Music as Manipulation of Energy

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a long time friend and old band mate. We were discussing various music theory concepts. When he mentioned that he’d been teaching an idea to a group of musicians he’s currently working with, about music as a manipulation of energy.

Right away I was intrigued and excited since it’s something I think about often. For me music didn’t come natural. I wasn’t a God-given talent by any means. It was pure determination and will. Effort and energy. (Read a bit about my personally history learning music in the previous post here.)

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It’s an interesting idea. Sort of an Einstein like theory of music. Where each note, each beat, each breath is literally like shoveling coal into the belly of a steam ship engine. And each musician is responsible to carry their own weight, energetically speaking. If someone starts falling short with their coal shoveling, (i.e. energy manipulation), the ship doesn’t move forward.

For some reason this metaphor reminded me of the classic Fred Astaire film scene in the engine room. I’ve always loved this!

“Slap that bass…”


However, this idea that each person involved has a certain energetic responsibility to the music extends beyond just the musicians for me personally. It’s a reciprocity among audience and performers. Where the band plays and puts out energy to the crowd and the crowd reacts and returns this energy. In the best scenario this continues back and forth creating a synergistic flow.


From my experience this is when music becomes great. It’s not about how technically perfect the musicians played or how cool they looked. But simply how well did everyone connect and share their energy through the music. How well did we all manipulate the energy,  sound, vibration, even time, to create a moment worth remembering.

Do you have any philosophical theories of music and what creates greatness at a concert? Please join the conversation and reply in the comments below!

7 Replies to “Music as Manipulation of Energy”

  1. I’ve always felt this at live shows. It’s like absorbing the energy from a thermodynamic reactor, and then, being informed with this energy, passing it on with some of the spices from your own electromagnetic stamp of origin.

  2. My personal best experience’s at live shows, has always been that connection. In some way that moment shared when you feel that special connection with what’s happening at that moment. Where I as a fan feels apart of that magic that the artists before me are creating. I think it starts with the band itself being in total harmony with itself ( and I don’t just mean musically) but something else. A certain energy that is put out by anything that is pure and right, and for myself that speaks volume over showmanship or content. I can almost always get that out of small venues rather than the big arenas. Orchid is one of those bands that I get the feeling of home, and welcoming. Not just from the band either, but the crowd, people they attract. For that it’s always a pleasant magical experience. Cheers

  3. Yes!??? This is the Alchemy of music and why when you get certain energies together focused on a vision it creates magick . This is exactly what I am always working towards it is a way to expand and grow both for the musicians and the audience ?

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