The Natural Musician

Dateline: 02/13/98

I often talk about language and music in this space. Usually language in terms of song lyrics, and how listening to music in a foreign language and impede or enhance understanding of the music. But what about music itself -- melody, harmony, instrumentation -- as a language? What is music's role in our lives, in our society?

Someone else has been thinking of these same questions, and recently got in touch with me. Ikaika Hussey, in Hawaii, has created a site called The Natural Musician. "This site," she says, "will be aimed at the discussion of music as an important element of human soceity. Why do we have music? What have we done with it, and what are we doing with it now? What can we do with it in the future?"

Ikaika has some specific questions she would like to address:

  • Is music naturally occuring?
  • Can it be used as a method of communication, as a bona-fide language?
  • Can all people develop a deel understanding of music, or are certain people more naturally inclined to it?
  • What should the relationship be between performer/lister? Should there really be a separation?

    These are all very deep questions, all of which various philosophers and academics have attempted to answer. But there really are no real answers, only theories, and Ikaika would like yours. She wants her Web site to be a medium for your thoughts and perspectives on these issues.

    It will be very interesting to see the different responses between the many different countries and cultures that I know visit this site. If at all possible, when you email Ikaika could you cc a copy to me at This should be food for thought for a feature down the road.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

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