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Mystery is Overrated

Updated: May 22, 2022

Over the years, I’ve often heard musicians explain their lack of desire to learn music in a deeper way as simply wanting to retain music’s “mystery.” They argue that by understanding what’s happening in the music they listen to, and in the music they make, their enjoyment will be diminished. This, however, has not been my experience.

What I have learned about music over the years has only expanded my appreciation and enthusiasm. Every time I dive deeper into theory, or learn more about another aspect of music, a piece of the musical puzzle falls into place. Over time, these pieces have revealed an awe-inspiring musical picture; one that brings me indescribable joy.

Furthermore, my experience creating music has become infinitely more fun and satisfying since building up my knowledge base. I am able to execute what I’m hearing in my head much more quickly; this allows for a flow and ease in my music-making that wasn’t there before. There’s a freedom that comes from understanding something so well you don’t have to think about it.

If you’re a musician who is hesitant to lift the fog around your understanding of music, consider this: for all the mystery that has been lost to me through years of practice and study, the one thing music has never lost is its magic.

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