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#581166 - 03/26/07 06:52 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by btb:
What an indictment of the ineffectual ability of the current keyboard notational system to convey the breathtaking shape of music ... that a scholar of music should be insensitive to the structured aesthetic tapestry present in the likes of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto opus 73.

It would appear that some need to SEE (architecture, fine arts and sculpture) rather than HEAR ... to be able to fully appreciate the finer points of masterpiece aesthetics.
A fascinating point. I am reminded also of people who talk about music evoking "visions" of certain things - mountains, fields, butterflies, whatever. I hardly ever "see" music in this way. I tend to *feel* it. The visual aspects of music elude me and, Max W, I don't know that I'd ever assign "aesthetic value" (for me personally) to a piece of music because of the way the notes sort out visually on paper, but I can certainly understand that!

So, yes, btb, we all experience music in our own way.

Jeanne W


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#581167 - 03/26/07 09:34 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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A universal, objective definition is beyond me.

Subjectively, I regard music as the highly refined and cultivated personal process of deliberately using organised subsets of sound to produce agreeable reactions in my brain.

Perhaps this could be extended to a general definition of sorts by leaving out the opinion:

Music is the highly refined and cultivated process of people deliberately using organised subsets of sound to produce reactions in their brains.


"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows
#581168 - 03/26/07 10:01 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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I think music is either a mating call or a form of communication when taken down to its basic origins.


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#581169 - 03/27/07 01:51 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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PW member's definitions of music:

Ted: "Music is the highly refined and cultivated process of people deliberately using organised subsets of sound to produce reactions in their brains."

USAPIanoTrucker: I think music is either a mating call or a form of communication when taken down to its basic origins.

The first definition is less inclusive/narrow in scope in comparison to the second.

The second definition is more inclusive/broader in scope or more in comparison to the first.

I rather like Ted's definition, but USAPianoTrucker, your definition of music also is starting to make sense to me. My opinion FWIW - - for who is to say which definition is right/most valid, etc. considering the authorities we go to, dictionaries, etc. do not all concur on one definition of what music is?

Maybe the question is, from what starting point might/should a definition of music best start and why?

My husband and I have been discussing this topic. He has his own opinion, one I'm having a bit of trouble assimilating and I haven't decided whether I agree with his viewpoint or not. He believes in starting with an extremely broad viewpoint and then categorizing things from there. His exact thoughts and reasons - I'll try to post more about that tomorrow.

A few other thoughts...

I said somewhere else here recently on PW, when it comes to music, it seems to me the English language just doesn't have enough words to adequately convey in a specific way some of the things we discuss about music. For instance, there is no one word in the English language that means the "music" of a songbird. Or that means the musical aspects of speech.

As Max W is saying, some words are "catch-all" kinds of words that can mean different things to different people. "Aesthetic value" in terms of what? A "great" piece of music in terms of what? A piece of music with no "value" in terms of what? A "work of genius" in terms of what? Etc.

The only way we can truly understand each other's viewpoint when we talk about such things is to adequately explain what we mean by the terms we are using ("value", etc.) Sometimes I think we agree with each other, at least on certain points, more than we know, because we've failed to fully explain ourselves.

Jeanne W


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#581170 - 03/27/07 10:18 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Jeanne W:

For some people a Cage composition or raindrops may have just as much or more aesthetic value as a Brahms symphony.
Raindrops may sound beautiful, but are not musical human artistic expression. And a chance composition by Cage may result in some music and some noise, but it's not a work of art, since it's not reproductible.


gggEb!
#581171 - 03/28/07 04:50 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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To a sound to be “music”, it must be representative and offer some kind of figurative content. Art is always figurative, be it abstract or not, and goes way beyond first grade “mímesis” of nature.
A bird’s song is not music because it's not figurative and doesn’t intend to be. It’s other sort of language, but not music. And, of course, not sound at all is no music at all, a Perogrullo assertion.
Human art is a re-presentation, a complex analogy of different aspects of the world as we know it. Music is an ethical re-presentation of sounds, “a mímesis of an ethos” (Poetics, Aristoteles), “ethos” meaning a whole of concepts, particularly the way music influences our souls and our lives.
Music is a language too and can and must be approached as such. The analogical capacity of music is extraordinary, although not conceptual or denotative as word’s language. But that’s another subject.

