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Musical Ear Syndrome: This is what I've been harping about Music Oft in the Distance

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
Now, I've tried to discuss this phenomena on here a bit but no one seems to have experienced it. (I'm fully sober, I drink and play in thirty minutes). I know many musicians, including my mentor experience this and he taught me how to develop it. Here is an article on it in Wikipedia and if you do a Google Search you can find more articles on it. It is called Musical Ear Syndrome:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_ear_syndrome

Read the article. Does anyone else experience this on here? I think the article is a inaccurate in that I have full hearing, very good hearing. I know if I have peanuts I will begin to hear beautiful, beautiful music oft in the distance.

Now, my mentor taught me how to develop it and when he went to Berklee in the early, early seventies it seems the program was built around it. The way the program was built on it is that his experience was to taught to play entirely by ear, transcribing complicated transcriptions on the fly. The reason is to hear this and write it down very quickly before it goes away. (it's always new and never heard before music, it's not ear worm stuff where some other song is stuck in your head)

Like I write, this typically happens to me when I eat Peanuts in the evening and go to bed, as I lay there I will hear clear, clear, clear music in the distance (almost as if there is a choir, Jazz band in front of my house). This also happens when I am in the shower and I hear it in the distance, makes sense to me why so many musicians insist on writing in the bathroom; something about the acoustics helps you hear the music in the distance even better.

Now, for me the music I hear is either

1) Choir and Worship music (children, men and women singing new, new never heard before religious songs)
2) Jazz and usually Trumpet or Saxophone music (it makes sense why Robben Ford, an idol of mine, calls the Neck pickup the Saxophone and the bridge pickup the Trumpet. I think he hears it and as guitarist translates it to guitar)

Has anyone experiences? Does anyone know more about this phenomena? Does anyone know any resources for it that they've used?

My mentor taught me how to develop it but it is mystical (nothing weird, just thinking exercises) and I can tell you how I developed it but it may be too out there for this forum.

I won't reply tonight because I drink in Fifteen minutes. I'll come back and reply tomorrow. This is part of the magic of music I've been talking about and why I'm learning to read music, and play by ear to put it down on paper. The other part is Journeys, but there is no information on that and you wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Cheers!
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,674
The brain has a mind of its own.
For OP- Peanuts> quasi-allergic reaction> brain chemical discharge> pseudo dream state> hallucination. (yes I'm guessing)

I have tinnitus but it is not the least bit musical.
I can imagine, perhaps 'image' is a better word, a full song but rarely can capture the pieces in real time.

Everybody lives in a world of their own perception.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
I hear music in my head all the time, especially when my wife is talking.
I'm still sober but, but the music is not in your head. It is literally out there outside your head. How do I describe it? It's as clear as sitting in a park and hearing a choir or Jazz Band play and you have OK seats. It's that real, very real. Not in the head or in the mind, but literally, literally, literally outside your head as if it is being played to you.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
The brain has a mind of its own.
For OP- Peanuts> quasi-allergic reaction> brain chemical discharge> pseudo dream state> hallucination. (yes I'm guessing)

I have tinnitus but it is not the least bit musical.
I can imagine, perhaps 'image' is a better word, a full song but rarely can capture the pieces in real time.

Everybody lives in a world of their own perception.
Love your honesty, love your insight. I'm a pint in so I'm getting a happy drunk. I'll stop writing after this. I know why peanuts do it, they are an aphrodisiac. I genuinely do not have a peanut allergy; I lift weights, still a fat guy but a strong fat guy, and I eat peanuts once a week. Thank you for your love. The problem my mentor told me, the reason Musicians keep it among themselves is because people literally think it is psychosis. So, they can't tell anyone but others who have experienced it. I'll stop writing because I'm getting there. I'm very glad you can partially hear the music outside your head. Thank you. No more writing tonight for me, I'm getting to my sweet spot.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
the article seems to be about people with hearing loss, so I wouldn't necessarily categorize other phenomena under the label "musical ear syndrome".

