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Hearing music in your mind

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

I want to ask y'all if anyone can hear music in their head with no external stimuli..
Let's say, right now you're in front of your computer, and want to play, for instance, an orchestra in your head, are you capable to do this kind of thing?
Anyone can hear music like they are plugging a MP3 player in their head?

post #2 of 29

Yes.  What's trickier is to be able to play pieces that haven't been written yet.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

So it isn't uncommon then.. I guess it must be something that all musicians share.. do you play an instrument?

post #4 of 29

I'm a semi-musician, used to play piano and guitar but I really only produce music electronically now, I find myself playing music I was listening to yesterday or 2 days ago later on and just looping through certain portions that really catch my mind, some psychological thing.

post #5 of 29
Yes! Good to know I'm not crazy. I've tried explaining this to people in the past, no one ever gets it. Thanks Yann3804!

Sent from my HP TouchPad
post #6 of 29

I hear music in my mind all the time, too bad I can't reproduce most of them.

post #7 of 29

You don't have to be a musician to do this. 

 

Though it's one of the reasons I want to start making electronic music. I get lots of ideas but don't have the technical skill to realize any of them.

 

What's extra frustrating for me is I have no working knowledge of key. So if I'm given some piano roll software, it's still difficult for me to reproduce what's in my head (which is itself in key). I ultimately have to press random buttons until it sounds right.


Edited by Head Injury - 1/12/12 at 7:30pm
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

You don't have to be a musician to do this. 

 

Though it's one of the reasons I want to start making electronic music. I get lots of ideas but don't have the technical skill to realize any of them.


 

Its not too difficult to make electronic music but its still hard of course. I'm actually doing a bit learning right now. These links should help. 

http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/how-to-make-electronic-music-with-computer-where-to-start
http://www.hitsquad.com/
http://www.freesound.org/

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

You don't have to be a musician to do this. 

 

Though it's one of the reasons I want to start making electronic music. I get lots of ideas but don't have the technical skill to realize any of them.

 

What's extra frustrating for me is I have no working knowledge of key. So if I'm given some piano roll software, it's still difficult for me to reproduce what's in my head (which is itself in key). I ultimately have to press random buttons until it sounds right.



Well, if you're not a musician and you have this kind of musical imagery, then you're truly musically gifted.
Point is... at first I thought I was unique because of this ability, but it seems pretty common

If you want to learn music theory, there's this book that successfully describes the basic principles of music composition and theory

http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Computer-Musicians-Michael-Hewitt/dp/1598635034

 


Edited by yann3804 - 1/12/12 at 8:34pm
post #10 of 29

From the more academic reading I've done, most people have this ability to some degree, musicians are just more susceptible to "ear-worms" and also likely have more ability to manipulate and create sounds in their head and perhaps to get these ideas onto paper or through an instrument.  I notice that if I try and "play" a particular song in my head, I often unconsciously conjure up only a few particular instruments, so the "mix" isn't as full or detailed as it would be if I were to actually listen to that particular piece.  I am particularly good at conjuring up interesting synthesizer textures (many of which I've never knowingly heard before), but unfortunately my knowledge of synthesis and sound design is not yet to the level it needs to be to effortless coax those sounds out of my keyboards. 


Edited by LithoJazoSphere - 1/13/12 at 7:07pm
post #11 of 29

If you mean original music, no, but I can play back most things I've heard in my head with very little thought.  I've tried several instruments (piano, clarinet, guitar), but I've never had the patience to master them.  I do sing quite a bit though.

post #12 of 29

I play music in my head all the time.  In fact, I often tap along with my hands.  Also, very unfortunately, I clench and grind my teeth.  I often tap along to songs in my head using my teeth.  My dentist constantly yells at me, and I try to stop, but it's so subconscious that I can't totally stop.

post #13 of 29

It is not totally the same for many I would guess. Some could conjure rock while others a full orchestra. Some hear a single line others many parts playing with counter-point. In many ways it is like the imagination becoming fully actualized which can happen both with pictures as well as sound. I would guess it would also be a type of thing which could be developed better and better with practice. 

 

The next question is where this originates from and is it dependent on the musical experience of the listener?

post #14 of 29
i play music in my head all the time and actually can picture an moving image as well like projected on a screen. i usually think in pictures and so froth and always had. thing is even though i have good imagination, i find it bit hard to lay it down way i imagined it to be, cause most of time never does. i guess my imagination has too much of high expectations or something. don't know.
post #15 of 29

Interesting thread to stumble across...

 

I often "hear" musical structure and certain tones/timbres from different songs that have struck deep emotional chords with me...usually when I am in a certain mood, it becomes almost a song in itself with a beginning and ending...sometimes I do a Bobby McFerrin-like number, boop de booping the tune.

 

As for musicians playing the tune after hearing it in their head...well, there are musicians that just are music and happen to be in people's bodies.  I think they have an innate ability to "grok" the relationships between melody, rhythm, pacing, and structuralize them in peculiar ways that come out as music.

Some are born that way and others learn to the point they "hear" it in their heads and have the eye-hand-aural coordination to make it their own.  Take for example the Keith Jarrett Koln Concert performance, Jerry Garcia doing "Dark Star" at the 8-27-72 Veneta, Oregon show and most recently, bluegrass prodigy Sarah Jarosz' playing....(psst...she is still a teenager!)... clearly you can see they are hearing it in their heads and getting it out there into ours.

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