Why Are There Only Five Lines on the Music Staff?

music notation

Where do you put the notes?

Ah yes, music notation…

Who hasn’t wondered if there is a better way to represent music. The arcane and archaic staff, with all its idiosyncrasies, has always given me trouble. It doesn’t seem much like music to me. I can’t hear it!

I’ve tried the modern notations. The squiggly lines, the “midi box” representational  method. The guitar tablature. They all seem ridiculous!

John Cage wrote a wonderful book called “Notations.” It’s not presently in print. It’s just a compilation of the notations of an array of composers from John Lennon done in crayon to intense modern notations that look way too intricate to ever possibly play. None of it seems like music to me.

Music can be heard but not seen. I’ve been told “people hear what they see.” Video seems to be the future of music that has evolved from the MTV model of kewelness. There has to be a better way. A better future for music. An idea that contains movement but doesn’t need to show it with a picture. Something  that arises out of a thought experiment.

To me, how the musicians look when they play has a profound influence on the sound of the music. But bringing in dancing girls and cars and nakedness seems way too formulaic. Catering to the lowest elements in human nature. Those things don’t really fall into the realm of “inspiring”. Music is meant to inspire. It is meant to contain some element of mystery and the sublime. Back to the kitchen…

The United States Dept. of Music

I have been authorized by the United States Dept. of Music to conduct the following survey:

  1. Do you find that sometimes all music sounds the same?
  2. Do you vaguely remember when music told a story or expressed a feeling?
  3. Do you think music is a language?
  4. Do you know what Jazz is?
  5. Do you have trouble understanding the words sometimes?
  6. Did you hate your piano teacher?
  7. Are you tired of listening to music on the internet while the reflection of your face turns green on the screen?
  8. Do you ever listen to the songs that birds are singing?
  9. Do you ever hear church bells in the distance?
  10. Is there a flute buried in your closet somewhere under a shoebox full of cassette tapes?
  11. Do you ever wonder who made the first drum?
  12. Do you ever flick stemware at garage sales to see what tone it emits?
  13. Do you wonder why the left hand notes in piano music are in different places than the right hand?
  14. Do you believe that every conversation is an improvisation?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, contact us immediately.