Free Play



You’ve gotten to know all the tensions that make up all the moods, you’ve learned to reorient yourself to hear different notes as the anchor, and you’ve started to clearly imagine sounds, both inside the tonescape, and without the tonescape, in your mind’s ear.

So you’ve already built a powerful internal instrument, and begun to play it. And now, with that instrument, let’s return to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th groups of shapes. Because these will give you some new terrain to explore, that’s a bit unfamiliar, but still familiar enough for you to begin making sense of on your own.

And since you’ll be playing your internal instrument, let’s explore these groups as tonescapes, rather than as shapes on the keyboard.

When you go to the exercise for this level, you’ll find all the moods for each of the groups. Like the 1st group, the 2nd group has a neutral mood, three moods lighter than neutral, and three moods heaver than neutral. The 3rd group has only two moods, a Light and a Heavy mood, and the 4th group has only one, neutral mood.

All these tonesapes use the same anchor note, Re. So you can start by choosing a random mood and listening, very broadly, to recognize which group it comes from. All the moods from a single group will share a similar overall quality, since, as you’ve discovered, each mood is a different way of orienting yourself within the same collection of notes.

It might help to think of some words that describe the overall feeling of each group. For example, when you pick a random mood, is it the “familiar” sound of the 1st group, or the “mysterious” sound of the 2nd group, ir the “tense” sound of the 3rd group, or the “dreamy” sound of the 4th group? Of course you can come up with your own words for the overall feelings of the groups.

Then, once you have a sense for which group a mood comes from, you can get inside and start to listen to which tensions make it up. This is when you can really start getting to know the new moods and find relationships to the moods you already know. For example, you can hear that the 2nd group neutral mood is like the 1st group single heavy mood, but with a light 3rd. Or, you’ll find that only one note changes when you listen to successive moods, but alternate between the 1st and 2nd groups. Like from neutral in the 2nd group, to single light in the 1st group, to double light in the 2nd group, and so on.

Discovering these kinds of relationships is a way to start playing inside the moods, hearing melodies and progressions in your mind’s ear, and also to start moving between the moods. Then of course you can play with reorienting yourself inside any one of the moods, or finding ways to move between moods that are less closely related, or you can even try to hear some of the moods without the tonescape.

All this to say, you have some open terrain to explore using the internal instrument you’ve built. As you play with this instrument, you’ll continue to build and refine it, and you’ll find yourself playing around not only inside of tonescapes, but also inside of the music you come across every day.

So give it a try. Explore this world of musical sounds and ideas, both with real instruments, and with the instruments you build in your imagination. And when you’ve started to get the hang of it, that’s when you’re ready to go off and find a different musical world to explore.

Tonescape Exercises

Level 32 Exercises