A Confession by a Scientist

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:02 am

Hey no doubt, Polifemo, that playing guitar can be an aid to seduction, if you play well. Of course, sometimes it may turn out that you're being played! In any case, did you ever invite a girl over at two in the morning to listen to Schoenberg? If you did, it was because you really wanted to listen to Schoenberg!

granadina
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Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by granadina » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:08 am

Anthony Campanella wrote: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), Darwin wrote,
“when the voice is used under any strong emotion, it tends to assume, through the principle of association, a musical character.”
“Language" is not a true instinct, as every language has to be learnt. It differs, however, from all ordinary arts, for man has
an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children"
Other than Sex, the dominant sphere in which the evolution of Music can be traced,is Worship .

The two overriding concerns .. can it be said ?

walfordr

Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by walfordr » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:23 am

granadina wrote:
Anthony Campanella wrote: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), Darwin wrote,
“when the voice is used under any strong emotion, it tends to assume, through the principle of association, a musical character.”
“Language" is not a true instinct, as every language has to be learnt. It differs, however, from all ordinary arts, for man has
an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children"
Other than Sex, the dominant sphere in which the evolution of Music can be traced,is Worship .

The two overriding concerns .. can it be said ?
You could of course lump these together as "love". :wink:

That would then allow inclusion of a few other spheres - nationalism, war, etc.

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Anthony Campanella
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Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by Anthony Campanella » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:56 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote: . This is all speculation, not science...... [ I agree and I think he would too, even forensic science is not going to provide any modern proofs ]

I doubt that Darwin knew any better than we do what 'primeval man' was all about
[ apparently he did spend a lifetime considering these ideas - except for the scholars continuing his work, he may have more insight than we do.]

... Bach's music, for example, it's filled with musical ideas.... [ after 30,000 we finally started to make something out of it]

... isn't particularly helpful in terms of sexual selection... [ a small but crucial part of prelanguage vocalization ... anger, joy, hunger, warning ... were probably all more common (still are)

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:25 pm

Arthur Conan Doyle On Darwin:
“Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its childhood.'
That's a rather broad idea,' I remarked.
One's ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature,' he answered.”

Again with the mythology. And this: The Descent of Man (1871): “t appears probable that the progenitors of man, either the males or females or both sexes, before acquiring the power of expressing their mutual love in articulate language, endeavored to charm each other with musical notes and rhythm.”

We're all Darwinians, but today we don't do Darwin like this. Darwin's theory of music as the progenitor of language is charming, in a way, ("vague memories of those misty centuries etc.) but hokum without something a bit more concrete to go on.

At their worst, Freud and Darwin had a big idea that they used as a template to organize all of our data and explain our lived experience. Contemporary Freudians aren't Freudian like this any more. Freud wasn't just a Freudian either; he was far more subtle and nuanced than our popular picture of him. But like Darwin he had recourse to myth (primal horde etc.) that he semi-postulated as science in order to explain our primitive history.

Science as we think of it isn't the same thing as what was called science in Darwin and Freud's day.

Anthony, I think that Darwin is asking us imagine primitive emotions with no conceptual content 'evolving' into articulate speech. So the roots of Tolstoy (or Bach) evoke in us those misty memories of when the world was in its childhood etc. I don't think that this is actually how things work. It's impossible for us to separate out 'pure' concepts from 'pure, primitive' emotion. Rather, the emotions that we have are all mediated by language, right from the start, even in infancy because we are really just one half of a mother-child couple at that time and we're learning how to manage our 'primitive' emotions from her. And Mom has language. (Obviously I'm suggesting that all this talk about primitive man is better understood as a means of imagining our personal, forgotten pre-linguistic infancy, 'when the world was still innocent' for each one of us.)

It may well take me 30,000 years to learn to play Bach. But projecting back into the mists of time for explanations is problematic at best.
Last edited by Jeffrey Armbruster on Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Anthony Campanella
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Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by Anthony Campanella » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:47 pm

No one is claiming any proofs
Do you think humans were vocalizing before language?
They weren't texting or emailing

If they - we - were vocalizing before language - it had meter/rhythm - harmony, maybe melody - these are all elements of music - as well as elements of speech

They weren't singing grand opera- but they were probably communicating with the same high drama and intrigue that we hear today

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:53 pm

Granadina wrote: Other than Sex, the dominant sphere in which the evolution of Music can be traced,is Worship .

And just to contradict myself entirely, one could point to Altamira and the other sites to indicate that something like religious feeling may have been established early on.

granadina
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Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by granadina » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:41 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote: But projecting back into the mists of time for explanations is problematic at best.
Agreed .
It's impossible for us to separate out 'pure' concepts from 'pure, primitive' emotion. Rather, the emotions that we have are all mediated by language, right from the start, even in infancy because we are really just one half of a mother-child couple at that time and we're learning
how to manage our 'primitive' emotions from her.
learning how to manage our 'primitive' emotions .. is something no one can escape .

And it is in this context , that ..
the power of producing and appreciating Music existed among the human race long before the power of speech
was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it.
.. assumes larger significance .

For instance , if one is more inclined to treat all the so called reasoning , concepts .. the attributes of language in short ,
as more of deception , and rather accept the instinctual responses to be more reliable ,
may be you manage your 'primitive' emotions better !

Regardless of which century you live in , who does not want to be free of conflicts !

RoryJohn
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Re: A Confession by a Scientist

Post by RoryJohn » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:26 pm

People believing they want to be free of conflict as some lofty, noble pursuit, yet acting in a contradictory fashion at every available chance on a daily/hourly basis - there's your irreconcilable gap amigo...hopefully just difficult to reconcile as opposed to irreconcilable though :)
The horse, he kept running; the rider was bread.

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