A Conversation for Music
Music? Or your experience of it
EddJC Started conversation Aug 6, 2002
is 4'33" really music? There's no sound - yet it's a piece. It's a phylosophical piece. You may think "my god this is bad" - in which case it has succeeded in it's goal as music - it has provoked a reaction in you. To say that music is in any way connected to emotion would be giving an inanimate, almost abstract idea hormonal glands. That it provokes an emotion in you is beside the point. As you pointed out, one person's view of the same piece may be entirely different to anothers - the same thing that someone hates in, say, Kylie Manogue, someone else may like. In the same way music from a tribe of pigmies might represent joy or triumph, but to many of us it would sound like a dissonant mess. Likewise they most likely would not understand our type of music. My point is music in itself is not any of the above - it is "arranged sound/silence" - the manipulation of sound waves. The object of many composers through the decade, you will be shocked no doubt to learn, is not to communicate any sort of emotion - Beethoven's music is brilliant because it extends form, it takes the contemporary medium and bends it to it's utmost. At the time, his generation concentrated on the tonic-dominant tensions in the sonata form - Beethoven brought this as far as it can go, invented subthematicism, and substitute-dominants. The only pieces you could in reality say purposely communicate something are those that are programmatic or are set pieces of text for instance opera and e.g. Berlioz symphony fanastique - the only difference being berlioz tells you what he is depicting, so you get a clear idea of what he is doing - if he had not told you, then he would not have communicated it - there would be some people that, due to cultural brainwashing, might associate the end with an excecution scene, but others would disagree. That he tells you that it is an excecution scene communicates it to you - so he's not actually communicating it through the music, he's communicating it by word of mouth,
If you don't know the language, you can't communicate.
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