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Old 05-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #26
abraxis
 
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Re: Aikido and Music

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Rudy,
I have no idea what he would have to say about this, the film was made in 1941, so he may have even seen it. He did say that aikido should be practiced in a joyfull manner, and he would see the people who were in the clip certainly doing just that. My guess is that he would be as impressed with their skills and abilities as we are
regards,
Mark
Yes! A joyful demonstration of highly developed skills and abilities--Isn't that what OSensei's Aikido was about?
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #27
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Re: Aikido and Music

Thank you, Rudy. You and I live in very different soundscapes. There is rarely music around my unless I put it on; local cafes are about the only public space it's part of the environment.
As applying to aikido:
Every dojo I've been a member of, and many I've visited, indeed have an emphasis on the dojo as Separate Space from the rest of ones daily world, starting with removal of shoes and bowing in, perhaps a period of breathing or meditation. Some have insisted on no talking others on no extraneous chitchat.

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Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
Janet,

In all honesty, I see people listening to music everywhere I go. It's on their laptops, ipods, hi-fi systems, it's in elevators, in their cars, in the stores where they shop, they hear music of one kind or another while on their exercise equipment, while jogging, doing chores, when they goto church etc. I come into a dojo where Ray Charles is being played but soon, and well before another student shows up, the music is turned off. It is a white environment and it is silent--like a math lab. To my mind, the absence of music in dojos is remarkable that's all. I guess I might have asked, Why is this space, the dojo, so different from most other spaces--acoustically that is?

Best,

RT

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:39 PM   #28
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Every dojo I've been a member of, and many I've visited, indeed have an emphasis on the dojo as Separate Space from the rest of ones daily world, starting with removal of shoes and bowing in, perhaps a period of breathing or meditation. Some have insisted on no talking others on no extraneous chitchat.
Janet that is an accurate description of my experience as well. It's indeed why I asked the original naive question. To date, reading this thread, it seems most people would explain that music would only interfere with aikido instruction and practice. I think Mark's thread from 2006 is worth reviewing http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=aikido+music as well. The most frequent explanation or answer, unfortunately, may remain -- "because we've always done it this way".

Last edited by abraxis : 05-08-2011 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:56 PM   #29
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Re: Aikido and Music

We have music from outside the dojo very frequently as there is a tango class right down the hall form us on Sunday nights. I remember also when we had an aerobics class down the hall one night doing aikido to Michael Jackson's Beat it. But myself I would prefer to keep the music out there and not inside the dojo. The idea just has very little appeal to me.

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Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
Janet,

In all honesty, I see people listening to music everywhere I go. It's on their laptops, ipods, hi-fi systems, it's in elevators, in their cars, in the stores where they shop, they hear music of one kind or another while on their exercise equipment, while jogging, doing chores, when they goto church etc. I come into a dojo where Ray Charles is being played but soon, and well before another student shows up, the music is turned off. It is a white environment and it is silent--like a math lab. To my mind, the absence of music in dojos is remarkable that's all. I guess I might have asked, Why is this space, the dojo, so different from most other spaces--acoustically that is?

Best,

RT
You know I have thought about the fact that people seem to want to have music or some other electronic device occupying part of their mind constantly no matter what they are doing or where they are. There was a news piece on just the other night about how people seem to be continually distracted by their technological gadgets and less aware of what's around them. I wonder if part of the issue is that people have forgotten how to enjoy silence or the sounds of the natural world, or of this is because they cannot quiet their racing minds without something to distract it. Perhaps it is because when one is in an environment free of outside distractions such as music they come face to face with something that they don't want to really face up to... themselves.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:56 PM   #30
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
....Perhaps it is because when one is in an environment free of outside distractions such as music they come face to face with something that they don't want to really face up to... themselves.
That assumes, and I can understand why people would think this way, that extraneous sights and sounds are most likely to get in the way of the practice of Aikido and the seeking of enlightenment. Just for an exercise however, and despite the risks you mention, try a thought experiment. Start with the thought that there may be something external to nage and uke that could help improve their aikido and their seeking after enlightenment. I've read that OSensei believed sound vibrations can connect us with heaven. Is absolute silence the only way we will ever get a chance to hear the sounds of heaven? On the other hand, maybe the sacred music of the universe can be heard even with the radio on and the right music playing. Just a thought.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:48 PM   #31
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Re: Aikido and Music

