Synergy 1981 by Scott Kim

Wikipedia defines synergy as:

The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Yeah, it sounds dry and boring. But stop and consider how synergy affects your life. The systems of our body function synergistically to support life.

Synergy can function for both positive and negative outcomes. I prefer to focus on the positive. And, I see that frequently played out in my day – often through music.

When you are part of a music ensemble, you have a part, a piece of music to play. There may or may not be others playing your exact part. That part may be simple or difficult, meaningful alone or seem unimportant. Yet when experienced within the ensemble playing together, each of those separate parts comes together to create something,

I have selected three musical examples to help bring this to life. The selections all have the word synergy included within them. First is the percussion ensemble  – Synergy. Pay attention to the timbres used, the interplay of the members.

Next is a composition for wind band dedicated to the memory of a gentleman who brought together a divergent group of people and interests to support the band and dance teams at a high school. The composer, my husband, seems to have captured the energy and drive that synergy can sometime create.

Synergy by Jeff Jordan

Finally is a marching band show. Here it is easier to see how the forms on the field relate to the music. None of this would happen with out the individuals all correctly performing the music AND executing the movements.

In a music therapy session, synergy can also be found in how the various parts coalesce (the client(s), the music therapist, the music, the intervention, the day, the time…it seems endless). Hopefully this synergy creates a point where something positive, maybe wonderful, major or minor in scope happens.

Where do you experience synergy in your life? Please share it in the comments below.

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