Methods of music
I've not been playing much music lately -- mostly just pondering it in the car.
This morning's insight:
There's basically four ways of making sound with musical instruments. Hitting something; blowing through a pipe; vibrating a string; or using a keyboard.
(That bit isn't original: the division of musical instruments into chordophones, ideophones(?), and etc. is pretty standard.)
Between taking the violin in 4th grade, and playing the guitar and electric bass, I'm comfortable with stringed instruments. I can ''wing it'' pretty well on banjos, ukes, and etc: get the string to vibrate, and then fret or stop the string at different lengths to get different pitches; go up and down, and/or side to side to access different notes; it's usually possible to play the same note in different positions.
I'm comfortable with the drums. Maybe it's my being in fifth grade band and being the snare drum guy. (I was soooo dissapointed that when I signed up for ''drums'' in band, it wasn't an actual kit.)
And because I taught myself to play the alto recorder, and then dabbled with various brass instruments, I feel comfortable with the concept of wind instruments: different fingerings cause different notes; your breath controls the duration of the note (and the attack and decay).
But keyboard instruments: for some reason, they just don't resonate with me. They're incredibly useful: if you can play the keyboard, you can play a MIDI synth, which basically means you can "fake" just about any instrument. But the whole notion of generating a different sound with just the push of a button (the key on the keyboard) -- and each finger (or thumb) can independently make a sound -- that's pretty powerful.
One of these days I'll practice more on the keyboards.