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Thread: Socionics and Music Theory

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    Default Socionics and Music Theory

    I originally posted this as a reply to a very old topic, but it seemed a bit non-sequitor. So, here goes:

    I've noticed that INFps tend to approach music from a more left-brained (you could say ) perspective, as opposed to a right-brained (you could say ) perspective. We aren't termed "The Lyricist" for nothing. When INFps approach music, they tend to observe the underlying "narrative" of a piece of music. It is a reflection of the theoretical aspect, although INFps are usually not attracted to music theory, and will almost always justify the theory as a function of a more verbal, emotional pathos. Compare this with the approach of an INTp/j musician; INTxs often observe music from the opposite standpoint - using theory as the basis for their understanding of the music. Instead of justifying the theory by means of a pathos, they will often speak of theory as existing for its own sake.

    I've noticed this even in the posts of INTx musicians on the forum, Cone and theodosis among them. I've also noticed a trend while visiting conservatories last year for auditions; there seemed to greater proportion of INFps in the Voice department of the school as opposed to those studying a non-vocal instrument, such as viola, piano, etc. The instrumentalists were more generally INTxs. (Perhaps Rocky's theory of NFs having a developed verbal motor function could apply here.) I also tend to think introverted types in general produce more cerebral music; extroverts tend to think of music as more of a diversion than anything else (as background music for dances, clubs, parties, etc. or as a social occasion), and thus, are more aloof to both the theoretical (Te) and emotional (Fe) implications.

    Just putting this out there...

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    Default Re: Socionics and Music Theory

    i've theorized that the music one listens too the most is related to the prodominent brainwave that person has. classical music is alpha, relaxing, and supposedly brain food (i think that's bull, but that's a different story). other's need a faster beat, something in the beta rythm to get them going.

    i think in pictures, and i lean on as a whole brain thinker siding more to the right. my music changes every 3 months or so. from anime, to classical with bass, to heavy metal, to trance, to whatever. something that is a little faster than my heartbeat. i go by the beat mostly. but i listen to them over and over, each time i may hear something different.

    i use music to concentrate with. it focuses my attention when doing a task, like driving. as a social thing it's another distraction, and i zone out. theory being that the voices in the room are causing a chaotic theta or alpha resonance - i simply space out, i don't like the feeling.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm.

    I'm actually better at the theory than anything else, but theory, of course, is not music.

    However - I'm not sure if what you're describing is a left-brained approach.

    Left Temporal Lobe

    Key/Tonality (limbic system??)
    Perfect Pitch (left planum temporale)
    Rhythm - shorter sounds

    Right Temporal Lobe

    Contour (first tempral gyrus)
    Key/Tonality (limbic system??)
    Rhythm - Longer sounds
    Harmony
    Timbre

    The left-hemisphere functions seem to be the more theoretical functions, the right-hemisphere functions look more like what you were referring to.

    Would probably be good to talk to people with temporal lobe epilepsy or other temporal lobe damage, they can provide an insight. Particularly with epilepsy, my neurologist tells me that auditory/musical triggers are very common.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Socionics and Music Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by mike_INTJ
    i've theorized that the music one listens too the most is related to the prodominent brainwave that person has. classical music is alpha, relaxing, and supposedly brain food (i think that's bull, but that's a different story). other's need a faster beat, something in the beta rythm to get them going.
    Classical music is relaxing? How degrading! They've obviously ignored like... everything! It makes no sense! Do they think The Rite of Spring is relaxing? I should think not!

    Anyhow, speaking of "brain food", let's talk about the Mozart effect. It's said to improve spatial awareness, and seems to decrease the incidence of seizures in some epileptics patients. The catch - the music in question has also been known to trigger seizures. Damn. At least we know that there is an effect on the temporal lobes...

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    Default Re: Socionics and Music Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by ishysquishy
    Quote Originally Posted by mike_INTJ
    i've theorized that the music one listens too the most is related to the prodominent brainwave that person has. classical music is alpha, relaxing, and supposedly brain food (i think that's bull, but that's a different story). other's need a faster beat, something in the beta rythm to get them going.
    Classical music is relaxing? How degrading! They've obviously ignored like... everything! It makes no sense! Do they think The Rite of Spring is relaxing? I should think not!

    personally i never found it relaxing. i find it grates my nerves - vanessa mae, however i can stand. it has enough of a beat. but many listen and relax to it. i've actually theorized that the bach and beethoven they pump into the womb, will actually change a baby into an ADD like child. where they wanted a smart kid, they actually got a slower one, because it enhanced the right side of the brain. of course they don't really relize that it did actually make him smarter, just not in the way they wanted.

