Preview: A Guide to Music Composition

Other than mixing down music and composing I’ve been working on my video editing skills on a series I’m calling “A Guide to Music Composition. Here’s as snippet from the script s well as a short video snippet underneath.

Hi, I’m James Revels Composer and thanks for watching “A Guide to Music Composition”. Together we will be exploring the routine I use as a guideline for creating my music. I assume that you already have a general knowledge of music theory so that I can reduce jargon in order to be more accessible to new or non-musicians.
The step in the guide are:
Creating a Rhythmic Motif
Choosing a Scale
Creating a Theme
Creating Accompaniment
Developing Orchestration
Mixing the Track

Two Types of Intelligence: Analytical v.s. Abstract

There are many types of intelligence that exist in this world. There’s social intelligence and academic intelligence, but I want to focus on two I am intimately familiar with; analytical and abstract intelligence.

Analytical Intelligence

We’ve all heard the saying “Think outside the box”. Well, analytical intelligence is the exact opposite of that. Analytical people will look inside the box, describe and break down every thing inside the boxes. They may even get lost in the boxes inside the boxes! This type of intelligence is great for understanding the nuances of specific objects. It’s like taking a magnifying glass and notating all the like cracks, crevices and colors. This lends well to math and science. The problem with this intelligence is that getting lost in the details is all too easy.

Abstract Intelligence

Abstract intelligence is the counterpart to analysis. Theses are the ones who “think outside of the box” and realize that all ideas are in one big box with infinite smaller boxes. Stated simply, abstraction is the act of generalization; stripping away the specifics and focusing on the similarities. For instance, “Color” is an abstraction of the specific colors “Blue” and “Orange” or “Sport” is an abstraction of the specific sports “Soccer” and “Baseball”. An abstraction is, like a big box that you fit other smaller boxes in to connect them together.  This lends well to poetry because you can abstract two unrelated words like, “bullet” and “shark”, into a simile such as “The shark swam like a speeding bullet”.  Abstract minded people usually are good at creative writing, art and music. The problem with abstract thought is that if the relation between the two ideas is too loose communicating the thought could be disastrous.

Final Thoughts

No intelligence is better than the other. I’d say analytical intelligence tends to be more practical, but abstract intelligence tends to be more beautiful. Although, in practice we use both simultaneously, there tends to be a preference for analytical over abstract. There’s nothing wrong wrong with this but without understanding the balance we miss one half of the equation that makes subjects like math interesting. Math is the analysis of an abstract concept called numbers. While writing composition classes are the abstractions of multiple pieces of writing. By framing school work or problems in this way it could help with finding solutions. If you know all the details and are still stuck, try to find a loosely similar situations that you relate to and try to tackle it that way (analytical to abstract). Or if you are confused on a dense concept, try to ground the idea in a metaphor, by relating the parts you do understand to something familiar. (abstract to analytical).

What do you think? Leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

Check out the new song I composed for the game I’m working on.


Allstate, Amazon and Book

So a week ago when moving into my apartment I get this tweet from Allstate  Twitter account insurance saying this


I was skeptical but I saw the official blue seals that Twitter gives celebrities so I sent a message with my email then got this


I was shocked and excited and happy as all hell lol. By the time I got it I had already bought most essentials so I contemplated long and hard on what I wanted to do with it. I didn’t know until yesterday when I went to my cousins graduation. She majored in math, so I showed her a screen shot of my “musicometry” (I would’ve posted pic but phone is having trouble with uploading the image. I’ll post some screen shots in their own dedicated post)
We talked briefly and realized how fluent I really was in math because we understood each other perfectly. Although a college drop out myself, this year would have been the year I graduated, regardless of that fact I’m proud of myself because I published a book and moved out on my own so far this year.
What does this have to do with the gift card? Well, I want to get books, because I want to spend the next years writing a math dissertation and there are subject which I know the basics but I wish to explore in depth. So I need your help suggesting books. I’m looking for books on topics (in order of most importance) such as category theory, intermediate to advanced logic, dynamical systems, adaptive systems, network theory and abstract algebra.
Here’s a little snippet of my current book collection

How I became Who I am Today

As I was growing up I never truly knew what I wanted to be. In a way I still don’t. In Elementary, I wanted write stories. Novels and the such, but I soon realized I didn’t have the patience to keep a story going past the first chapter or two, although I had finished an outline of the entire plot. In middle school and early high school, I was super interested in linguistics. I would study the history of language and structure of languages, even created my own language, “Tichoshian”, but never became fluent in a language (yet.) Then, Late in High school, I began falling in love with music, math and science. Going to science fairs and math Olympics while recording mixtapes with friends. Even my standardized test left me confused. I’d get near advanced in all areas with English being the only outlier. So when I graduated from high-school I was going to get a degree in English and do Englishy stuff with it (or so I thought). Then reality set in, no scholarships or money I wasn’t going to a university. So, community college with financial aid was the choice for me. When I had started college I had only been 18 for a month. I was young and dumb. I felt empty and really didn’t know what I wanted in in life. I became nihilistic. Wasting my time going down to the local university where my best friend at the time attended and just partied my life away after classes. I never did my home work. After that my financial aid was rightfully cut off and I was stuck with nothing. Nothing, but a burning fire to do something great. In all that time I didn’t stop creating though. I continued to compose and record music and write poetry. Eventually I created a WordPress blog (Not this one the first one was called the evolution of eloquence and I posted mostly poems on it) and I’ve been blogging and creating music ever since. Now with an upcoming book, tons of released music with some on iTunes I can truly say I’m proud of how I’ve grown up. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m eager to see where the rest of my journey takes me.

James Revels – math tutor?

Yesterday I saw my 6th grade math teacher. I live across the street from the school named Valerie elementary, its where I first learned to read sheet music. She told me how she needs assistance tutoring her kids in math. Im off every monday so I decided to use that time to tutor started tomorrow. Hope that goes well