Melodies from Dreams

I often dream music, or at least melodies. Many a night I’ve woken up and charged sleepily to the piano keyboard, to bang out a quick melody so I don’t forget it before the morning really comes. (Many a night I’ve also rolled over and gone back to sleep on a melody, thinking “Oh, this is too cool, I won’t forget it!”, only to struggle to recall even the smallest rhythm later that morning. Fail!) Either way it happens, it’s a wonderful way to wake up, with your brain bathing in song!

Once I wake up for the day, especially if the melody is still very fresh, I’ll usually end up putting chords or words with it so that I can more easily remember the melody. If I’m struggling to recall the melody, I’ll muse around at the keyboard instead, playing as much of it as I can remember until something triggers my brain to remember the rest of it. (Occasionally I’ve had the same melody appear twice in dreams, or a snippet of a dream will remind me of the melody–always a blessing!) And once I have the melody, or at least as much as I remember of it, I can then begin to craft more of the piece of music, sometimes weaving in other chord progressions I’ve created while awake, or sometimes pulling in other dreamed melodies as appropriate.

I find that the music I dream of, whether it becomes a fully-fledged piece of music immediately or remains an itty-bitty melody for a few weeks, is often more ethereal and beautiful than stuff I come up with while awake. I like to think my brain explores my dreams while I’m asleep and brings back a shred of those dreamed realms, in snatches of melody that float back with me as I wake. Or maybe that’s just my random imaginings… But wherever they come from, they are delightful inspiration, all too rare these days.

What about you, fellow musicians? Have you ever dreamed of a piece of music, or a melody?

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