I must admit, I am a melody person; always have been. Probably even enforced by learning melody instruments and singing from when I was very young.
I think it’s a rather a contemplative and aesthetic approach to music driven by sound as a colour and a story, in other words more cognitive, compared to experiencing music through rhythm and bass, which are more primal aspects of music, since the lower and more periodic vibrations are easier for the whole body to register and might even be noticeable when ears are covered or deaf.
Rhythm triggers straight forward physical reactions and if a person finds its path to music primarily through rhythm maybe that person is also earth-bound, well connected with ground, possibly rather intuitive, whereas the melody-person is more of a thinker and contemplater, head-in-the-clouds.
This idea is very generalizing, but there is something about. It can certainly change in a persons life, or rather develop. You can train different approaches, heighten your sensibility of certain aspects of sound and music and find or strengthen certain related parts in your personality. After all, music is maybe the most intrinsic way of human communication. There is no way you can separate it from yourself. It engages wholly body and mind.
But what about melody?
I think there is so much information in a well phrased melody. Just think of how the tone in someone’s voice can convey so much more than they’re inclined to tell you. The same is true for all other instruments beside the voice. There can be so many shades in timbre, dynamics, vibrato, timing.
Performing by myself unaccompanied with my voice or a my flute always felt very essential for me and I guess it often was bold and also sometimes lonely, but a way for me to open up to my surroundings, making myself vulnerable in order to connect. It was always worth the risk.
I remember clearly the time at university in Germany, when I just started fresh, having moved from Finland and having a hard time finding a new circle of friends. My whole situation changed, when I on stage in my second semester at a student event, where people from all disciplines performed for each other. I just sang a ballad and played some Irish tunes, but sitting there in the black room, bathed in light and silence I took a chance and pierced the darkness with what I had to give and at the same time, something that was frozen for a while inside me cracked and gave way to meaningful connection, to some kind of love, I guess. Aren’t we always looking for love with music?
Here a memory that we share. Do you remember?