“In Tune With Life”
Miles Davis, one of the great Jazz trumpet players of all, compared playing music and life as both an expression of style. By playing an instrument, and identifying the properties of music: rhythm, tone, harmony, and many others—one discovers that life and music are interchangeable. The rhythm of life, tone giving birth to language, and living in harmony with the world around, are all aspects of music and life being one. In tern, the realization of music and life’s connection impacts musician’s lives in many ways. As a musician, this notion has shaped me into a more laid-back and spontaneous person, and I consider this my reason for my style of playing guitar. Unfortunately, the knowledge of music’s role in life is known mostly by those who I believe play instruments.
For life, the paramount of music’s enduring presence can be heard and viewed strongly, through Jazz music. Unlike other genres of music, Jazz is mostly improvisation with a center melody or “target” progression. Interestingly, scientists have discovered that when Jazz musicians, such as Miles, begin to improvise the lateral prefrontal areas of the brain, responsible for planning and self-censorship, turn off. Meanwhile, the medial prefrontal cortex, linked to self-expression and activities like telling a story about your-self, turns on. It’s a phenomenon that is not entirely understood, but for me perfectly explains my style of improvisation in music and my style of life. Playing for many years, however, I know that this understanding is not immediate. Ultimately, through life’s rhythm, one cannot discover music’s overall harmony with life if they do not play an instrument. It’s like Miles Davis exclaimed, “Sometimes you have to play a long time before you can play like yourself.”
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