Music in a dream

From time to time I hear beautiful strains of music in my dreams. Not familiar music, but rather music I’ve never heard before. There are times when my dreaming mind thinks “Ah, what a beautiful melody. If only I could write this down, to enjoy when I am awake.”

I remain skeptical that this music exists at all. Although it would be lovely to think that my sleeping mind is composing lovely lyrical airs on the fly, I suspect that it is more likely an illusion – that some part of my mind that responds to music is being triggered, without there really being such music.

Of course it would be delightful to find out that the music is real – that my mind is not merely conjuring up a feeling, but the music itself. My skepticism arises from other situations in which my dream-self has been shown to be highly self-deluding.

In particular, I have often woken up from a dream in a state of great excitement, having just invented some marvelous process or mechanism. This euphoria generally lasts around three seconds or so – the amount of time it takes my waking mind to process the great invention and to realize that there is nothing meaningful there – that my “discovery” was merely a row of rainbow colored paints, or an elevator that travels sideways.

It could be that music is different on some fundamental level, that the mind is indeed capable of generating the real deal – lovely lilting strains of inspired music – in some somnambulistic state of fevered creation.

Alas, my waking mind remains ruefully skeptical. Then again, perhaps it is my waking self that is missing something beautiful. As Chuang Tzu might have asked, am I a cynic who dreams he is a composer, or a composer who dreams he is a cynic?

2 thoughts on “Music in a dream”

  1. I’ve had the exact same thing happen to me recently (and was actually searching the internet to see if it happens to anybody else). I believe that it’s real. I think that there is some part of my subconscious mind capable of creating this complex and beautiful music. I just wish my conscious knew enough about music to actually create these songs I’ve heard for everyone else to hear.

    It also makes me wonder if this similar to what happens when an artist gets an idea or an inspiration from a dream. Does an artist see a complete and beautiful portrait in a dream and then try and paint it exactly as he saw it?

  2. Hi Ken,
    Your blog echo’s ,y experience. I also dream of new strains of beautiful music and wonder if only I had the know how to capture it. Was searching on google to see if someone else has that experience. 🙂

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