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Music and the Integral Vision

Last post 06-05-2008, 3:53 PM by balder. 32 replies.
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  •  06-04-2008, 9:09 AM 54362 in reply to 54357

    • dougr is not online. Last active: 09-13-2008, 4:15 PM dougr
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    Re: Music and the Integral Vision

    Hello Guys,

    First time posting here. Just wanted to point to a very interesting book/talking book I recently read called "This is your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitan. He's a musician, turned recording engineer/producer, turned neuroscientist.

    It's a fascinating read about evolution, music, brain/mind states, etc.



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  •  06-04-2008, 2:36 PM 54394 in reply to 54362

    Re: Music and the Integral Vision

    Hi Doug:

    Thanks for joining.

    Levitan wrote an important book focusing on the Zone #6 perspective and Zone #8 perspective of our visceral reactions to musical forms.

    Caveman has written a book and a lot of excellent blog material on the importance of recognizing our instinctual, deep-brain based reactions.

    He links below to the Gladwell writings on the algorithms of hits.

    I think we are onto something important. How can we deny that there are certain principles that are almost guaranteed to reach out and grab us by the reptilian brain?

    How do we expand these principles such that the Integral vision is communicated through them? What exactly would we have to do? What principles would we want to follow? What forms and instruments and lyrical techniques?

    Or to look at it another way, how could we set out to do it wrong? What elements would ensure that we failed to reach our endpoint?

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  •  06-05-2008, 3:53 PM 54533 in reply to 54394

    Re: Music and the Integral Vision

    Hi, Schalk,

    Thank you for your very kind words; they mean a lot to me, reminding me that we can never really anticipate what impact our communications might be having when we post something online.

    When I wrote, "integral (sacred) music," in my letter to you, I was trying to acknowledge that my thread had a narrower focus than yours.  I was NOT saying that Integral music should be sacred music -- I don't think that at all.  I just meant that I had come to that insight in the context of my (narrower) conversation about Integral sacred music.

    You wrote:  I am thinking that an Integral orientation to music creation and appreciation should account for all of those events and experiences that most of us would not even think to call sacred. But, in the fourth sense above, the translation of the event, from the immediate sense of its soul as a unity, into the body as a feeling sense, and then into the music, there would be a necessary passion or love to do it right. Which would make the act sacred or spiritual.

    Yes, that's well said -- and I certainly agree.  An Integral approach to music might "integrate" spiritually informed perspectives on some level (perhaps in the composition process) but it would not limit itself only to so-called "sacred" themes or topics.

    You wrote:  Imagine an Integral song. You take the magenta and red grooves of Jay-Z sound and they serve as the backdrop just as classical music and instruments served as the backdrop for the Beatles. It would absolutely sear with truth that everyone knows! One cannot live with Jay-Z alone, but we need Jay-Z at one level. He is the platform that allows us to go to X.

    I hate to admit that I don't know who Jay-Z is.  I'll head over to Youtube in a minute to see if I can find a sample.  But I get the idea, and yes, I think that's a good way to go:  build on the "strengths" of different forms of music, perhaps weaving them together with other elements in startling, powerful ways.  In one of the bands I was in, we did some experiments that I thought were a lot of fun,  drawing on many different genres and lyrical themes and trying to create a new form of rock music.  We never reached our potential (the leader of the group passed away), but one of the things we talked about sometimes was the value of a Beatles-like "stealth entry" -- wooing the public with catchy tunes, then gradually expanding the boundaries to take in (and bring in) more and more in terms of diversity of content and style.

    I think that's how an "Integral band" could enter the mainstream -- though in our day, because of the work of the Beatles and many after them, the "starting point" would already allow for a greater range of experimentation and expression right at the beginning.

    Ooops, I'm running out of time!  I'll be back later....

    Best wishes,


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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