Quote:
Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
In all honesty, I see people listening to music everywhere I go. It's on their laptops, ipods, hi-fi systems, it's in elevators, in their cars, in the stores where they shop, they hear music of one kind or another while on their exercise equipment, while jogging, doing chores, when they goto church etc. I come into a dojo where Ray Charles is being played but soon, and well before another student shows up, the music is turned off. It is a white environment and it is silent--like a math lab. To my mind, the absence of music in dojos is remarkable that's all. I guess I might have asked, Why is this space, the dojo, so different from most other spaces--acoustically that is?
An interesting thing happened when I started to think about your question. As I pictured the situations in which people "listen" to music in daily life, the first one that came to mind was public transit: on the bus, on the subway, or waiting for same. Maybe it's because this is the situation where I'm most likely to have a pair of earbuds in myself. So the question is, what's the function of music in this situation? It could be a lot of things, but to be honest (especially for those of us who ride the Green Line), perhaps the most important is to drown out or escape from the present reality. This ride is terrible, we're packed like sardines, I'm tired, I don't want to be here. So you "listen" to something to take you away from all that. But "all that" includes the people around you, and while it may sometimes be beneficial (in a narrow sense) to ignore the people around you on the subway, when you're on the mat, the opposite is true.

My sensei often says, "You're trying to make two nervous systems work together." This is true in partner practice, and it would be true even in an adversarial situation, where you're being attacked. You can't just go on dancing to your own tune, oblivious to what's going on with the other person. And you definitely don't want some recorded third party telling you what the tune should be.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:23 PM   #32
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
That assumes, and I can understand why people would think this way, that extraneous sights and sounds are most likely to get in the way of the practice of Aikido and the seeking of enlightenment. Just for an exercise however, and despite the risks you mention, try a thought experiment.
What risks did I mention? I'm a bit lost there....

I maybe was unclear. I don't see Music as a distraction from aikido as I said we often hear it while we train. I just don't really see the need for some outside influence such as music to inform my aikido. Enlightenment is a whole other matter which aikido is a part of that journey but certainly not the only thing that is on the path.

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Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
is absolute silence the only way we will ever get a chance to hear the sounds of heaven? On the other hand, maybe the sacred music of the universe can be heard even with the radio on and the right music playing. Just a thought.
And you can see the stars when you stand on a city street when you look up at night. But you sure can see them in a lot more detail out in the mountains away from all of those street lights.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post

My sensei often says, "You're trying to make two nervous systems work together." This is true in partner practice, and it would be true even in an adversarial situation, where you're being attacked. You can't just go on dancing to your own tune, oblivious to what's going on with the other person. And you definitely don't want some recorded third party telling you what the tune should be.
Yes exactly.

Personally... I think on the subway I would not want to be distracted and remove myself from being aware of all of those people around me. Many times it has been proven that such things do indeed distract people and reduce awareness. I would far rather maintain my awareness of what is going on around me and escape a potential danger than to escape a minor discomfort by distracting myself from the reality of what and who is around me.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:27 PM   #33
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Re: Aikido and Music

I train at the same place as Cherie, so what she said about the music from outside applies to me too. That said, I used to train in pentjak silat. Music is traditional there, usually gamelan. Seeing as none of us liked gamelan (I'm ok with it, but it rarely strikes my fancy) we used other music.