By the way: saying that African natives make not music and comparing their songs to birds sounds –that’s without knowing they’re making music and trying to “signify” something- is a totally absurd, racist and ignorant statement.

#581172 - 03/28/07 05:05 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Re: John Cage. Many years ago I took my young daughter to a concert, of Brahms, Chopin and Cage. She sat enthralled by the music of Brahms and Chopin. She wriggled around uncomfortably during the playing of the Cage Composition. Finally, in a loud voice, she said, "mother, when are they going to get back to the music."

She had already made a distinction in her mind as to what was, and what was not music. Gaby Tu

#581173 - 03/29/07 10:00 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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I think this is the most well presented and civilized conversation I have ever heard on this subject laugh

The definition we commonly use here is music is an organised combination of sounds and silences which employs 5 concepts : Pitch, rhythm, structure, tone colour and dynamics& expressive techniques. )Although it does not always have all 5 of these)

There is definitely a strong element of aesthetic value to the listener, for example gamelan orchestras and the like are not pleasing to my ear but to someone who is accustomed to listening to them they may sound beautiful..or Cage's music (or lack of it in 4'33) may come across as sounding terrible but still fits the criteria above...

Thought: Maybe there is also a cultural element to music as well confused


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#581174 - 03/30/07 01:29 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:

By the way: saying that African natives make not music and comparing their songs to birds sounds –that’s without knowing they’re making music and trying to “signify” something- is a totally absurd, racist and ignorant statement.
I didn't mean to sound racist at all because random shouts and beats are not music either if performed by African natives or some post-modern european art music composer...


gggEb!
#581175 - 03/30/07 03:10 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoid:
Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:
[b]
By the way: saying that African natives make not music and comparing their songs to birds sounds –that’s without knowing they’re making music and trying to “signify” something- is a totally absurd, racist and ignorant statement.
I didn't mean to sound racist at all because random shouts and beats are not music either if performed by African natives or some post-modern european art music composer... [/b]
But pianoid: African natives do not make “random shouts and beats”. They make highly complex polyrhythm perfectly organized in pitches and harmonies, beautifully figurative, cultural, expressive sounds of exquisite artistry. Occidental music owes a lot to African music and musicians.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/africa/cuvl/music.html

#581176 - 03/31/07 01:01 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Cultor ... your opening gambit “Art is always figurative, be it abstract or not” is a contradiction in terms according to my Chambers dictionary ... but anticipates the pedantry which follows.

“Music is an ethical re-presentation of sounds
Music is a language too and can and must be approached as such.
The analogical capacity of music is extraordinary.”

What anthropomorphic gobbledegook!

Music is NOT a language ... it is “Geometry in Time” to quote Honnegger ... a study in making aesthetic sound patterns.

#581177 - 03/31/07 07:35 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Performing Yak: You said this is the most civilized discussion of this subject you've ever heard. I hope we can maintain this level of civility for as long as this thread continues on.

Yes, a lot of times when we discuss music or whatever and come across differing opinions, we get a little hot under the collar. laugh I'd like to say I think there are times when we take offense to things because we do not take into consideration that each of us is coming from a different viewpoint. We (myself included) may fail to recognize that we don't fully understand or know what "other person" is basing his/her viewpoint on or why. We don't entirely understand what the other person is trying to say. And sometimes through no fault of our own! Because the other person, even if they state their views in a respectful manner, may not present their views fully...

We attempt to fully express our views but sometimes we don't quite manage to do that. We don't add WHY we think what we do, etc. Then when someone disagrees with us on whatever subject, or visa versa, and our beliefs are being challenged, it's very easy to lash out at one another.

