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Thread: Audiation

  1. #1
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Default Audiation

    I learned a new word this week. Maybe itís more familiar than I realized, but here it is, anyway.

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  3. #2
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    Beaverton, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Audiation

    Thanks, Mike. I now have a new envy - of those who are good audiators.

    It is an interesting read, verbalizing some of the reasons I avoid calling myself a musician.
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Audiation

    Victor Wooten's book The Music Lesson covers a lot of the same territory in less academic sounding language and more Aesop style fables. His video talks cover a lot of it also. He has developed a philosophy of music and life intertwined and talks a lot about how to think about as well as learn music. He does not use the word audiation but it is a similar set of ideas.

  5. #4
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Default Re: Audiation

    Audiation is a cool and very appealing idea for me too. A simple explanation is; 'to make the sound that you hear in your head', and then realize what it means in musical terms, for example 'that tone is a step higher than the former one'. It can get very complex as Joy's article shows. However it is always difficult to describe simple actions with words.
    It is very cool because it is effective in 'connecting the dots' with your thoughts and actions.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  6. #5

    Default Re: Audiation

    Don't seem to like the direct to fingers approach, got to filter it all through "understanding".

  7. #6
    Registered User
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    Oct 2012
    Indepndence OR

    Default Re: Audiation

    Gordon's Audiation as described in the article has been a standard feature in music education for decades. And it is different from just hearing or listening, because it encompasses the qualities and relationships among the sounds. When you study a score as a conductor you have to "internally hear" the lines, chords, instruments or voices as well as the dynamics and effects. Then when you are in front of the orchestra or choir you try to get the musicians to match that concept of the piece.

    But it is something a so-called untrained person can do at some level. Think a tune you know well, then play around with it in your imagination: make it minor, slower or faster, in a different key (or just starting on a different note). Maybe you don't know about secondary dominant chords, but you know that F needs to be F# and you can hear the difference. When you are listening to a not-so-good performance and something "just sounds wrong," you are comparing the live event to the audiation of the piece in your mind.
    I was terribly frustrated when I started playing mandolin and mandocello after a long career as a conductor: I KNEW what it was supposed to sound like in my mind, and it wasn't what I heard coming out of my instrument. Not just wrong notes, but tone, flow, and dynamics. If you play mechanically and have to ask somebody else if it sounds right, you are probably not audiating. But I think the people who are serious enough to be Cafe fans are probably doing some audiating at conscious as well as unconscious levels.
    From another thread about tab vs. notes, I am curious if tab readers can "hear" the sounds when they look at the charts. That would be an interesting audiation study for one of my grad students. Hmmmm...

    Dr James S Imhoff
    Boston University
    Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

    1912 Gibson K4 Mandocello; Thomann Mandocello; Stiver F5; American? Bowlback; Martin 00016; Dusepo Cittern/liuto cantabile

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