What is music?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
User avatar
Andrew Fryer
Posts: 2461
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 pm
Location: London SE5

Re: What is music?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:02 pm

wchymeus wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:41 am
I'd postulate that Music is a subset of Communication solely focused on emotions.
Anthony Campanella wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:50 am
In its origins music may be more related to dance - physical expression - than intellectually driven
This "solely focussed on emotions" business - beware of committing the Romantic Fallacy.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6065
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: What is music?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:19 pm

wchymeus wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:41 am
And that's probably why some animals are not sensitive to our music and others are (as they come close to our chemical response)...
So which animals are sensitive to our music? And I've got to say, videos of cute dogs howling while they strike the piano keys as if they are some kind of canine Neil Sedaka don't cut it, for me at least.

dory
Posts: 1748
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:29 am
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Re: What is music?

Post by dory » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:13 pm

How about my dog running from the opposite end of the house to "sing" (howl) when my husband plays the flute. He obviously enjoyed music until he lost his hearing. My younger dog doesn"5 "sing." We got her older and we suspect she was taught not to howl by her breeder. However, she inevitably appears near me when I play the guitar. It seems she is a classical guitar junkie.
Dory

pmiklitz
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:50 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: What is music?

Post by pmiklitz » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:46 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:19 pm
So which animals are sensitive to our music? And I've got to say, videos of cute dogs howling while they strike the piano keys as if they are some kind of canine Neil Sedaka don't cut it, for me at least.
Robins. I've told this story here before, but in one of our previous dwellings we had a very tame robin in the garden, who apparently liked to listen to me playing the guitar (it even sat on the guitar's head once, while I was playing). It liked certain pieces that is, as it sang beautifully when I was playing e.g. Sor, but made disapproving noises when I played my own arrangement of Sting's "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets", although it's not that bad really. I could invoke each response at will several times in a row, so it seemed to have its own taste in music.

Peter
Dringt durch des Aberglaubens Nacht, die Euch zu finstern Köpfen macht. Christian Fürchtegott Gellert (1715 - 1769)

User avatar
Andrew Fryer
Posts: 2461
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 pm
Location: London SE5

Re: What is music?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:48 pm

Eva told me not to play the guitar in front of the dog because it upset him, but she was just projecting - the dog was looking at me with interest.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6065
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: What is music?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:51 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:48 pm
... - the dog was looking at me with interest.

Yeah, he probably wanted to eat you. :lol:

wchymeus
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:49 am

Re: What is music?

Post by wchymeus » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:29 pm

I don't know about dogs... but I had some experience with cats in the past: one would literally run away as soon as I opened the case :lol:
Field 2014, Oberg 2013, Vincente Sachis Badia 1977

dory
Posts: 1748
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:29 am
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Re: What is music?

Post by dory » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:02 pm

There is also Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. I still find music a total mystery.
Dory

User avatar
Anthony Campanella
Posts: 2375
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:29 pm

Re: What is music?

Post by Anthony Campanella » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:42 pm

This is the only actual proof /scientific evidence that I could find.
Documented musical collaboration between a human and a bird!
FLUTE.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

wchymeus
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:49 am

Re: What is music?

Post by wchymeus » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:50 am

Yeah well... curious to see the opposite: human in cage, bird free :-)
Field 2014, Oberg 2013, Vincente Sachis Badia 1977

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6065
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: What is music?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:27 am

The most lucid philosopher of music I've read is Roger Scruton. His 'Understanding Music' and 'The Aesthetics of Music' are both worth reading. The former has a final chapter called 'why read Adorno' which has cleared up a great deal of puzzlement on my part visa a visa Adorno. My tutor at college was an Adorno specialist and I (together with most of us) had no idea what he was on about. Now, thanks to Scruton, I do.

Rasputin
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:27 am
The most lucid philosopher of music I've read is Roger Scruton. His 'Understanding Music' and 'The Aesthetics of Music' are both worth reading.
I would have sworn that Scruton says somewhere that we shouldn't count something as music unless it is made with the intention that it will be received as music, which would rule out whalesong etc even if you happen to find a whale that sings the tune of "non so più cosa son, cosa faccio" during adolescence. I couldn't find this in The Aesthetics of Music just now though.

There has to be more defining music than saying it is organised sound - that definition would include speech, for example. As I see it it has to be organised in specific ways, and it is the task of music theory to explicate those ways. I think sound which is organised as music can be regarded as music no matter how it is produced - so there might be a whale somewhere that is making music, even though it is not music to the whale.

I don't think the fact that a pet joins in with singing or playing, or reacts to it in some particular way, means that it is having a musical experience - although it may well be that the experience it is having is related in evolutionary terms to the musical experience that we have. If someone had a pet that howled when it heard a wrong note in a piece it didn't know, I would change my mind on this.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6065
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: What is music?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:22 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:02 pm
I would have sworn that Scruton says somewhere that we shouldn't count something as music unless it is made with the intention that it will be received as music, which would rule out whalesong etc even if you happen to find a whale that sings the tune of "non so più cosa son, cosa faccio" during adolescence. I couldn't find this in The Aesthetics of Music just now though.
Well, firstly, it might be sensible to read the work of someone before dismissing them. Secondly, how do you know that whales don't receive the song of other whales as music? I doubt it, but I don't know. I suspect you don't either.

User avatar
kertsopoulos
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 7:26 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: What is music?

Post by kertsopoulos » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:38 pm

To be able to realize the concept of the unknown and also the qualities that might be encrypted in it, is a knowledge by itself, that relates to the conscious human brain. This is where we as humans realize that music, no matter how much we investigate it, will remain a mystery. That is the beauty that excites the mind and the soul, excites the sub-conscious and the unconscious. If one takes away this mystery, there is no excitement to experience. It is like 2+2=4, for a mathematician, pure logical solution that does not hide any mysteries as seen as such, so, pure logic, no mystery, no excitement whatsoever. However, for a mathematician that searches the mystery behind the 2+2=4, the many different solutions that can evolve in many other geometries of space in 11 dimensions, then this mystery gives the mathematician all the excitement behing the 2+2=4. So.music is a beautiful and mysterious labyrinth and if you enter this labyrinth you might as well be ready to face all the challenges it provides, which they are all beautiful but certainly full of mystery, mysterious challenges, ready though to be revealed to anyone who really dares with humbleness.

Rasputin
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:41 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:22 pm
Rasputin wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:02 pm
I would have sworn that Scruton says somewhere that we shouldn't count something as music unless it is made with the intention that it will be received as music, which would rule out whalesong etc even if you happen to find a whale that sings the tune of "non so più cosa son, cosa faccio" during adolescence. I couldn't find this in The Aesthetics of Music just now though.
Well, firstly, it might be sensible to read the work of someone before dismissing them. Secondly, how do you know that whales don't receive the song of other whales as music? I doubt it, but I don't know. I suspect you don't either.
That clearly hasn't gone over as intended. I wasn't dismissing him at all, and I have read him in some depth - I just couldn't find the passage I had in mind earlier on. I was flagging this precisely because it may not be Scruton I am disagreeing with. Even if it is, the point doesn't really go to the heart of his theory.

From your previous posts, I thought we were on common ground in saying that animals don't perceive music as music. On Scruton's approach they would have to be able to grasp the double intentionality he says is the basis of metaphor, and to be able to construct an imaginary world with its own rules of causality. I think he is on the right track and I doubt that whales can do any of this, but of course I don't know for sure.

Return to “The Café”