This is the fifth in a series of guest posts written by some of my favorite bloggers. To understand what this is about, you can read this post:

This one in particular was written by the attentive and kind (besides funny) jb Bartkowiak. jb is the editor of The Do Together Daily — a stream of consciousness take on homeownership, business life and learning. jb may also be found on Twitter @BMoxieBMore .

. . . . Harmony, and me too, as the writer, joined with something else.  In phase, in wave, agreed upon and musical.  Is this what you think about when you hear the word “harmony” *sounds like* connection . . . Love?

The relationship of love and music though does not make for a good comparison.  You know, there are usually only two parts to the love equation.  I could slip here into a rap on family or taut the sense of community, or band, we have found here — the spirit maybe of this guest post series, but I will not today . . . me instead = nerdy scientist working to get something recorded.

“I can’t tell you what it really is – I can only tell you what it feels like. . . .”

I started on the trumpet and had no training on any instrument before it landed in my hands in the 6th grade. I made 2nd chair that year (translation in middle school band terms = I kinda sucked).  I really can’t, and have never really had the opportunity to play the piano.  It is from the piano that music theory originates (<< I think that’s the right word).  And to understand the piano is to understand (western) musical theory.

. . . was the first song I learned without the aid of sheet music and/or a place to sit.  Purely by ear and you see, I had this really cheesy pseudo psychedelic strap on my first bass, a Kramer . . . and ooooo like the Yugo of basses, slung around my neck.  In high school, I played it most recreationally – only really when I felt like it, and usually just to feel, well, cool.  (<<Truth — yeah, sometimes I even checked myself in the mirror.)

Sadly, it wasn’t till college that I got *even* a little bit serious about it. I took some private lessons, attended some classes, hung out in the room where jazz ensemble gathered and actually sat in on some “jam sessions.” It was at college too that I found the (acoustic) guitar.  My means of comprehension derived from time with those six strings.

“. . . My honey, little girl, come on, let’s go for a Whirl . . . “

In my writing, and especially recently, I have drawn inspiration from, lifted (aka high school year booked, as herein) song lyrics from, and have even at times attempted to emulate the structure of songs I like.  Music it seems has made a strong resurgence for me as I quickly approach 40.

Do I have a higher level of connection with it now?  I like to pretend that I do, but I mean – do I understand it – even still? I can’t say that I really do.  I understand how the sounds are made, how we hear and often what within a piece of music moves us.  But it’s the complexity in layering it (melody to harmony, and often with contributions from others, interlaced with supporting or sometimes counter melodies) that makes absolutely 0% sense to me– something maybe not to be grasped at the cognitive level.

It’s one of those things – and maybe this explains a little of how I handle a lot of things. You (general) simply open yourself to it as it flows forth.  << OK, I know those are naïve words, but check me after I slip into a tight “groove” . . . alone and even just banging away by myself on my guitar.  I mean –at times, I am not here, there is no thought – it falls away to feel . . . .

I guess — it can be compared with the alpha phase of sleep.  And is this harmony?

                “. . . I got a lot things I want to sell, but, not here babe . . . Youtook it ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLaaw!”

So . . . we are taught early on that music is compromised of three parts.  It is made of rhythm, melody and harmony.

Harmony in music is the simultaneous execution of notes of different pitches or tones. In  terms of a chordal instrument , such as the guitar or the piano —  harmony (a three-way in sound) is found simply in a chord – three or more musical notes  played together. . . positions 1-3-5 in any scale making one common configuration.  Any notes more than those three add only color to the sound.

. . . but then you must take Time.  And over it, theses sounds disintegrate as the notes move from vibration thru reverberation, some of the harmonic qualities breaking up or, when electrified, into feedback . . . dischord . . . disharmony even, ultimately returning to its most natural state . . . nothing – silence.


jb also wrote a post for his own blog called Building Moxie Does a Guest Post (Behind the Music edition) which is related to this one.


Photo Cred:

Music Creds:

Love the Way You Lie,Eminem ft Rihanna:

Whirl, Smashing Pumpkins:

Summer Babe (Winter version), Pavement