Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just what is Mage Music Anyway?

Just a few thoughts written from on the road...  

Mage Music 09: Just what is Mage Music anyway?

I got to thinking about it the other day as I was driving - thinking about the fact that I've been writing here about Mage Music assuming that everyone would of course know exactly what Mage Music is - but it seems that ain't necessarily so.  

But first...
Let's start from this basic premise:  Not all music is created equal.  Not only that, but not all Mage Music is going to be music that everyone likes.  And not all music that everyone likes is Mage Music.

What it is not
Mage Music is not a value judgment about music.  Just because it's Mage Music doesn't mean it's good or bad.  The term "Mage Music" is simply a description of a kind of music, music with a certain additional quality not present in other music (more on this in a moment).  Thus, the following are not qualities that make a song Mage Music:
  • You really, really love a song 
  • Everyone you know really, really loves a song
  • A song has "meaningful" lyrics
  • A song is performed by a great musician or band
  • A song is a hit, on top of the charts, goes Platinum
  • A song gets played on the radio a lot
  • A song is covered by other bands a lot
  • A song wins awards
The realities of Mage Music are that it can move your heart but it can also - even at the same time - be hard to listen to, it can be unpopular, unsuccessful, and/or unnoticed even while it is powerfully and undoubtably Mage Music.

Conversely, just because a song isn't Mage Music doesn't mean it is some kind of lesser music.  It’s OK for music to just be entertainment – in fact, that’s pretty much what music is for and what most music you listen to is.

What It Is
Mage Music contains a quality beyond the usual musical attributes such as pitch, tone, timbre, melody, brilliance, rhythm and the rest, beyond even  "meaning".  This additional quality of Mage Music is connection with the infinite, with God or the gods, with the ineffable energy of All That Is.  If there is a message conveyed in this connection, it is nothing that humans can use words to describe.  This connection is a communion with something fundamental to and greater than humanity that we instinctively seek but rarely ever know.  It is the Force, it is the Light in enlightenment.

Mage Music is music that carries Magick with it to to deliver to our souls.  Magick is another word for the energy or higher power of the Universe (which is why there is no such thing as black magic, by the way: Magick simply IS;).  All things carry some level of this energy, but some things - particularly human art - may carry more of this concentrated, pure, focused and Purposeful energy of the Universe.  Enough of the stuff in music and you have Mage Music.

Mage Music Identification
But still, how can you tell Mage Music from any other music, especially when one person so often disagrees with the next on whether a song is even good music, much less whether it carries Magick?   

Here's a list of things that can help you determine whether there's Magick in a song.  Consider this a "starter" list - some of these may not apply to you, or your  experience of Mage Music may be very different.
  • You can’t not pay attention when you hear Mage Music - it''s not possible for it to be background music; your attention is pulled to it
  • It thrills you each and every time you hear it, no matter how often you've heard it
  • You aren't quite always sure if you actually enjoy the song even as you feel compelled to listen to it
  • You experience some sort of hugeness or weight to the song beyond the music itself
  • Sometimes you can't listen to it because it's too huge or heavy
  • It doesn't matter if anyone  around you is digging the music - in fact, it might be easier if they don't even notice the song is playing
  • The Magickal part may not be – probably is not – carried in the lyrics
  • You can’t predict from the musical score, the lyrics or reviews, or anyone else's comments whether it is Mage Music – the Magick must be experienced by you personally
  • When you hear the song, you "listen" with more than your ears.  It feels like the music resonates in your heart and soul, and that your whole body is on alert and paying attention
  • When the song is over, you feel like your soul has been dazed and confused and otherwise well-used - not an entirely comfortable feeling but one you seek over and over again.
People have their own individual reactions to Mage Music.  One for me is that I get a sort of shiver up my spine when I'm hearing it.  I'd be interested in finding out how other people know it when they hear it.

And so what?
Why does it matter if music is Mage Music? Maybe not much from the musician's perspective, since carrying Magick doesn't translate directly into sales, though it can help.  From the mage’s perspective, given that music is one of the most powerful and most accessible forms of affecting human beings there is, then Mage Music is one of the most powerful tools there is for impacting certain aspects of the human soul.  The trick is, however, that not just anyone can get the Magick into the music.  You might be the worlds greatest musician, but that doesn't make you a mage.

Hmmm - that does bring up the question of what a mage is, doesn't it?


I'm recommending listening to Jimmy Page's solos for Thank You that he's played over the years - not because they are particularly relevant to this week's Mage Music blog topic but because I like the song very much.  Any additional links to Thank You would be appreciated.

Individual versions:


  1. Oh Lif. I do truly love the way you show your perceptions of Jimmy Page's music and "Thank you" is special. I used to listen to his music when I was teenager and dance around and think it was all about rock and roll. A few months ago I started listening to it again and it affects me so deeply. I am drawn into every song and I cry and I don't even understand. All his songs are not sad. It's like I am crying for something that was lost and can't be found. I am not a cry baby. I have to be strong and not give in to tears. But I have cried more in past few months than I have for years. I feel emotionally drained after listening to them. I don't want people to make fun of me or think I am crazy person. His music is very personal and intense to me. I never want to show him or his music dishonor and it makes me mad when other's do. Jimmy Page's music touches my heart and my spirit. It is a blessing. Thank you Lif.

    1. You are walking the path to enlightenment, that's for sure! Your feeling that you are crying for something that was lost and can't be found are all signs of that are true feelings, reaction to the experience of the Mage Music ushering you to Source, to the overwhelming experience of that connection to the Infinite and the unbearable beauty of it. Although human mythology describes it as loss, it really isn't that at all, we're just reacting to the touch of Infinite. We finite beings can get burned by that brightness (the brightness is why it's called enLIGHTenment) and it is as painful as it is a blessing.

      Keep listening! Don't worry about the tears, just continue being open to the Magick of Mage Music!