Music or no music. It didn't really matter. Yes, you picked up a rhythm and tempo from music. The real trick was then changing yourself so it was different from the external stimuli. An interesting practice to be sure, but I wonder how necessary it really is. Aikido is sometimes called "dance like" but pentjak actually refers to that.

IOW, I don't know.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:23 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido and Music

Google for Aiki Jam

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Old 05-09-2011, 05:44 AM   #35
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Personally... I think on the subway I would not want to be distracted and remove myself from being aware of all of those people around me. Many times it has been proven that such things do indeed distract people and reduce awareness. I would far rather maintain my awareness of what is going on around me and escape a potential danger than to escape a minor discomfort by distracting myself from the reality of what and who is around me.
While the subway is one of the stereotypical "urban danger" scenarios (to people who aren't used to urban public transit), it is in fact one of the less dangerous situations you can be in (except from having your foot stepped on, perhaps). In a situation where you have a person on every square foot of space, no one is going to attack you. In fact, it's almost the opposite: a crowded bus or subway car is a situation where you really need to pull your horns in and not be giving people any "are you a danger? are you threatening me?" vibe.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:53 AM   #36
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
While the subway is one of the stereotypical "urban danger" scenarios (to people who aren't used to urban public transit), it is in fact one of the less dangerous situations you can be in (except from having your foot stepped on, perhaps). In a situation where you have a person on every square foot of space, no one is going to attack you. In fact, it's almost the opposite: a crowded bus or subway car is a situation where you really need to pull your horns in and not be giving people any "are you a danger? are you threatening me?" vibe.
Being aware does not necessarily mean one needs to give off that vibe. It does not even really mean being on the lookout for a potential threat. It just means being alert to your surroundings and noticing the details. Quite honestly I maintain my awareness at all times and I am rarely in a crowded environment. More things can happen to an unaware person than just being mugged, although an unaware person is far more likely to be victimized than someone who is paying attention to their surroundings.

For instance many of my equestrian friends like to listen to music while they ride. Now I at times do enjoy having it playing in the background while I do arena work but I would never use earbuds. Becoming distracted and loosing awareness of my surroundings while riding could be a great set up for a wreck if something I do not see or hear scares the horse I am riding. Being aware while riding in the woods not only could save me from a potential danger but it also might mean that I am the one person on the trail that day who spots the newborn fawn laying in the tall grass....Sometimes awareness rewards one with opportunities and experiences we might otherwise miss.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:33 AM   #37
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Re: Aikido and Music

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
Google for Aiki Jam
Many thanks David. Nice choice of music. Looks like there's a lot of joy being shared in this practice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTMLiJJ1bTc

A few of the many questions which come to mind upon viewing the video: How often do they practice with music on (the akidoka pictured in the video, that is), how do the aikidoka feel after they've practiced with music playing--i.e. what do they say about the quality of the practice? do beginners respond differently to music being played compared to dan level aikidoka? Is the sensei or dojocho in support of practice paired with music?

Best regards,

RT

Last edited by abraxis : 05-09-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:21 AM   #38
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Being aware does not necessarily mean one needs to give off that vibe. It does not even really mean being on the lookout for a potential threat. It just means being alert to your surroundings and noticing the details. Quite honestly I maintain my awareness at all times and I am rarely in a crowded environment.
(emphasis mine)

Yes, I'm sure that you are aware at all times. However, your awareness in a crowded subway would be a very different thing, when your nose is two inches from someone's back and you are surrounded on all sides by other people who are equally close to you, if not more so.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:17 AM   #39
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Re: Aikido and Music

Thanks to the AikiWeb System for this reference...

