Mood Notes



Now that you’re getting to know the triple light and triple heavy moods, let’s add them to the collection of moods you’re reading and imagining notes inside of.

So, as you’ve been doing, choose a random mood, try to recognize its overall feeling, then get inside the mood to hear its individual tensions, and try reading silently to yourself.

But let’s add a new twist. Since you’re working with all the tensions in all the moods, you can also begin to reorient yourself inside the tonescape, and hear different notes as the anchor note.

We’ve been using the same anchor note for all of the moods, because that’s made it easier to hear the differences between moods. But you can also pause on any tension, and shift your focus so that you start to hear that note as the anchor.

Then, suddenly, the tonescape will become an entirely different mood that you can recognize and read inside of.

So, for example, I’ll’ choose a random mood [single heavy tonescape], and right away, I’m pretty sure I recognize the feeling of the single heavy mood.

But just to be sure, I’ll listen inside to the 3rd and make sure it’s a heavy 3rd, so [sing: anchor, 2nd 3rd], and yes, it is. Then I’m also going to listen to the 6th to make sure it’s a heavy 6th [sing: anchor, 7th, 6th], and yes, it is, too.

And now, what if I stay with this heavy 6th, and reorient myself so that I start to hear it as an anchor?

That’s a little bit of a strange thing to do, because this note really does feel like a heavy 6th. But if I pause on it for a little while, maybe sing it a couple times [sing], and then sing some other notes of the tonescape starting from this note [sing], then it really does start to shift and feel like the anchor.

And once it does, now I have a new mood with this new note as the anchor [sing: anchor, 2nd, 3rd… anchor].

But which mood is it? To find out, I can listen as though this were the mood I’d chosen randomly to begin with. It definitely feels like a lighter mood, so I can get inside and start to listen to the tensions [sing: anchor, 2nd, light 3rd], and then if I keep going, [sing: 4th], aha, this is a light 4th, which means this is our new, triple light mood.

[stop tonescape]

You can do this same thing with any tension in any of the moods. Reorient yourself to turn it into the anchor, and you’ll get different mood. And you’ll be able to recognize which mood it is, since now you’re familiar with all the moods.

This means that we can think of each note in a shape as a “mood note,” that is, a note that will create a particular mood when you turn it into the anchor.

As you listen and play, you’ll gradually get to know which note creates which mood in which shape. And once you know one mood note in a shape, there’s a trick to help find the others.

To find the mood note for the next lighter mood, count four notes of the shape upward from your anchor, and to find the next heavier mood, count four notes downward.

So for example, if I know that this note [play] creates the neutral mood, I can count, starting from that note, [play and sing: one, two, three, four], and this will be the note that creates the single light mood [play]. If I start from this note and count four more, [play and sing: one, two, three, four], this note will create the double light mood [play].

And it works the same way in the other direction. Starting from the neutral mood note [play], I can count downward starting from that note [play & sing: one, two, three, four] and this note will give me the single heavy mood [play]. Four more notes [play & sing: one, two, three, four] will give me the double heavy mood, and so on.

A way to think about why this works, is that moving four notes within a single shape creates the same relationships of tensions to the anchor, as keeping the same anchor but moving to the next shape in the group of shapes.

The distance in that new shape between the common mood note, and the anchor that you’re keeping the same, is also four notes of the shape.

So give it a try. Choose a random mood, reorient yourself inside of it, and then try reading and playing around in the new mood.

Reorienting yourself in a mood really starts to show you what your internal instrument is capable of, and how much you’re becoming able to control what you hear. Not only can you decide which notes to imagine inside of a mood, but now you can also create the mood itself.

Experiment with this a little, and when you feel comfortable reorienting yourself to different mood notes, then you’re ready to come back for more.

Tonescape Exercises

Level 29 Exercises