Friday, April 8, 2011

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder: A Lesson by Victor Wooten

 **Following in an excerpt from the book. It is a conversation between a teacher and a student**

"How we view notes provides a good example of how we view Life," Michael said.
"How we view life? What do you mean?"
He then played a C and a C sharp at the same time on the guitar.
"How does that sound?" he asked.
"Awful. It sounds like two notes clashing," I responded with a grimace.
"Very ordinary answer," he said matter-of-factly. "Now, if I take the C up and octave and play the two notes again, what does it sound like?"
"Now it sounds pretty," I answered. "The C became the major seventh which is the key factor in making a chord sound pretty. That's cool."

"Correct. The rule book tells us that two notes played side by side, a half step apart, should clash and sound dissonant, but if we movve the lower note up and octave, the same two notes sound pretty. Why is that? They are the same two notes, so how can they clash at one instance, and sound pretty in the next? There is a Life lesson in there somewhere."

"So you're saying that situations in life which seem to clash may not be 'wrong' at all; they may just be in the wrong octave?" ...If we can learn to change our perspective and see negative tings in a different 'octave' we may be able to see the beauty in all things and in all situations."

"All situations and all people contain beauty, but it is up to us to see it....Here's another way to look at these two notes," he continued. "Let's say that we don't change the octave of the C or the C sharp. Let's just surround these two notes with other notes and see what happens."

"If you play a B flat, a C, a D flat, which is the same as a C sharp, an F, and an A flat, you have a B flat minor nine chord. Now the C and the C sharp sound good even though they are right next to each other and in the same register. People could learn a Life lesson from Music if they would just choose to see." He began to sing, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone."

"Johnny Nash," I responded, recognizing the lyric. "That's a beautiful song."

He nodded in agreement. "Also," he continued, "in the key of B flat minor, the rule book tells us that we are not allowed to play a C sharp, but when I play it, it sounds good to me. We're supposed to call it a D flat. Even though they are the same note, we  can play one but not the other. It's all in the the name, I guess. Rules! Once they are learned, they can be thoroughly broken!"

(Pages 51-54).

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