Category Archives: Music

For instant emotion, add music

Sometimes, after watching a movie or while watching a series, I’ll check out the soundtracks it has. Usually, I’ll be very surprised by how many soundtracks there are. Most of us would only notice the opening song, ending medley, the soundtrack used for epic moments and songs characters in the movie/series actually sing. The louder it is, the more likely it’d be noticed, but you’d be surprised how much even barely audible music can influence a scene. Especially scenes involving emotions.

It’s the reason why sometimes, when we try to imitate scenes from movies in real life, it doesn’t quite have the same effect. A person standing on the road with a cape fluttering in the wind would be loony. A person standing on the road with a cape fluttering in the wind with epic music in the background might look majestic. At least, people would enjoy the music. Try watching your favourite action movies without sound. Their epic moments aren’t likely to be so epic anymore.

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Lyrics

For most of us, the melody of a song is its most important aspect. It’s the selling point of the song. If it doesn’t sound nice, people aren’t going to like it. But what about the lyrics? Some people care, some people don’t, some people memorize lyrics faster than they remember people’s names. I personally find it very difficult to sing songs with swear words in it. I know it’s just a song, but it’s still a swear word. Like Avril Lavigne’s ‘What the Hell’. I like the chorus, a lot, but I don’t sing it because when I reach ‘hell’, my voice just falters and the thing is ‘hell’ goes on for quite a long time, so it’s difficult for me to switch it with a milder word without sounding ridiculous. Most people probably don’t have this problem, since a lot of us swear regularly, but maybe it’d be good if we pay a little bit more attention to what we’re actually singing. The music isn’t the only component of a song.

The difference between Grade 1 and Grade 8 in music

I’ve noticed that the real difference between someone who’s Grade 1 and someone who’s Grade 8 (assuming both are in ABRSM or Trinity where Grade 8 is higher than Grade 1) is really, when it comes down to it, the sheer amount of time spent playing whatever musical instrument their learning, such as the piano. Think about it. It takes years to go to Grade 8. That’s years more of playing the piano compared to someone in Grade 1, who is likely to have only played the piano for a few days up to a year or so.

And the exams. Those annoying stuff where you have to play pieces and scales and technical stuff. The thing is, you have to practice for hours just for one exam. And you have to practice longer the higher grade you are. Taking the exam forces us to get better because the pieces get harder and we have to practice longer to get it right. When you really think about it, by the time we reach Grade 8, if we add all the time we spent at the piano or whatever musical instrument practicing together, it’ll probably add up to at least a few months (for the lazy) or maybe years (for the hardworking).

The worst thing is, once you stop (like how many of us stop at Grade 8), if you don’t continue playing, your skills start going downhill. It’s like handwriting. Have you every noticed that once holidays are over, or after a long time of not writing with a pen/pencil, for the first few pages or so, your handwriting tends to be atrocious? Same with playing musical instruments. Don’t touch them for awhile, and when you play them, stuff you normally can do easily become really difficult. Your fingers slip all over the place and it takes longer to remember/read the notes. And then when people ask you what grade you are, admitting that you’re Grade 8 becomes a little… embarrassing.

 

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