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4186
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:42 AM   #40
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Re: Aikido and Music

A bit more googling around finds

http://www.guillaumeerard.com/en/aik...guillaume.html
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #41
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Re: Aikido and Music

and then there's this

http://www.aiki-extensions.org/pdfs/whl-aikimusic.pdf
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:44 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido and Music

Many, many examples can be found of demonstrations with music added after the fact. Here's one made from numerous clips of Tissier Shihan...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NmaYu2Kvc
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:01 PM   #43
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Re: Aikido and Music

Quote:
Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
Many thanks David. Nice choice of music. Looks like there's a lot of joy being shared in this practice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTMLiJJ1bTc

A few of the many questions which come to mind upon viewing the video: How often do they practice with music on (the akidoka pictured in the video, that is), how do the aikidoka feel after they've practiced with music playing--i.e. what do they say about the quality of the practice? do beginners respond differently to music being played compared to dan level aikidoka? Is the sensei or dojocho in support of practice paired with music?

Best regards,

RT
I believe it's a weekly thing. You can contact Miles Kessler Sensei (http://www.ai-ki-do.org/Dojocho/Spot.../MKessler.html) with your other questions.

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:36 AM   #44
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Thumbs up Re: Aikido and Music

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I believe it's a weekly thing. You can contact Miles Kessler Sensei (http://www.ai-ki-do.org/Dojocho/Spot.../MKessler.html) with your other questions.
David,

Kessler Sensei is at Integral Dojo in Tel Aviv. Their schedule is up on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Integr...app_4949752878. The schedule shows one 90 min. class each week as "Aikido Jam" (they also have two meditation sessions weekly as well). I'll submit my questions to the gneral mail for the dojo.

Best regards,

RT
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:22 AM   #45
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Re: Aikido and Music

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Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
Forgive this naive question, but does anybody teach Aikido while music is playing in the dojo? That is audible music everyone practicing can hear.
If the answer is "no-never", Why Not?

Thanks in advance for your consideration of what is obviously a naive beginner's question.
We generally do not listen to music in class. I will sometimes bring my Shuffle and listen while I am practicing by myself but I would not impose my music on anyone else.

Class is a collection of many people, all with different tastes and different, changing emotional conditions. Music carries emotional information, and can affect mood strongly and unpredictably.

I do not want to have to juggle musical tastes in an aikido setting, easy solution, have none. I cannot control others' emotional reactions to music, so it is easier to have none. Like Janet, I do not want my responses influenced by an irrelevant external source, better to have no music. Music is personal, I wont inflict my tastes on other people, that'd be rude.

And, when we've tried music in group training, some people got too jacked up and got injured. Or, class became a lovely little sitdown and chat on the mat session. Neither is much good for effective training.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:42 AM   #46
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Re: Aikido and Music

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We generally do not listen to music in class. I will sometimes bring my Shuffle and listen while I am practicing by myself but I would not impose my music on anyone else.

Class is a collection of many people, all with different tastes and different, changing emotional conditions. Music carries emotional information, and can affect mood strongly and unpredictably.

I do not want to have to juggle musical tastes in an aikido setting, easy solution, have none. I cannot control others' emotional reactions to music, so it is easier to have none. Like Janet, I do not want my responses influenced by an irrelevant external source, better to have no music. Music is personal, I wont inflict my tastes on other people, that'd be rude.

And, when we've tried music in group training, some people got too jacked up and got injured. Or, class became a lovely little sitdown and chat on the mat session. Neither is much good for effective training.
Krystal,

The obstacles to the use of music in Aikido practice are certainly not trivial and I can understand why few aikidoka would try to change established traditions when there appears little to gain and much to lose in the attempt.

I believe your use of music in your preparation and solo practice is not uncommon. Your personal experience trying music in group training is, I think, valuable information as well and speaks to both your curiosity and willingness to explore the possible advantages to be gained from incorporating music into the group practice of Aikido. However, despite the obstacles stated, and despite the evidence pointed to that under the stated conditions it failed to yield positive results, I wouldn't give up on further exploration in this area.

I think you believe, as many others do: -- music has power and spirit all its own. That power can be disruptive socially as well as psychologically and has obvious potential to interfere with the spiritual nature of a group's Aikido practice and the sanctuary nature of the dojo.

