Depression: an obstacle to learning LO11250
Tue, 3 Dec 1996 23:02:20 -0500

Replying to LO11235 --

Julie Beedon wrote:

> Music also is a language without words which can express many emotions and
> help us in communication etc..

Music is a classic example of complexity theory -- especially emergence.

A chord when played perfectly produces what is called an overtone; this is
a sound that emerges from the interplay of the other notes, but has no
physical origin. It is this phenomenon that sends chills down your spine
at the symphony or when you hear a Barbor Shop Quartet sing.

Music transcends normal cognitive filters, embodying, in my mind, almost a
spiritual language that speaks directly to the emotions (or the soul).

I've been working with a good friend, who is a professional singer, in
using music as an example of complexity theory, and as a practical tool
for increasing the speed of an organization. I've quoted part of a message
she sent me last night, which I think is very pertinent to this

"Music is three dimensional. If my quartet were to surround you with the
sound we can produce somehow it becomes so "thick" you can hear, see and
feel it. Likewise a symphony -- to sit in Abravanel Hall and close your
eyes during Beethoven is a tangible, physical experience. Organizations
are not flat or linear. They are comprised of living, breathing beings and
for a company or business entity to REALLY fly and flow, it, too needs to
be 3-dimensional and alive. And it CAN if the people that "live" there
are allowed the freedom to let their inherent creativity resonate
throughout the organization."

Last Sunday a choir I sing with visited a home where severely handicapped
children live. Most of the children are both physically handicapped (or
deformed) and mentally retarded. None of them has ever spoken or read a
single word.

As we began to sing the music blended so beautifully that it sent shivers
down my spine. As I looked into the faces of the children, helplessly
sitting in their wheelchairs, I noticed several of them had tears
streaming down their cheeks. The music had spoken to them in a way that
neither words or pictures could. Our choir had communicated with children,
that for all intents and purposes, had never been communicated with! It
was a truly touching moment.

We were singing to celebrate Thanksgiving in America, and as I saw the
tears flow I couldn't help but think how thankful I was for my body and my
mind. But more importantly, I was thankful that I could share a gift with
children who may never have another gift shared with them in any
meaningful way in this life.


Ben Compton

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