Like you say, even people with no hearing loss can have those experiences.

One book that you might like is "the man who mistook his wife for a hat" by Oliver Sacks. (Robin Williams played him in "awakenings")
He has a few auditory/musical cases in there . Example : a man (I think a composer) who had shrapnel in his brain didn't want to have it removed because he heard music as the result of the injury.

Sacks also wrote Musicophilia which I think is similar to the other books he wrote, except specifically on the subject of music.

In meditation there is a phenomena called "Nada Sound". Its a byproduct of concentration. It is possible (esp. during meditation) either consciously or subconsciously to "shut off" external hearing sense. In that state you're left with something similar to someone who has hearing loss. It can be a little like tinnitus especially if it is not the main focus of the meditation. Some people might be frightened by it if they are not aware of this phenomena. (that is, they think they are loosing their hearing)

In some practices one actually studies the internal Nada sound (a practice called "Nada Yoga"). The sounds have a progression depending on how much you meditate on it.

Also, the heart chakra is called Anahata Chakra which means "unstruck sound". If you meditate on/in this area, you might hear a certain frequency/sound emanating from there. Also; the heartbeat, in general, seems to have a ringing to it based off the primary pulse.

Oh, sir, you are a genius. This is more than I expected on here. I don't know what to say, but we are on similar wave lengths. I'm being thoroughly honest, my mentor taught me how to do this through the Orange Chakra. If anyone wanted to know, I was going to try to teach it through the thought exercises without mentioning the Orange Chakra i.e. teach it subtly. I will buy, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," and, "Musicphilia." Synchronicity friend, I was looking for books like this but could not find them.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I really hope others listen.
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,527
I'm still sober but, but the music is not in your head. It is literally out there outside your head.
No it isn't. Not "literally", not even in the slightest. If you really think it is, you're paranoid. But really I suspect you know it isn't, right? It just sounds like it is. It's an aural hallucination. That doesn't make it any less "real", but it's still a product of your own mind.
How do I describe it? It's as clear as sitting in a park and hearing a choir or Jazz Band play and you have OK seats. It's that real, very real. Not in the head or in the mind, but literally, literally, literally outside your head as if it is being played to you.
"Literally, literally" no it isn't!! It is definitely (literally) in your mind. I appreciate it feels to you as if it is outside of you, but it can't possibly be, and surely you know that. (I mean unless there really is a band or choir playing there, or round the corner somewhere.) You're not a stupid person. Please use words properly, or we can't have any meaningful conversation.

The mind is a wonderful thing. We can imagine all kinds of stuff. In the right frame of mind, we can really believe that something we are imagining is out there in the real world, separate from our self. After all, the "real world" is only a construction of our senses in the first place. When it comes to music (or any kind of sound), we construct it in our brains by interpreting aural stimuli. In a very true sense, there is no music "out there" at all - even when we can see a band playing it. Of course, our fellow humans (whose presence we also construct in our heads by amalgamating various sensory impressions) all have the same kinds of mental processes, so we all agree when music is really out there, because we all get the same stimuli at the same time.

Objectivity is a chimera... Everything we know, think and feel begins in our heads. We have to use various tests to confirm whether the things we're thinking have any presence in the external world, separate from our selves. If you can't prove the music you are hearing is caused by actually separate people (or machines) out there - can you see them, can you go and touch them? - then it's in your head.

As I say, that doesn't make it any less "real" as a subjective experience.
 