My hope is that music might be productively combined with Aikido and that some dojos will continue to explore this relationship since there is great potential benefit-- both physical and spiritual -- in a connection of the two.

Best regards,

RT

Last edited by abraxis : 05-11-2011 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #47
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Re: Aikido and Music

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I think you believe, as many others do: -- music has power and spirit all its own. That power can be disruptive socially as well as psychologically and has obvious potential to interfere with the spiritual nature of a group's Aikido practice and the sanctuary nature of the dojo.

My hope is that music might be productively combined with Aikido and that some dojos will continue to explore this relationship since there is great potential benefit-- both physical and spiritual -- in a connection of the two.
What's the potential spiritual benefit? For that matter, what's the potential physical benefit? And how can you avoid having this combination of music and aikido practice becoming at least in part about the music, thus taking away from the aikido practice?
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:33 AM   #48
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Re: Aikido and Music

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What's the potential spiritual benefit? For that matter, what's the potential physical benefit? And how can you avoid having this combination of music and aikido practice becoming at least in part about the music, thus taking away from the aikido practice?
Mary,
You raise perfectly legitimate concerns to be added under the heading: why not to try and use music in the practice of Aikido.I feel each of these questions is best answered empirically which could be quite a project and I'm not suggesting you take this on yourself. However, your analysis of any empirical results would be most welcome as a skeptical approach is an important and essential part of the objective test of any hypothesis.
Best,
RT

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Old 05-11-2011, 01:51 PM   #49
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Re: Aikido and Music

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You raise perfectly legitimate concerns to be added under the heading: why not to try and use music in the practice of Aikido.I feel each of these questions is best answered empirically which could be quite a project and I'm not suggesting you take this on yourself. However, your analysis of any empirical results would be most welcome as a skeptical approach is an important and essential part of the objective test of any hypothesis.
Well, sure. But you're chasing something here. Surely you must have some idea of what it is you're chasing?
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #50
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Re: Aikido and Music

Sorry if any of this is redundant, but I have a few thoughts, being an avid music-lover and terrible musician.
When i was a student I used to study while listening to music. At different times the music either helped or hindered. I noticed it had to do with how I engaged my mind. If I kept the music more in the back of my mind I was able to focus on learning new things pretty well, though I did also notice music with words tended to more easily confuse my train of thought when it also involved words.
There is a strong relationship with rythm and endurance, which is partly why it's so popular to run to music, but I think there are deeper relationships too. Oliver Sacks has some wonderful material on the nature of music and neurological issues...for example, some folks who are very nearly catatonic might respond to music. Music appears to often tap in to more primitive portions of the brain and I have often used music throughout my short life as a way of inducing desirable states of mind; to enter into "the zone." I've been able to induce similar states without music too though and I can see the benefit, if not the necessity, for being able to achieve these kinds of mental states without the need of listening to music. I think it is the rythm of breathing or heart-beat, for example, which serves a similar function.
One interesting thought that comes to mind, and I'm not sure where I read this or even if it's true, has to do with Terry Dobson playing Death Metal (once? occasionally? I don't know) during training. I'm somewhat desensitized now, but my intitial reaction to music like that was displeasure, and I can see some value to striving for harmony under emotionally trying circumstances such as that may cause...just as I can see how listening to a highly energetic jig (Patrick Street, anyone?) might also create an interesting dynamic, or something soft like the Moonlight Sonata would also cause a very mellow dynamic. So I see the potential value as being not only how to induce a certain feeling with certain music, but also how to overcome that feeling. For example, if a song lends itself to making you sleepy, but you strive for high levels of alertness, I can see how it might lend istelf to actually being sleepy and striving for the same effect.
Of course, a problem might be that different people respond different to a given song, but I would think that would also be something worth studying.
Take care,
Matt
(now I'm going to have to read the thread and see how applicable that was...perhaps should I add this habit of mine to the "bad habits thread.")
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