Roots of Musicality: Music Therapy and Personal Development

By Daniel Perret | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
The Five Elements in Music

Qualitative observation

Numerous phenomena – especially musical ones – remain incomprehensible to the intellect, if one responds to them only with the left side of the brain. It is these phenomena that have always attracted me. I have therefore endeavoured to find ways to observe, discern and understand them better. I have listened to a great deal of non-melodic music that one may call soundscapes or sound paintings. They may particularly suit a qualitative approach. The more I listen, the more I can perceive ways of discerning differences in quality. To what is such discernment actually responding, since there is often no melody, no tonality and no rhythm in these soundscapes? In my training programme I let people listen, for instance, to recordings of six different didgeridoo players and six different musicians playing on singing bowls. Why do we perceive differences of quality with singing bowls? A bowl is struck from time to time, yet within seconds we get a clear impression emanating from the way they are played. This is not due to the quality of the bowls themselves, but rather to the way they are played.

On recordings of didgeridoos you can more or less hear just one note. The playing technique is roughly the same and not necessarily very varied. Yet again we may experience a clear sense of a distinct quality pouring out of every recording. The different qualities experienced cannot be explained logically. The first time I became puzzled by this phenomenon was when looking for a suitable version of the ‘Gavotte en Rondo’ taken from the partitas for solo violin by J.S. Bach. I went to a public library that luckily had five or six different versions of that Gavotte. While comparing them I realised how different the versions of this same musical score were. I finally chose a version played by Itzhak

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Roots of Musicality: Music Therapy and Personal Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword Finding New Energy for Life in Music Shared 7
  • Introduction 16
  • Rhythm of Life (Excerpt) 25
  • Chapter 1- The Psycho-Energetic Approach to Music 26
  • Tonglen Painting 49
  • Chapter 2- The Five Elements in Music 50
  • The Earth’s Breath 87
  • Chapter 3- Neuro-Musical Thresholds 88
  • Snake Dance (Excerpt) 137
  • Chapter 4- Teacher, Musician, Therapist or Shaman? 138
  • Conclusion 153
  • Appendix 1- Musical Instruments 155
  • Appendix 2- qualitative Research 163
  • Appendix 3- Exercise for Centring Oneself 167
  • Appendix 4- Geneviève Haag’s Assessment Scheme for Autistic Children 169
  • Appendix 5- Levels of Experience 171
  • Appendix 6- Music Therapy Evaluation Chart 173
  • Appendix 7- Improvisation Techniques in Music Therapy 177
  • References 183
  • About the Author 185
  • Subject Index 187
  • Author Index 191
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