With that in mind, I'd like to talk about what you said, Cultor: that saying African natives are making music and comparing their songs to birds sounds is a totally absurd, racist and ignorant statement."

Is that statement totally absurd? And racist? And ignorant? It could be, but it could also absolutely NOT be. Why?

As we've been discussing here, each of us has our own personal definition of "music" - some of us have a more broad definition; others more narrow.

Regarding our discussion of "music" - what it is, what it is not - I think it's helpful to remember, as noted here, that even dictionaries do NOT agree on what it is. Some of us consider certain things to be music i.e. rap, African chant, birdsong, the sound of water, John Cage, etc. - while others do not. Can either be found to be at fault? Can either viewpoint be proven true or false when there's no clear cut consensus even among the authorities as to what "music" is?

btb: Thank you for contributing that definition of music. It's very interesting. eek You offered another definition of music also: "A study in making aesthetic sound patterns." --- *Very interesting.*

Jeanne W

P.S. I mentioned our discussion to a drummer friend of mind. Then I asked him if he considers drumming - with no accompaniment - to be music. He said "Yes, definitely!" He also added, "As for percussion being musical, have you ever noticed the sounds you hear when you're at the grocery storing standing at the checkout counter?" (the "kaching" of the cash register, grocery bags rustling, people talking, the thump and thud of items being placed on the checkout counter…) That is music to his ears.

P.P.S. Hope this post isn't too run on and I didn't repeat myself too many times. I'm in a rush to get OUTTA THE HOUSE. It's Saturday, Everyone - Enjoy It! laugh


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

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#581178 - 03/31/07 08:47 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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I just thought I'd chime in that reading this thread for any amount of time makes me want to turn the computer off,... and go practice. Gotta go be self expressive of my organized sounds and silences.

#581179 - 03/31/07 09:21 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Picking up on your “birds and natives” quandary Jeanne W ... Cultor believes he has insight into the African tribal singing culture ... to have said ... comparing their singing to bird songs is regarded as
“absurd, racist and ignorant statement."

Perhaps I am well placed in South Africa to put the comment into context. If the stormy statement is a repudiation of the 1st world having lorded it over a much exploited people ... then Cultor is on the money .

However, the comment is found to be superficial ... the reference to birds is a dead giveaway of a liberal-minded musicologist standing on a high horse ... thinking that by negating bird songs ... he is boosting a primitive singing culture.

If only he knew how closely the African culture is entwined with Nature ... amongst others an enchantment with the sound of wild animals and birds ... why wouldn’t a people ... without a written language, books, history, architecture, the wheel, ... or any link with the Western World ... not include bird song imitations in their chants.

The African Culture is being challenged to catch up with it’s Western big Brother ... we who have to live with it every day find the repetitive nature of tribal singing ... monotonous, heavy and predictable ... a Beethoven Symphony comes as welcome relief.

It should be remembered that the African culture stems from a lifestyle in beehive huts on a hilly landscape ... of developing the ability to throw the voice over an entire valley ... saves a long walk ... resulting in the present generation being hard-pressed to talk quietly.

Singing is traditionally accompanied by the drum ... but then ... how far would The Beatles have got ... without Ringo Starr on drums?

#581180 - 03/31/07 09:49 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by btb:
The African Culture is being challenged to catch up with it’s Western big Brother ... we who have to live with it every day find the repetitive nature of tribal singing ... monotonous, heavy and predictable ... a Beethoven Symphony comes as welcome relief.
That is one of the more racist things I've read here. The African Culture is a perfectly fine culture with its own art, music, traditions, norms, languages, philosophies. Western artists and musicians have frequently borrowed from African styles and traditions. There is no reason for African culture to "catch up with its Western big brother". How patronizing. And to speak of "we who have to live with it every day"...you, know, you really don't have to live with it if you don't care for it.

Sorry for my harsh tone but you touched a nerve.


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
#581181 - 03/31/07 10:03 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Especially when you realize that, at least in terms of rhythm, Western European music is quite simple when compared to African and Indian musics. Temporal organization in Indian tals is extremely complicated, and a case could also be made for the melodic structure of Indian rag.