    Anyhow, speaking of "brain food", let's talk about the Mozart effect. It's said to improve spatial awareness, and seems to decrease the incidence of seizures in some epileptics patients. The catch - the music in question has also been known to trigger seizures. Damn. At least we know that there is an effect on the temporal lobes...
    the right brain specializes in spatial ability, the right side is alpha. a lot of classical uses alpha, so it makes sense that classical music should enhance that side of the brain. using alpha-theta tends to clear the mind, i find that Rammstien works well for this, it relaxes me anyway.

    as far as siezures go, it could make sense. the classical has a tendency to have reverberating instruments from the string line. this back and fourth frequency may be just enough to send someone over the edge. same effect happens when you place a glass by a speaker (myth busters). only in this case the mind seperates these tones and the brain waves probably go all nutty.

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    As much as I am (now) reluctant to wild theorizing, I feel that I must try to integrate one of my long-standing observations with your observations, Baby.

    Ok, I believe that the difference between feeling and thinking types is degrees of attachment/detachment to the personal self. This will explain alot, for instance why feeling types are more in tune with their own and others' emotions and why thinking types are seen as more intelligent than thinking types. I will expand on this later if you are interested.

    Now, assuming that you are correct about INFps and finding "narratives" AND assuming that I have seen the same in certain other F types AND assuming that I and theodosis do not do the same, then F types attempt to extract a personal meaning from music. Also assuming that there is a large faction of F types in vocal music, this could be explained by my previous conjecture, in that it is much easier to extract a narrative from vocal music that non-vocal music, quite simply because the narrative is explicit; one does not have to create a meaning, because it is already there in the words. Likewise, you might find T types scattered all around in musical tastes, because T types look for more detached information, not necessarily personal meaning.
    Binary or dichotomous systems, although regulated by a principle, are among the most artificial arrangements that have ever been invented. -- William Swainson, A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals (1835)

  7. #7
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    I've played instruments, since I was very young, and I made some aobservations on the matter. It seems to me personality, atleast, temperament, and musical taste have a connection.

    I prefer music that triggers something within myself, like a reflection, of the music, like a stone hitting water, making waves, like echoes in the soul.

    Some music, make make this happen, other music cant. I can hear the voice of any singer inside my head, as the music goes, or any guitar solo, but it's lead by the music.

    Jazz cannot, atleast not happy jazz, blues can, some trance/dance music can, some classical music can, some cant, some opera music can, some rock music can (like dire straits, pink floyd), other rock music cant (like garbabe, or pearl jam), some pop music can (like phil collins, sting roxette), other pop music cant (like supertramp). Some heavy metal can (like foreigner, iron maiden, scorpions), other heavy music cannot, like metallica, AC/DC.

    I've noticed, that people I go along with well, quite often have a similar musical taste. The music that I live, are of the echo triggering kind, I've comed to realised, or so I think, that happy oriented jazz, appeals more to those who are more left brain oriented, where the less happy music, appeals more to the right brain.

    Oh by the way, I test ENTP

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    Even some rap music, like enimen, it's possible to like...Even I mostly cannot stand rap...And most hip hop I hate, but still there are someone, even there, like enimen, and some others, that can make echoes...

    Listening to very bad music, is just like watching a operation on tv, something you want to tune out from, since no connection can be made.

  9. #9
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    My playing style: never notes, always improvisation, playing is done not by looking at notes, but by knowing what strings to hit, or how to hit the piano, or trumpet, and how this is done, I dont know, you just know. When I played in a band, I noticed, two of those in the band was left handed, I really wonder if they are more musical. I'm neighter left or right handed. Seems like me like beeing right handed are not an advantage, in music, I'm not sure really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ishysquishy
    The left-hemisphere functions seem to be the more theoretical functions, the right-hemisphere functions look more like what you were referring to.

