes emotions and stimulates
visual imagery.

Have Fun, David

David Jean-Baptiste

© The Wellness Clarinet Ltd 2012