In fact, the only area where Western music seems to have distinguished itself is harmony - particularly counterpoint. I can think of no other aspect of music - timbre, form, melody, rhythm, expressive use and content - where the West can be claim to be a "big brother" to anyone.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#581182 - 03/31/07 10:04 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:
Quote
Originally posted by pianoid:
[b]
Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:
[b]
By the way: saying that African natives make not music and comparing their songs to birds sounds –that’s without knowing they’re making music and trying to “signify” something- is a totally absurd, racist and ignorant statement.
I didn't mean to sound racist at all because random shouts and beats are not music either if performed by African natives or some post-modern european art music composer... [/b]
But pianoid: African natives do not make “random shouts and beats”. They make highly complex polyrhythm perfectly organized in pitches and harmonies, beautifully figurative, cultural, expressive sounds of exquisite artistry. Occidental music owes a lot to African music and musicians.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/africa/cuvl/music.html [/b]
Isn't that what you should have written in the first place, instead of labeling his remarks racist and ignorant, like some brainwashed liberal, whose brain turns into an unthinking siren the moment anybody even hints that all cultures aren't equal?

#581183 - 03/31/07 01:51 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Easy on the morning wine Antonius ... good to have you aboard.

In an ivory tower the jazzyprof can say romantic things like
“The African Culture is a perfectly fine culture with its own art, music, traditions, norms, languages, philosophies” ... but the reality of the survival lure of the big South African cities is not so kind ... how to keep that rural Ubuntu culture ( a marvel of all that’s best in African tradition) when the Global village culture parades all the vices of a decadent Western lifestyle ... and daily erodes all the
high-flown principles that the liberals bleat about.

You surely can’t be purposely shooting yourself in the foot Kreisler with “I can think of no other aspect of music - timbre, form, melody, rhythm, expressive use and content - where the West can be claim to be a "big brother" to anyone.

But maybe you are referring to West Texas ... in which case you are probably right.

#581184 - 03/31/07 02:02 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:
[b]
Quote
Originally posted by pianoid:
[b] </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Cultor:
<strong>
By the way: saying that African natives make not music and comparing their songs to birds sounds –that’s without knowing they’re making music and trying to “signify” something- is a totally absurd, racist and ignorant statement.
I didn't mean to sound racist at all because random shouts and beats are not music either if performed by African natives or some post-modern european art music composer... [/b]
But pianoid: African natives do not make “random shouts and beats”. They make highly complex polyrhythm perfectly organized in pitches and harmonies, beautifully figurative, cultural, expressive sounds of exquisite artistry. Occidental music owes a lot to African music and musicians.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/africa/cuvl/music.html [/b]
Isn't that what you should have written in the first place, instead of labeling his remarks racist and ignorant, like some brainwashed liberal, whose brain turns into an unthinking siren the moment anybody even hints that all cultures aren't equal? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yes. You are right. I didn’t wanted to ignite such a discussion here. I was shocked by his comments on African native music which I respect a lot and is a rich subject of analysis and enjoyment. That’s all. My apologies to pianoid.

#581185 - 03/31/07 02:58 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:
My apologies to pianoid.
That's ok. I guess I should apologize to other musical traditions as well. I apologize. Certainly Amazon indians chanting under influence of toxic leaves can be every bit as aesthetically pleasing as a Mozart Symphony. Specially if the listener is also on leaves.

So, in the end music is how humans perceive noise. Gosh, Bach was a much better noise-maker than Metallica... smile


gggEb!
#581186 - 03/31/07 05:18 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Fine. Let's get back to music, although I'm not in "leaves" but "grape juice"...

