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by: Konner Scott

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One of the great mysteries of life is WHY exactly we find music so powerful, meaningful, and emotional. How can an arbitrary mash-up of different sonic frequencies cause thousands to gather for live shows, help save people from the brink of mental collapse, and be a unifying force amongst almost ALL of humanity? (Seriously- how many people do you know who just “don’t like music” at all?)

My personal theory is that music mimics the meaningful elements in life: chaos & order; yin & yang; structure & deviation. Meaningful situations in a person’s life usually sit at the intersection of these two opposing forces. People tend to be the most invested in pursuits that are structured enough to make sense and provide some level of familiarity and comfort, but novel enough to keep things interesting and provide a new challenge.

As far as I can tell, the best music universally incorporates this philosophy as well. We need some sort of patterned beat (for the most part- there are always exceptions, of course!) and consistent key & chord progression, but the parts of a song or composition that truly move us are the moments that deviate from the specified order in a creative, deliberate, and masterful way.

Of course, there’s only so much of this philosophy that can be put into words. My intuition suggests the depth and richness of the structure of music runs much deeper than can be articulated. Once again, if patterned sounds can be universally meaningful and emotional across time and throughout all of humanity… that must mean something!

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