Using Meditation To Advance Your Chordal Recognition Ability.

Have you ever wanted to

  • improve your ability to recognize notes within a chord?
  • be able to hear a chord and distinguish its name and function?
  • spend some quality time relaxing in an easy chair?
  • block out the noise, stress and commotion of your daily lives?
  • leave the noise and tension of the world around you and visit a more stress free environment with nothing but slow moving thoughts of pleasant places?

If you vote for the affirmative on any or all of these conditions, I have just the place for you to visit.

Sleep Music, Peaceful Music, Relaxing, Meditation Music, Sleep Meditation Music

As a long time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, I have a great respect for the two, twenty minutes periods of time I have been able to spend in meditation each day. This quiet, secluded technique has been part of my life since 1976 and I continue to enjoy its long lasting benefits.

Recently, while meditating to some very soothing and enjoyable background music (which is not part of the TM technique or even encouraged by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself), I began to recognize some added benefits from listening to these non cadential sounds. As you listen to this passive sound track, you will understand of what I am speaking.

Begin listening to the sound track from this site and start by isolating the soprano notes which hang in the upper most level of each chord. It is much easier to hear the top pitches and as you continue to practice this listening exercise, you will begin to eventually “pull out” the lowest or bass notes of each chord and as you continue with this exercise the inner notes will become more recognizable.

Instructions of this exercise-

  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable chair next to your computer.
  2. Locate and begin playing the YouTube video listed here- Sleep Music, Peaceful Music, Relaxing, Meditation Music, Sleep Meditation Music, 8 Hour.
  3. Close your eyes and begin to listen for the upper most pitch in each passing chord.
  4. As each chord begins to change, continue to isolate the upper most pitch and strive to identify its actual pitch. You may not be able to actually identify the true pitch name but this will eventually come with more practice.
  5. Notice that the movement of the soprano note will sometimes move in steps and in other cases move in skip wise motion. As you follow the path of this upper note, recognize that it sometimes seems to fade away and eventually reestablish itself as another pitch.
  6. Continue to isolate the top note of each chord and make the subtle adjustments needed to stay with the soprano note.
  7. Do not be distracted with the other notes of the passing chords; concentrate only on the soprano note.

With practice you will become much more successful in your recognition of the top note as well as eliminating the other notes of each chord.

Continue this exercise for a couple days and when you feel confident that you can recognize and identify the soprano notes name, then switch to the lowest note or the bass note and begin the same process with that note as you did with the top note. Once you have gained confidence in identifying the top and bottom notes, continue with the inner voices of each chord.

One of the great benefits of this sound track is that the change in pitches are made very, very slowly which increases your ability to hear the changes in slow motion.

All of these exercises should be done in a low light setting and with your eyes close in order to limit visual distractions from around you.

Eventually this exercise will increase your accuracy to recognize pitch changes, pitch names and increase your perception as to the pitches which make up each chord you are listening to.

As an added bonus, you will undoubtedly lower your blood pressure and increase your ability to concentrate.


Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.