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JonR

Member
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15,527
Oh, sir, you are a genius. This is more than I expected on here. I don't know what to say, but we are on similar wave lengths. I'm being thoroughly honest, my mentor taught me how to do this through the Orange Chakra. If anyone wanted to know, I was going to try to teach it through the thought exercises without mentioning the Orange Chakra i.e. teach it subtly. I will buy, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," and, "Musicphilia." Synchronicity friend, I was looking for books like this but could not find them.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I really hope others listen.
I also recommend 'Musicophilia'. I think you'd also appreciate Philip Ball's 'The Music Instinct', and Daniel Levitin's 'This is Your Brain on Music'. All three are about the way music seems to be a primal human instinct, not just a cultural art form. It's a fundamental aspect of being human. All three authors are scientifically qualified, as well as being good writers, able to explain the science in easily understood terms.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
I also recommend 'Musicophilia'. I think you'd also appreciate Philip Ball's 'The Music Instinct', and Daniel Levitin's 'This is Your Brain on Music'. All three are about the way music seems to be a primal human instinct, not just a cultural art form. It's a fundamental aspect of being human. All three authors are scientifically qualified, as well as being good writers, able to explain the science in easily understood terms.
I wonder why does it irk you if something is magical? One more person confirmed it, which I am grateful for it, but why does music as magic irk you? I'm not interested in science myself, I did attend an Ivy League University and the London School of Economics and Majored in Stats and Economics,(the reason I am now retired) I like Math but real Math is Magical as well. (real mathematicians I've met are well adjusted people who really go into a Magical place to come up with ideas). Why bring science into this? Again, I mean no offense and I'm only trying to find others like myself. I've gotten some great responses so far.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,674
Why bring science into this?
Your brain activity can be explained by science, at least to some degree.

Your venture into mysticism and magic is imposing an emotional explanation to a physically measurable activity.

The physics required to produce 'music' or any sounds outside of your own head simply do not exist such that they cannot be measured and/or verified by others.

Tuning in to 'the music of the spheres' is a personal experience but not more than an altered state of consciousness i.e. dreaming

The 'magic' is coming form within. Being able to perceive that makes you either lucky, or unlucky, depending on how one values one's own connection to physical reality.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
I also recommend 'Musicophilia'. I think you'd also appreciate Philip Ball's 'The Music Instinct', and Daniel Levitin's 'This is Your Brain on Music'. All three are about the way music seems to be a primal human instinct, not just a cultural art form. It's a fundamental aspect of being human. All three authors are scientifically qualified, as well as being good writers, able to explain the science in easily understood terms.
Let me complicate this a little bit, just a little bit for JonR and the Lurkers who are of the same vein. Please, forgive me moderators I didn't intend to be controversial and this is definitely pertinent to Playing and Technique because it is a part of a Musicians Repertoire that Musicians out there know but keep hidden. I've gotten some great responses so far.

If this music that I hear, not in thought, but in the distance like hearing a real show as real as that is just scientific (psychosis let's say)....well, then, I must be a genius because it is music that I do not think about, cannot produce consciously, cannot produce on my own when I play. It is loosely literally great music that is original, never before heard and worth putting out there. That is why I'm learning music reading and, and, and ear training to hear it and write it down to produce out there.

The more I look up Musical Ear Syndrome the more I know other musicians have it but do not discuss it. Again, I myself did not have it until six months ago when my mentor taught me how to have it. Along the same vein as other responses on here, through meditation. Again, I know I am not a genius and that is beauty, if someone as dull as me can do it, anyone can.

Cheers and love! Please let us keep this going because many people are learning.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
Your brain activity can be explained by science, at least to some degree.

Your venture into mysticism and magic is imposing an emotional explanation to a physically measurable activity.

The physics required to produce 'music' or any sounds outside of your own head simply do not exist such that they cannot be measured and/or verified by others.

Tuning in to 'the music of the spheres' is a personal experience but not more than an altered state of consciousness i.e. dreaming

The 'magic' is coming form within. Being able to perceive that makes you either lucky, or unlucky, depending on how one values one's own connection to physical reality.
Thank you, sir, I love everything but especially the bolded. For me, it is genuinely a blessing and it's not a bother. I didn't have it until I was taught to have it. So, it's not something I did all my life but just six months ago when my mentor taught me it and I'm grateful. I don't genuinely feel I lose touch with reality because it is just beautiful music.

