The Language of Music

music sheet

“Ni hao ma? (How are you?) Wo hen hao, ni ne? (I’m good, how about you?)”

I admire those people who knows how to speak in other language (aside from English and Filipino) that only few people can understand.

Someone says, “To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

Language is the way you express yourself, your thoughts and views in life. Not only does everyone have a different perspective. When you know another language, you get a glimpse into how a different people think and live. That is a different vision of life. Your world opens up to include that other world. You understand “life beyond your own life, your own culture”.

Another famous quote, “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith. Other language allows you to connect and meet new people or just simply express yourselves in a different way.

Same goes to music. It has its own language that only fellow musicians can understand. Yea, sure, we can talk about songs, artists, lyrics and the meaning of it. But I cannot talk about scaling, chords or notes. I cannot go to a technical side on how to play it – if the person I’m talking to – doesn’t play any instrument. (See the language barrier there?) It’s like you’re saying “Wǒ néng tīng dào nǐ, dàn wǒ wúfǎ lǐjiě nǐ” which translates “I can hear you but I can’t understand what you’re saying.” It’s half-baked. You will know how to say any mandarin words but can’t actually make a conversation with a Chinese people.

It’s like knowing the names of the chords/notes but can’t actually play it or the other way around. Notes and Chords aren’t just dots or palatable letters on the music sheets, they have relationship to each other. Music theory provides invaluable tools, a road map for each new musical journey.

If through language we can tell others our feelings, wants, and needs… Our songs, our melody, can tell why it was written and played that way. Granted, there are countless musicians who could move you to tears while still not being able to tell an Ab from a C#. What they lack in music-theory knowledge they make up for with feel, creativity, and intuition. Certainly, you can’t fault someone for that. However, there does seem to be a pervasive attitude of willful ignorance amongst many musicians, a fear-based laziness.

Language learning takes effort. It takes time. It is difficult. But with diligence, you can learn and progress. You’ll see the value. You’ll appreciate what the newly acquired language offers you. This spurs you on to make more progress towards fluency. Same thing applies in knowing the language of music, or MUSIC AS A LANGUAGE ITSELF. Learn your music theory, family chords, scaling, notes. It will help you develop your intellect, emotions, ideas and feelings.


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Going back to Blogging


It’s been a year since my last post here in ardentmelody. I find it hard to blog regularly after some technical errors happened in my blog, oh well, I have a lot of reasons, but it’s not reasonable enough. Things just “slipped away”. One month turned into two months, three months and into a year. (This is normal, right? Is the same thing happening to you?)

But this time, it doesn’t matter how or why I orphaned my blog for so long. What matter is I want to go back. I hope it will not be really hard to go back to blogging after a long hiatus. To give some encouragement to myself, I take note 5 things that will motivate me into writing.


1. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” —William Wordsworth

I think the easiest part of continuing to blog is for me to be able to talk about my feelings. Sharing or writing my thoughts like what it says here. They say writing is partly art and partly skill. The art comes from within and I think that’s what I have right now, I hope skills will follow.


2. Be inspired and motivated.

One of the biggest barriers into blogging is that I may feel uninspired. I ran out of post ideas or hate those topics I already have—either way, something needs to change. To start feeling inspired about my blog again, I decided to put myself in situations where I think of my best ideas; like what I love to do and want to share with others.

The Bible has something to say about motivation. For one thing, our sense of motivation or inspiration comes from God, not from the things of the world. David spoke of his motivation in his psalms: “I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Being in the presence and glory of God is our true motivation.


3. Develop an eye for meaningful things.

I am on my #day93 of my #100happydays (note: 100 happy days is a challenge for all social media users to submit a picture everyday of what made them happy) This challenge help me to find something/someone that is making me happy everyday. Same thing goes into blogging, I think, frequently writing will give me an eye to look for meaningful things happening to me.  (AND sometimes the most meaningful things appear in the most mundane)


4. Improved Time-management skills.

One of the famous reason why some people aren’t blogging or writing is because of “busy schedule” and or “lack of time”. I myself is guilty of that. Now, guess what? I am still busy, however, I don’t want to let the investment in this blog go to waste. So I start to blog again, at least once a week. Not just because Sir Sean told me to do so. I want to do it also for myself, to make plans, include this in my schedule. I know this will lead to a healthier life habits.


5. Inspire others.

Inspiring people starts with one person: yourself. If you have the spark of inspiration, you can inspire others. That’s the key. – Thomas Barta

This will go back to my point number 2. To be inspired and motivated in order for me to inspire others.  It is my joy to inspire others to become a better thinker and better writer.


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