A Visual Approach to Music in the 21st Century
MusicaVision is an integrated study that takes an interdisciplinary approach not only to the art of musical design, but to the process of design in general. The idea is to help one gain a better insight and understanding of the complex associations and influences within a topic such as music. This study approaches this goal by incorporating knowledge from multiple disciplines such as the physical sciences, perception & sensation, neuroscience, mathematics, technology, design, architecture, the visual arts and animation. It relies on the use of analogies to link concepts from such diverse disciplines, as well as visualization techniques to help form a better comprehension of more abstract ideas. The main advantages of this approach are:
1. To use one concept or discipline to help better understand and remember another through the association of common attributes. This can work both when using something that we are already familiar with to understand something unfamiliar to us, as well as when using more concrete based ideas to understand concepts that are abstract in nature.
2. Ideas from one area or discipline can be used to inspire new ideas from another, such as using basic scientific principles to inspire new artistic visions. Perceptual information from one sense can also be used at times to help guide or influence another, such as sight influencing sound.
3. Breaking down the barriers between the different disciplines in order to understand not only how everything is connected in one way or another in nature, but also how each of these things can have an influence over the other. This can help us gain a more holistic view in order to get a grasp of the bigger picture of how things work.
People often refer to themselves as being either more creative/imaginative thinkers, or more logical/rational thinkers. Although each hemisphere of the brain appears to carry out certain specialized functions (lateralization), they complement each other in most activities including the learning process. Both creative and critical thinking play an important part in learning and creating music, since music is as much about generating novel ideas as it is about the ability to analyze, make decisions, and comprehend how the parts relate to the whole. It is a thought process which may be referred to as “whole-brain” thinking.
MusicaVision is not meant to be a history lesson, nor is it a study focused on any specific style, genre, or period. It is also not some sort of artificially contrived system that tries to impose a strict set of rules on the user. It’s main purpose is to establish a framework, based on a conceptual understanding of the principles/relationships between acoustics (physical sciences) and psychoacoustics (auditory perception), to help guide one along the way while exploring their options and making decisions. At the same time, it will hopefully help in gaining a better understanding of how ideas come about, interact with each other, and evolve throughout the process.
Investing the time to learn or teach a discipline such as music is not only beneficial for people that want to become performers or musicians one day. Incorporating the arts and music into the learning process has been proven to have many advantages to human development, not only as a means of expression, but to cognitive growth as well. It is important to learn how to generate new ideas, view situations from different perspectives, and discover new ways of approaching challenges, rather than merely memorizing and/or mimicking what has already been done. It is about learning how to think independently on multiple levels simultaneously. It is about learning how to use the different parts of our mind in harmony with one another. It is about creating the future!
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