The notably conservative world of design theory sets a list of seemingly ever shifting rules that we as designers must adhere to. If we want our product to succeed then we must make sure it ticks many if not all of a set of boxes predetermined by those who designed before us. If we think about this technique, it leaves no room for our own creative invention. If the only way we can choose for ourselves how to cut the sandwich is by the diagram that shows the various styles, we're not left with an option to be creative. Maybe we could spread the jam clockwise for one and anti-clockwise for the other and see which one works out the best but in the world of sandwiches it won't rock the boat.
There is a lot to be said for the benefits of design theory. After all, the tried and tested method is the one we should most logically apply to any of our efforts. There is a place in all of us that needs the experience of those who spent a long time analysing the various ways of doing something right in our field. This doesn't mean it's the only way of doing something right, it just means it's been done enough with success that it's become worth mentioning.
Many designers prefer to work in anecdotes rather than data driven information. This opens up the spectrum of possible, when a loosely defined idea replaces the to-do list of actuality. Much to the dismay of science and engineering types, the creative thinker often chooses to remain one step away from the science side of what makes something worthwhile. Big data decision making can help us to pick what to aim for, who to create for and why, but if we want to stand out in the marketplace then we need a sense of individuality that people can relate to.
It's a half and half equation, in order to get something on the right lines, we need to remember that we're working with people that all think differently. By doing things in the proper way, it makes sure that we apply the best chance possible to our own success. We can show others that we have applied theory and thought to our efforts and it can then help them feel more comfortable with our product. Then on the other side of things, we need to show that we have personal interests in what we do, and that we're excited about and enjoying being part of our project. Theory doesn't cover these human emotions.
We therefore need to apply our own creative flare to a portion of what we do, and sometimes we have to take risks and throw the rules to the wind. Depending on how radical or game-changing we intend our creation to be, we can choose to only stick to the bare minimum of rules. Such with art, we've all seen those paintings that look like nothing else we've ever seen, and the only thing that shows us what it is, is the frame and canvas. That's one example of the bare minimum. Again, we've seen the art which we'd never know was art unless someone had labelled it as such. This then asks the question is the bare minimum requirement for art the notion of it being so?
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When you sit down to create, think about the rules and regulations then think about how you can break them.
Music is something that humans have been producing for millennia. Perhaps one of our first exports, our songs, rhythms, instrument design, and theory have passed from land to land. Today with so many styles and proficient artists, the world of global music has never been so connected and alive. Music bonds communities together, gives a common theme to a set of people, and helps everyone to understand the same stories and morals. We of course want a diverse set of songs and pieces of music available to us so that we don't all think the same things. Although it can be frustrating at times, having diversity of thought among similar peoples is an essential part of a truly democratic and free society.
Music is one of the best ways to communicate ideas and how we feel about them. It conveys emotion, masculine and feminine energy, softness, hardness, and all sorts of other human experiences. How the brain processes music is an area of research called neuromusicology. This subject concentrates on themes such as comparing human responses to music with people from different parts of the world. It also looks at the physics of vibration and how this can manipulate the chemistry and biology of the brain itself. The mind hears the music and listens to it while the brain actively responds in measurable ways. We can ask the subject about their mind and physically measure the brain.
Certain themes have been made clear in the study of music and the mind. It is evident that many aspects of listening to music are indeed universal to our entire species and not determined by culture specific nurture. Musical cognition will involve culturally significant processes too, we can expect people's reactions to music to depend on whether or not they have an experience in it and have pre-determined cultural knowledge of it. However, beyond the veneer of societal conditioning are set rules and results that music adheres to with us all.
It's been shown in study that music actively uses every known part of the brain. By correlating responses from each specific area of the brain, various functions and mental effects work together to form an all encompassing experience of the sound. The various parts of a piece of music, including rhythm, instrument type, timbre, amplitude, and lyrics all require various parts of the brain to fully comprehend. Putting them all together requires synchronous usage of all these sections.
It doesn't stop there, either. Because music actively uses all of the brain, those who play music or listen to it consciously with applied thought naturally have brains with more connections. Memory is improved and areas that are responsible for motor control, with playing musicians, are on the whole larger than for the rest of us.
Music really does bridge nations and in such a way that no-body really minds. That is unless we play it too loud of course. We all love our sing-a-longs when the time is right and it's one of the best ways to teach people information. When we can remember a song the words can double up as the answers to a test. Perhaps not so easy for post-graduate material but we were all six once. Make sure you find the time to enjoy some music today, and if not today then tomorrow. Comment below with some music that you like listening to.
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