Is music a language?
We deal with organized sounds, musical figures, cells, motives, themes, phrases, movements, structures, grammar, syntax, etc. Most important of all, music can convey “meaning”. Structured sounds and figures “signify” something else (it’s “figurative” in a wide sense not as direct imitation of nature; i.e.: it's a sound object that symbolizes something). We even have a sophisticated notation, developed through centuries, that able us to reproduce and transmit music contents.
Since decades, great strengths are being made to construct a semantic and a linguistic of music. Theory of music today is a vast field with multiple branches of investigation included neurosciences.
So, unless we expressly narrow the concept of “language” to word, speech and written language, music is a language. One of many “non word” languages.

Hope not to be gobbledegooking!

#581187 - 03/31/07 05:42 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:
Is music a language?
No.

Quote
Most important of all, music can convey “meaning”.
Not usually. Occasional fragments may communicate by allusion or imitation.

Quote
We even have a sophisticated notation, developed through centuries, that able us to reproduce and transmit music contents.
That's competely different. Musical notation is indeed a (highly specialised) language: it conveys instructions for the making of certain types of sounds. This is quite separate from the question of whether the resulting sounds themselves have any meaning. (Similarly, a phonetic script is a specialised language, conveying instructions for the making of spoken sounds; this is independent of whether the resulting 'speech' is meaningful.)

Best wishes,
Matthew


"Passions, violent or not, may never be expressed to the point of revulsion; even in the most frightening situation music must never offend the ear but must even then offer enjoyment, i.e. must always remain music." -- W.A.Mozart

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#581188 - 03/31/07 07:16 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Is music language? Now that's a very interesting question, Cultor. Some definitions of "language" I came across:

Language:

1. A system of communication using the spoken word or using symbols that represent words or sounds. the English language

2. The ability to communicate using words.

3. A nonverbal system of communication.
sign language

Cultor, you say music conveys meaning. I think music has "meaning" - but for each of us - the meaning may be different.

I am thinking music certainly conveys emotions - the emotions of the composer, though, again, each of us may interpret what the composer expresses thru music differently.

If music conveys or communicates emotions, does it fit into the third definition - can it be considered a nonverbal system of communication?

Music does not convey "exact meanings", but does convey emotions. Is that not communication? And, if not, why?

Jeanne W


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#581189 - 03/31/07 08:06 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Whatever I say it is.


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#581190 - 04/01/07 02:21 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Jeanne W,

You seem persuaded that a composer can express his emotions through music ... and yet you throw in the anomaly that each of us may interpret those emotions differently ... but if those impressions are variably conceived ... the nebulous concept sounds in need of reconsideration.

Romantically as music might touch us ... especially the ladies ... the fact is that we are dealing with a geometric art form ... the shape of music is defined by pitch on a vertical axis and note duration on a horizontal axis ... the aesthetics of the sound structure trigger the
diversity of individual perceptions.

Cultor alludes to attempts to discover a definitive musical grammar ... “Since decades, great strengths are being made to construct a semantic and a linguistic of music ” ... by which we will presumably be able to convey “words” of emotion in music ... but is flying a lead kite and might as well be on the trail of the Holy Grail.

Human emotions are triggered through the structure of music ... if anybody wants to shed emotional tears over a Chopin Nocturne or the pattern on a Persian carpet ... both are sensitive to the exquisite aesthetics of the weave of a beautiful tapestry... others however will seek a mundane burst of rap or just wipe their dirty feet.

#581191 - 04/01/07 06:34 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Jeanne W:
It’s true that music meaning may differ for each of us. But not to much. We can talk about certain music and we’ll came to similar conclusions. For instance, we can hear Mozart’s Ave Verum and we’ll use the same words: introspective, religious, sweet, sad, deep, social, etc. We won’t say: wow!, exhilarating, happy, funny, dancing music, etc. So musical meaning is bounded, surveyed and we can, more or less, agree on it's significance.
But I feel that music bring us much more than emotions (musical “ethos”). Some aspects of reality music can analogize:

1.Cinematic (rhythm, speed, acceleration: dance).
2.Dynamic (forte, piano, distant, close; there’s weight in the sound).
3.Spatial representations (music can open mental, figurative spaces).
4.Colour.
5.Expression of individual vs. social (solo vs. tutti. Think about Mozart piano concertos).
6.Numeric analogies.
7.Formal structure: we hear motives, themes, recurrence, we “form” the music in our memory as the music happens. All of that show us a compositive intelligence, kind of a musical “logos” developed in time.
8.Temporal analogies (chronological, perceptual and figurative times).
9.Finally music can tell a story, a musical “mythos”; It's a non verbal story but a story at least. Great composers compose great musical myths and to do it use all those analogical capacities.

