What is music?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
Rasputin
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Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:51 pm

Rasputin wrote:
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... 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...
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.
The dimly-remembered passage actually goes as follows:

"Imagine a room... in whch sounds are heard; any normal person entering the room is presented with sounds which are audible only there, but whch can be traced to no specific source. For instance, you may hear a disembodied voice, or the pure note of a clarinet. Notice that I have described these sounds in terms of their characteristic causes: but I do not have to describe them in that way... The case seems to be conceivable, whether or not a real possibility from the point of view of physics; so too is it conceivable that the sounds of an orchestra should exist in this room, and that the person entering it should be granted a musical experience, even though nothing is present or acive there, besides the sounds themselves. The one who hears these sounds experiences all that he needs, if he is to understand them as music."

The same would go for the one who hears the Mozart-singing whale.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: What is music?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:30 pm

Music is universal language which let me speak directly from my soul to anyone who will hear it. I wrote a few poems, but I feel limited by certain human language which impossible to translate to another and thus those poems would never be felt and understood by anyone as I meant and felt as words and sounds of another languages are so different and could not recreate what I felt at the moment and could not express essence or passion of... but Music could !
I can speak Music language directly to any human of any nation and time and be understood.
I like what Schopenhauer said about Music:
Music … stands quite apart from all the [other arts]. In it we do not recognize the copy, the repetition, of any Idea of the inner nature of the world. Yet it is such a great and exceedingly fine art, its effect on man’s innermost nature is so powerful, and it is so completely and profoundly understood by him in his innermost being as an entirely universal language, whose distinctness surpasses even that of the world of perception itself, that in it we certainly have to look for more than that exercitium arithmeticae occultum nescientis se numerare animi [“an unconscious exercise in arithmetic in which the mind does not know it is counting”] which Leibniz took it to be… We must attribute to music a far more serious and profound significance that refers to the innermost being of the world and of our own self.
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

Rasputin
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Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:54 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:30 pm
Music … stands quite apart from all the [other arts]. In it we do not recognize the copy, the repetition, of any Idea of the inner nature of the world.
Don't you feel that ideas like motion and rest are found both in music and in the inner nature of the world?

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: What is music?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:52 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:54 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:30 pm
Music … stands quite apart from all the [other arts]. In it we do not recognize the copy, the repetition, of any Idea of the inner nature of the world.
Don't you feel that ideas like motion and rest are found both in music and in the inner nature of the world?
That was what Schopenhauer said about Music, not me :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: What is music?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:43 pm

:chaud: :chaud: I remember my mother shouting: "turn that noise off" when I was listening to a Jimi Hendrix record as a youngster. To me Jimi Hendrix' music was art, to her it sounded as noise. I guess that defining music (or any other art form) is a matter of social convention/acceptance. The concept of music is therefore a dynamic notion that cannot conclusively be defined, other than the opposite of silence. :chaud:
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Re: What is music?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:11 pm

I agree with Andre in much preferring Schopenhauer to Liebniz, who basically seems to discard all of music's beauty and power as so much hogwash. Instead, he makes it conceptual--math. I'm sure he thinks the same about love. Leave it to a metaphysician to reduce a truth that can only be known through its appearance in an experience to...something that can be abstractly calculated.

Romantic fallacy? Never! Now excuse me while I go sing a few bars of Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head.
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Rasputin
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Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:26 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:11 pm
I agree with Andre in much preferring Schopenhauer to Liebniz
Sure, but obviously it's not just a choice between those two.
[Leibniz] basically seems to discard all of music's beauty and power as so much hogwash. Instead, he makes it conceptual--math. I'm sure he thinks the same about love.
Well, if you try to explain beauty it has to be in terms of something else - if the concept of beauty pops up in the explanation then the argument is bound to be tautologous. Maybe you are saying it is not explicable, or that if we choose to explain it then we destroy it, I don't know.

I think the unconscious calcluation thing applies quite well to rhythm, but believing this doesn't stop me enjoying it...

ddray
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Re: What is music?

Post by ddray » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:38 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:30 pm
Music is universal language which let me speak directly from my soul to anyone who will hear it.
Music as communication. QED :mrgreen:

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Re: What is music?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:39 pm

Well if you think Ode to Joy is "an unconscious exercise in arithmetic"....I think you've missed something. Everything. You've bled the music out and are performing an autopsy on a cadaver. Of course it's possible to try to explain beauty; it's done all the time. Math does this poorly however.
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What is music?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:08 pm

There's a whole load of nonsense spoken about maths and music. I can't be bothered with any of it.
Musicality and talent are not the same thing.
I realised the other day for the first time what my definition of talent is - for me talent is "eidetic muscle memory".
some do have it - it's why I disagree with those who deny that talent exists.
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, or if I have shoe-horned it in.
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ddray
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Re: What is music?

Post by ddray » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:12 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:39 pm
Well if you think Ode to Joy is "an unconscious exercise in arithmetic"....I think you've missed something. Everything. You've bled the music out and are performing an autopsy on a cadaver. Of course it's possible to try to explain beauty; it's done all the time. Math does this poorly however.
Yeah but math is inextricably woven into music, into everything really, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. A fugue is like a deeply satisfying mathematical formula being worked out before our ears. Proportion and symmetry - elements of "beauty" - are all about math.

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Re: What is music?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:19 pm

Well I grant that you can't just pile up adjectives and expect that to work. Music has formal aspects for sure. But when you watch a master's class and someone shows how to breathe life into a passage or phrase, shows its inner beauty, they never do this by using math. Neither does a conductor. If math were the true and valid inner workings of music, then a conductor would use a chalkboard to explain what he wants. No, the beating life of music perhaps is best shown in an experiential setting. The master hums a phrase or plays it and says "see? like that." and the the student goes 'oh yes that's better'.
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ddray
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Re: What is music?

Post by ddray » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:37 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:19 pm
Well I grant that you can't just pile up adjectives and expect that to work. Music has formal aspects for sure. But when you watch a master's class and someone shows how to breathe life into a passage or phrase, shows its inner beauty, they never do this by using math. Neither does a conductor. If math were the true and valid inner workings of music, then a conductor would use a chalkboard to explain what he wants. No, the beating life of music perhaps is best shown in an experiential setting. The master hums a phrase or plays it and says "see? like that." and the the student goes 'oh yes that's better'.
Maybe not consciously using math, but subconsciously. Ask any of the luthiers here how much math goes into making a "good-sounding" instrument.

Rasputin
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Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:38 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:19 pm
If math were the true and valid inner workings of music, then a conductor would use a chalkboard to explain what he wants.
By that logic, if maths were the true and valid inner workings of motion, then a baseball coach would use equations to explain how to pitch.

The reason they don't is not because maths doesn't describe motion correctly but because mathematical descriptions are difficult for human beings to latch on to.

I am not saying there is no more to music than maths, but your argument doesn't show that there can't be.

How you get from
Rasputin wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:26 am
I think the unconscious calcluation thing applies quite well to rhythm, but believing this doesn't stop me enjoying it...
to
Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:39 pm
Well if you think Ode to Joy is "an unconscious exercise in arithmetic"....I think you've missed something
is beyond me, I must admit.

Rasputin
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Re: What is music?

Post by Rasputin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:55 pm

ddray wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:12 pm
Yeah but math is inextricably woven into music, into everything really, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. A fugue is like a deeply satisfying mathematical formula being worked out before our ears. Proportion and symmetry - elements of "beauty" - are all about math.
Are you familiar with the theory that rhythm is hierarchical and that this is also the basis of meter and form? Very mathematical.

I am with Scruton in believing that listening to music requires us to exercise the imagination.

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