    Would probably be good to talk to people with temporal lobe epilepsy or other temporal lobe damage, they can provide an insight. Particularly with epilepsy, my neurologist tells me that auditory/musical triggers are very common.
    Thanks, Ishy for that breakdown of the neurobiological implications of music. I realized, after posting that, I had done a very stupid thing. I had separated the music from the theory; this was a fallacy on my part because the theory is always there, whether you pay attention to it or not. There have been studies on the effects of music training on brain activity, and neurologists have actually found that trained musicians display more activity in left hemisphere when asked to listen to music than those who have had no formal training. Music theory itself can be said to impose definitions and theories onto musical phenomenon, and thus could be said to activate those more theoretical functions, and those that have traditionally been assigned to verbal function. Thus, trained musicians all will superimpose the theoretical conceptualizations over the music they perform and hear. This article seems to back me up: http://www-agki.tzi.de/ik2001/prog/av/paper.pdf

    You mentioned the limbic system, and there it gets a bit complicated – it is said to be the seat of emotion… among those emotions are sexual arousal, aggression (isn’t all opera said to be about sex and violence? lol!), and motivation. So, now that I think about it, its not so easy to define what this could mean in the context of Socionics. All trained musicians seem to level out after years of solfeg and ear training, but also developing the emotional maturity that comes with time. I am guessing that, with time, INTx musicians will develop more of that emotional undercurrent, while INFp/j musicians will need to develop more of the theoretical undercurrent. (I know that you are actually quite proficient with the theory, Ishy, but there’s always exceptions. :wink
    Quote Originally Posted by Cone
    Ok, I believe that the difference between feeling and thinking types is degrees of attachment/detachment to the personal self. This will explain a lot, for instance why feeling types are more in tune with their own and others' emotions and why thinking types are seen as more intelligent than thinking types. I will expand on this later if you are interested.
    Yes, please do. And BTW, I understand your qualms about theorizing; most of the time I go on my own intuition which results, quite frankly, in bullshit. When dealing with something like Socionics, bullshit is a pretty gross thing as it results in limiting potential, stereotypes, and just a generally unhealthy mindset. At least, that’s my own objection to a lot of what I’m seeing on the forum and what I’ve done in the past.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cone
    Now, assuming that you are correct about INFps and finding "narratives" AND assuming that I have seen the same in certain other F types AND assuming that I and theodosis do not do the same, then F types attempt to extract a personal meaning from music. Also assuming that there is a large faction of F types in vocal music, this could be explained by my previous conjecture, in that it is much easier to extract a narrative from vocal music that non-vocal music, quite simply because the narrative is explicit; one does not have to create a meaning, because it is already there in the words. Likewise, you might find T types scattered all around in musical tastes, because T types look for more detached information, not necessarily personal meaning.
    That’s actually a very lucid way of putting it. In following your train of thought, F-types will be more likely to superimpose a personal narrative – an image of the self – into the music, while T-types will be more emotionally aloof to it. That is, assuming that all of what we have observed is true; it seems to put some semblance of rhyme and reason over these observations. That is not to say that Ts and Fs are not capable of developing the other aspect, as I said, training and experience seems to be the great equalizer.

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    Default Re: Socionics and Music Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by ishysquishy
    Quote Originally Posted by mike_INTJ
    i've theorized that the music one listens too the most is related to the prodominent brainwave that person has. classical music is alpha, relaxing, and supposedly brain food (i think that's bull, but that's a different story). other's need a faster beat, something in the beta rythm to get them going.
    Classical music is relaxing? How degrading! They've obviously ignored like... everything! It makes no sense! Do they think The Rite of Spring is relaxing? I should think not!
    Thanks, Ishy, for saying what I was thinking. It's a sad state of matters when centuries of serious development, training, not to mention blood, sweat, and a great many tears are reduced to nothing more than elevator music.

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    A half-note (get it? Im lame ... sigh) off topic but:

    Have any of your heard the songs by the composer that did the Final Fantasy series? So many of them sound "classic-genre-induced" but done digitally mainly. What do you think/feel about that or the songs done?

