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A Novel Approach to Magic

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  • A Novel Approach to Magic

    I was trying to think of something a bit different to use in my story for NaNoWriMo and got to thinking about what kind of magic I could use in the tale (it is a fantasy story after all). Now music is one of my favourite pass-times, both listening to and playing (although my playing is generally a bit crap) so I wanted to use music as a form of magic in the world that I was creating. The more I thought about it, the more I thought how it could actually work, but not in the way I had originally intended.

    Now, in a lot fantasy stories that I've read, magic tends to feature quite heavily in the story and as often as not, produces some spectacular effects (D&D stuff in particular). Fireballs, lightning bolts, summoning creatures and the like. Exciting stuff. However, how they conjure all this stuff up is normally unexplained apart from a few choice words (Abracadabra!) and gestures. But I like to know just how it works!

    Music, and sound in general, is produced by vibrations. When you look at String Theory the every particle in the universe is made up of little 'strings' of energy that vibrate (or that's my understanding at least). Sound is also a form of energy. The way that I saw it was that if the entire universe is made up of vibrating energy and speach, song etc. is also vibrating energy, would they be related? Could one be used to influence the other?

    For example, Lute the bard is attacked by a rather nasty orc that wants to eat him. Lute reacts by screaming his lungs out. In doing so, he hits notes that match the vibrations of Strings and his continued screams alter the vibrations of the Strings. Therefore the nature of whatever the Strings make up will be changed. The real, visible effect of this is to turn the rather nasty orc into a cute fluffy bunny. With buck teeth.

    Has anyone else got any thoughts about the mechanics of magic? I'd be interested in finding out others' opinions.

  • #2
    Yes! Like it! Metaphysics with rationale! Which is always the case, if one has sufficient breadth of science...I like the theoretical construction: Some of my stories are concerned with the use of waveforms generated by emotional potential: 'emotic tranponders' convert emotional potentials into focussable energies.
    No, I don't know exactly how that works... :roll:
    Mike M hints at music being used as a sedative/ emotional 'barrage' in some Cornelius tales...

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    • #3
      Yes, I've always been fascinated between the vibrations of String Theory in conjunction with music. When I was younger and more into my music, I used to hold a 'strange' belief that the world was made of music, for some reason or another. Upon reading about strings (which perhaps really shouldn't properly be called a 'theory' as such) I realised there was maybe more to the idea than I had thought.

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      • #4
        Well everything's a waveform, really. Even Kiri Te Kanawa.
        And Waitrose in Hersham.
        Sobering, ain't it? :roll:

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        • #5
          There are suppressed musical scales,
          not just the ones from medieval China
          some have to do with certain inversions in opening Chakras
          and there are some western Church proscriptions also
          I'll try to find the info and post it
          "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Perdix
            Well everything's a waveform, really.
            Does that mean that it's impossible for something to travel in a straight line? Objects would move in a general direction but at the smallest levels they would be constantly changing direction and therefore not travelling in a straight line. Or am I just waffling here? :)

            Originally posted by Talisant
            I'll try to find the info and post it
            That sounds interesting Talisant. Good luck finding it!

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            • #7
              solfeggio scale
              "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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              • #8
                That Lucasarts computer game Loom utilized music as a conduit for magic.

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                • #9
                  Re: A Novel Approach to Magic

                  Originally posted by spaced_moorcock
                  ...so I wanted to use music as a form of magic in the world that I was creating.
                  Let's not forget that the magic in Tolkien's major works which created Middle Earth and its inhabitants was music. Beautiful strings of music created beautiful things and as different chords intermingled to form sour sounds, what they magically created was comparably ugly.

                  Using music as magic isn't a particularly new idea but I think it's one that still has plenty of room for exploration.

                  My lack of knowledge on String Theory prevents me from contributing a useful opinion there. :(
                  "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                  --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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                  • #10
                    Re: A Novel Approach to Magic

                    Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                    My lack of knowledge on String Theory prevents me from contributing a useful opinion there. :(
                    In my case, my string theory deficiency includes guitars, violins, and physics...

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                    • #11
                      this string theory?

                      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/

                      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                      - Michael Moorcock

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                      • #12
                        I saw most of that. It raised some really unsettling issues for me about the nature of things. What can be answered and what cannot. Existential questions, too. Funny how physics can do that to you.

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                        • #13
                          yep

                          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                          - Michael Moorcock

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                          • #14
                            Seems to me if your magic is created by music, you need a very strong dividing line between music and sound. The music would have to be something that could never be created by random nature, or neophytes. Maybe special instruments, or a very specialized technique for playing instruments.

                            jb

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                            • #15
                              Or merely by perception and possibly by appreciation.
                              Weather and sound as forms of atmospheric disturbance.
                              "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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