#581192 - 04/01/07 09:54 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Jeanne W Offline
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Jeanne W  Offline
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btb and Cultor: You've given me a lot to think about.

Quote
Originally posted by btb:


Jeanne W,

You seem persuaded that a composer can express his emotions through music ... and yet you throw in the anomaly that each of us may interpret those emotions differently ...
As an aside to this discussion, yes, I believe all who "create" - whether the creation is a painting, a piece of music, a poem, a book, a quilt - whatever - the creator is expressing his/herself including emotions, what they are or are not capable of feeling. When an artist creates, the resulting work is revealing of who and what the artist is to a lesser or greater degree.

I.e. as regards a painter: what subject did the painter choose? What colors? What technique? Etc. All of these things reveal something about the creator. For these reasons, yes, I think I consider the result of an artist's work a form of communication.

The "anomaly" as you put it, is each individual's experience of the creator's work will be different. This is true of everything. We all live our own reality. And, further, whatever we believe, whether factual or not, is "truth" to us.

I'm wondering if anything I've said here will make sense to anyone else. eek

Jeanne W

P.S. Cultor: I'm still digesting what you said. laugh


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
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#581193 - 04/01/07 10:02 AM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Chandler:
I just thought I'd chime in that reading this thread for any amount of time makes me want to turn the computer off,... and go practice. Gotta go be self expressive of my organized sounds and silences.
Steve:

Yes, after a while, discussions such as these tend to make one's eyes glaze over. laugh

Seriously, though, I'm find this topic of great interest. I wish more PW members would contribute their thoughts on this subject.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
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#581194 - 04/01/07 04:31 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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somewhere in the space-time co...
Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:

It’s true that music meaning may differ for each of us. But not to much. We can talk about certain music and we’ll came to similar conclusions.
True: here Mozart seems a bit sad, now he's happy! oh, sad again. He seems kinda furious now! Oh, there he goes happy again. etc...

Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:

3.Spatial representations (music can open mental, figurative spaces).
This is a fun one. I think space is best represented in music by large silences punctuating between numerous short music passages. I find this particularly enjoyable in some Philip Glass piano music...

Quote
Originally posted by Cultor:

music can tell a story, a musical “mythos”; It's a non verbal story but a story at least.
Music really can't tell anything or convey any meaning: whatever meaning you get from music will not relate in any way with what other people get from it.

Take Happy Birthday for instance: can you say the music is about celebrating one's birthday? Without lyrics and context, you can't. It's a march and could probably be used for other contexts marches are used, like, a Wedding for instance. Some historian some 1000 years from now may take it to mean it was used as a war victory fanfarre or something...


gggEb!
#581195 - 04/01/07 06:03 PM Re: What Is "Music"?  
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Ted Offline
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Ted  Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
While it is possible for me to objectively form descriptions of what music "is" in the rational, pragmatic sense (several good ones have been suggested by people in this thread) I rather think that, in attempting to describe its effect, which is what after all really matters, I invariably have to resort to the language of mystical experience.

To use Aldous Huxley's terms, music for me is a transporting device, a way of opening the doors of perception, of experiencing "suchness" and "the clear light", of removing the absurd gimcrack mobiles I construct in everyday life in what is all too often a crepuscular "land of lit-upness."

Unfortunately, this will either confirm what someone already knows or will tell him or her absolutely nothing.

Knowledge, craft, learning and skill are worthy means in the construction of the transporting device, the personal "Tardis", if you like, but the musical experience itself lies at the very core of the essential mystery in which we live.

Well, it does for me anyway.


"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows
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