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    aahahah from my standpoint, i don't have one, i just like to play the music and thinking about it ruins it. it's NONVERBAL expression, and verbalizing it makes it fucking useless. ugh. this is why i play music instead of talking on a forum a bunch

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    Quote Originally Posted by heathiep
    aahahah from my standpoint, i don't have one, i just like to play the music and thinking about it ruins it. it's NONVERBAL expression, and verbalizing it makes it fucking useless. ugh. this is why i play music instead of talking on a forum a bunch
    LOL, well I agree. A lot of musicians I know are much too focused on intellectualizing music and giving themselves a verbal blow job. But, after a few years of training, it's difficult not to go: "Okay, 3/4 time, one-two-three, one-two-three... minor-to-major shift... i-iv-i-V-I-IV..." while practicing. Verbalizing has actually helped me a lot, whereas if I didn't have that thought process going, I'd sit there not comprehending the music at all.

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    sfmj

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby
    Quote Originally Posted by heathiep
    aahahah from my standpoint, i don't have one, i just like to play the music and thinking about it ruins it. it's NONVERBAL expression, and verbalizing it makes it fucking useless. ugh. this is why i play music instead of talking on a forum a bunch
    LOL, well I agree. A lot of musicians I know are much too focused on intellectualizing music and giving themselves a verbal blow job. But, after a few years of training, it's difficult not to go: "Okay, 3/4 time, one-two-three, one-two-three... minor-to-major shift... i-iv-i-V-I-IV..." while practicing. Verbalizing has actually helped me a lot, whereas if I didn't have that thought process going, I'd sit there not comprehending the music at all.
    well naturally, no one who plays music can be against the theory of it, i mean, i can read music, but i just think discussion of art is the antithesis of appreciation of art. And that's not a statement of one hundred percent, i know there are situations when discussion can be appreciation, but they are rare.

  17. #17
    Creepy-Merry Christmas

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    Quote Originally Posted by heathiep
    Quote Originally Posted by Baby
    Quote Originally Posted by heathiep
    aahahah from my standpoint, i don't have one, i just like to play the music and thinking about it ruins it. it's NONVERBAL expression, and verbalizing it makes it fucking useless. ugh. this is why i play music instead of talking on a forum a bunch
    LOL, well I agree. A lot of musicians I know are much too focused on intellectualizing music and giving themselves a verbal blow job. But, after a few years of training, it's difficult not to go: "Okay, 3/4 time, one-two-three, one-two-three... minor-to-major shift... i-iv-i-V-I-IV..." while practicing. Verbalizing has actually helped me a lot, whereas if I didn't have that thought process going, I'd sit there not comprehending the music at all.
    well naturally, no one who plays music can be against the theory of it, i mean, i can read music, but i just think discussion of art is the antithesis of appreciation of art. And that's not a statement of one hundred percent, i know there are situations when discussion can be appreciation, but they are rare.
    Personally I dont make this left brain activity when listening to music, or when writing music, it's about expressing, not thinking about it. To put it in other words, my hands play, and I really dont know what they are doing, but sometimes, if I get a song in my head, I want to play it, then my hands express it, but I never, never think in notes, just play, it's all automatic, and there really is a total silence (not any words in my brain, not any thoughts), and that are very calming, playing is therapy, and expression of inner states.

    I never think, like what if I do this, or that, I just do it, it's all automatic, there is no reflection.

    I'm not sure what this is all about, but I know piano players, that play by notes, but cannot improvise, or make something that works, without any reflection. Like a guitar or synth solo..

    What's it's all about I'm not sure, but I know people who play by notes extremely well, but just aint musical, lack feeling in their play, simply sounding flat, or others who dont have a sense of musical timing, playing to rigidly by the notes..

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Socionics and Music Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by mike_INTJ
    as far as siezures go, it could make sense. the classical has a tendency to have reverberating instruments from the string line. this back and fourth frequency may be just enough to send someone over the edge. same effect happens when you place a glass by a speaker (myth busters). only in this case the mind seperates these tones and the brain waves probably go all nutty.
    Well, it's not quite what I meant. Some people just have auditory/musical triggers for seizures. It's very common, because the auditory cortex, the limbic system, and most structures associated with listening to music are in the temporal lobes - both the most easily damaged and the most epileptic region of the brain.

