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What musicians can learn from Leonardo da Vinci

Have you ever heard of Leonard DaVinci? You know … the guy who did the “Mona Lisa,” “The Last Supper,” and some other stuff….

Most people think of DaVinci as a painter, a sculptor, or an engineer. But did you know that Leonardo was also an excellent musician? Yep.

In his day, DaVinci loved music. Between art projects and scientific studies, he found time to play the lira da braccio (a forerunner of the violin). And he got pretty good. He even designed new instruments—like these mechanical drums and a portable piano:

leonardo da vinci mechanical drum and portable keyboard

DaVinci fell in love with music for one main reason—it engaged his whole mind. The structured patterns of music theory flexed his analytical left brain, while the flowing beauty of a song soothed his artistic right brain. Music was the best of both worlds .

Leonard once said to “Study the science of art and the art of science.” And music offers the best way to do exactly this. The art and science of sound lets you see the world in a whole new way … to think outside the box and to cross-pollinate ideas.

By bridging the gap between our logic and creativity, music can help us solve big problems and make amazing discoveries. Leonardo’s artwork and mechanical designs were influenced by patterns he observed in music. And his art and engineering certainly enhanced his musicianship.

So, do like DaVinci … and open yourself to the world around you. If you allow seemingly unrelated things to inspire you, your music will get even better.

What’s the coolest inspiration you’ve ever had for a song?

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