Portamental, née SmarterMusic, is a musicianly blog featuring posts by Yuri Broze, Jeff Fowler, Dan Newman, Andrew DiMartino, and Catherine C. Jones.
A portamento is fluidity of pitch in music. It’s a slide from one pitch to another, blurring the boundaries between notes. Portamental is mental fluidity, and portability of ideas.
Portamental is dedicated to helping ourselves learn more about music and more about one another. This often involves instructive material, such as the SmarterGuide to A Cappella Arranging.
How We Learn
In brief: the more you know, the more you grow, because learning brings knowledge and knowledge means power.
Or perhaps try this: See one, do one, teach one. What I first learned as the old doctor’s credo is probably claimed by various disciplines, but regardless of its origin, its truth is undoubtable. Start by watching something be done, so you can get a vague idea of what it is, does, and what the result is. Do it and actually learn how to perform the mental or physical gymnastics. Then, teach one. As educator John Dewey wrote oh-so-aptly:
“One never truly learns something until he has confronted the necessary thinking required to teach that something to another learner.”
—John Dewey, 1916
Technology has brought us quite far since then, and the Internet is the most profound information-sharing medium yet devised, promising in its ability to allow for all three of these to occur–but unfortunately the first is all-too-often overemphasized. We embrace the exploratory spirit of this three-pronged educational philosophy wholeheartedly, and aims to provide for its creators and its readers all three opportunities. Our shared quest for musical enrichment is built not only on watching, but active learning, guided exploration, and deliberate application of the lesson learned.
Learning is interactive and cyclic. We hopes to be the axis of rotation. And puns.
Oh Yeah? Then Why Do You Ramble On Tangents All The Time?
We spend a lot of time thinking about music. Some of these things come in the form of little truths… lessons learned out of the microcosm of a musical endeavor that can be applied to the rest of one’s life. Some of them are simple mechanical understandings of the workings of different instruments or the techniques applied to them. With something as delightfully interdisciplinary as music, for an open mind the fun need never end. But of course, it is the joy and frustration of learning that every step forward gives you two more ways to turn, and it is so true that knowing anything at all just shows you how much you lack–and the only way to overcome this is to hash it out, and cough up some word-vomit onto a cyber-page. Well, perhaps not the only way, but certainly an effective one.