    Vibrato is common (particularly the vibrato used by singers, me - I don't usually have problems with strings unless they are playing Strauss or something from the Romantic era which stylistically demands the type of vibrato which sends me over the edge). However, my biggest seizure issue isn't actually vibrato, it's rhythm. Vibrato and reverberation doesn't invariably set me off, but a metronome will (except between 50-58 bpm, above and below those tempi will invariably produce an aura, though not always a loss of consciousness).

    My triggers seem to be fairly specific. They need to be specific volume and timbre. For percussion, it needs to be a specific tempo and "degree of percussiveness" (a metronome in another room will be ok but not in the same room as me). For vibrato - specific speeds and how wide/narrow it is. Some triggers need to be repetitious (Terry Riley's "In C" will do it with the repeated C's on the piano). Different instruments have different thresholds and slightly different "requirements" for them to trigger anything.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby
    Quote Originally Posted by ishysquishy
    The left-hemisphere functions seem to be the more theoretical functions, the right-hemisphere functions look more like what you were referring to.

    Would probably be good to talk to people with temporal lobe epilepsy or other temporal lobe damage, they can provide an insight. Particularly with epilepsy, my neurologist tells me that auditory/musical triggers are very common.
    Thanks, Ishy for that breakdown of the neurobiological implications of music. I realized, after posting that, I had done a very stupid thing. I had separated the music from the theory; this was a fallacy on my part because the theory is always there, whether you pay attention to it or not. There have been studies on the effects of music training on brain activity, and neurologists have actually found that trained musicians display more activity in left hemisphere when asked to listen to music than those who have had no formal training. Music theory itself can be said to impose definitions and theories onto musical phenomenon, and thus could be said to activate those more theoretical functions, and those that have traditionally been assigned to verbal function. Thus, trained musicians all will superimpose the theoretical conceptualizations over the music they perform and hear. This article seems to back me up: http://www-agki.tzi.de/ik2001/prog/av/paper.pdf
    I read that before, but now that you've said it, it clicks. It would explain why I didn't have the musical triggers until a couple of years ago (they appear to be left temporal lobe seizures, I still need to have some more tests to figure out exactly what is happening but it's my right arm that jerks, which implies left hemisphere). I guess my once my left hemisphere got more involved....

    You mentioned the limbic system, and there it gets a bit complicated – it is said to be the seat of emotion… among those emotions are sexual arousal, aggression (isn’t all opera said to be about sex and violence? lol!), and motivation.
    Don Giovanni is the perfect example :wink:

    So, now that I think about it, its not so easy to define what this could mean in the context of Socionics. All trained musicians seem to level out after years of solfeg and ear training, but also developing the emotional maturity that comes with time. I am guessing that, with time, INTx musicians will develop more of that emotional undercurrent, while INFp/j musicians will need to develop more of the theoretical undercurrent.
    That makes sense.

    (I know that you are actually quite proficient with the theory, Ishy, but there’s always exceptions. :wink

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Socionics and Music Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by ishysquishy
    Quote Originally Posted by mike_INTJ
    i've theorized that the music one listens too the most is related to the prodominent brainwave that person has. classical music is alpha, relaxing, and supposedly brain food (i think that's bull, but that's a different story). other's need a faster beat, something in the beta rythm to get them going.
    Classical music is relaxing? How degrading! They've obviously ignored like... everything! It makes no sense! Do they think The Rite of Spring is relaxing? I should think not!
    I should probably clarify what I meant here...

    I don't find music relaxing. I think if you found music relaxing you musn't be fully appreciating it. Music to me is very stimulating (some are over-stimulating and send me into an obsessive-compulsive frenzy which is quite unpleasant. Ironically, it's usually "mediation music" that does it).

    Music is so complex, even one tone has so much within it, it boggles the mind. There is always something new to hear, something you didn't notice the last time you listened. There is always something new to feel, always a new thought to have. Music is so exciting and inspiring, how could one possibly relax?

    I tell you this - if someone said the way I played was "relaxing", I would seriously rethink my interpretation. If someone said Bach was "relaxing", I would be offended on his behalf. If someone said The Rite of Spring was "relaxing", I would be gravely concerned!

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