Thank you for your loving thoughtful reply.
 

Zexcoil

Vendor
Messages
5,891
Your brain activity can be explained by science, at least to some degree.
Any brain activity that can't be explained by science is just an area where the science isn't advanced enough.

The correct question is not, "why bring science into this?" it is "how does the science explain this phenomenon?".
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,527
I wonder why does it irk you if something is magical?
Because there's no such thing as magic. That doesn't mean an experience can't feel "magical" as a subjective sensation.

Music is certainly not magic, although it has very deep and subliminal effects on the mind, many of which are indeed mysterious. For me, "mystery" doesn't mean "magic", it simply means "unknown". Of course, a lot of this is about how we like to define words, but I associate the word "magic" with "supernatural" - with stuff that doesn't exist (or at least is "natural" in a way we don't yet understand).

What "irks" me (apart from misuse of the word "literally" ;)) is mystification. The elevation of something one can't explain into something that is somehow beyond science, inaccessible to science. There is lots we don't know about how the brain works. But none of it is "magic". That's mystification.

I'm not denying your experience at all. I think it's fascinating. I haven't had the same experience, but if I had I would certainly value it, perhaps as much you do. What I would not call it is "magic", and nor would I claim it's "literally" out there in the real world even if it felt like that, because I would know - even if it was hard to believe - that it must come from my own imagination. That's what's truly fascinating - how our brains can fool us into believing something impossible.
 
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Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,674
how our brains can fool us into believing something impossible.
yes...Fascinating, if one can be detached and evaluate the experience, but teetering on the edge of instability if one starts to act on false perceptions i.e. 'voices commanded me'
Our collective attachment to reality is really quite tenuous and jumping into altered states through drugs or manipulation strikes me as something that requires care and a realistic point of view.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
No irk but....Harry Potter is a fantasy movie. That's all. Music can certainly provoke emotion, is that magic?
Thank you GuitarJazz, I always value you on here. But Harry Potter is a Fantasy Movie...and not a good one (I'm not really a fan of a bunch of geeks trying to do supernatural stuff, it's Fantasy Big Bang Theory and almost as untrue as Big Bang Theory). Hmmm, how do I complicate this. When you hear a Jazz Song like, "Afternoon in Paris," where the Jazz Musician is trying to send you on a journey that he has experienced through Paris it is an art...but when you genuinely are there (JonR doesn't like literally, but literally there...supernaturally I guess you can say) then you really are experiencing as a listener the Magic of Jazz.

Let me complicate this even further. Just let me complicate this. I'm only trying to share experiences that others have shared with me in real life and bring it to the forefront. I've been to legit Jazz clubs, although I am by far a connoisseur of Jazz (until recently) and what always surprises my friends and I is how the Jazz Singer (a magical role) reads our thoughts and on the fly expresses it musically. So, for example, my friend is worried about his career and whether he's lived up to his families standards the Jazz Sanger that night sang, "you feel like you are a disappointment to your family, when they come over every year." This has happened on a few occasions. And I know another woman in life who for first date goes to a Jazz club with a reputable Jazz singer just to learn his issues. For me, I love Magic and this is Magic.

Where Billy Joel's Piano man makes reference to all this. How is he able to know and sing about all their problems without ever talking to them?. For me, Music is Magic. Knowing now the secret. Grateful know my mentor.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
yes...Fascinating, if one can be detached and evaluate the experience, but teetering on the edge of instability if one starts to act on false perceptions i.e. 'voices commanded me'
Our collective attachment to reality is really quite tenuous and jumping into altered states through drugs or manipulation strikes me as something that requires care and a realistic point of view.
Trust me friend, no voices just music. Not drug induced at all. Just guided meditation. Thank you again, for everything you have written. Do you want me to show the meditations?
 






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