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Re: (OT) Music

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 11, 2002, 6:55
--- John Cowan wrote:

> And Rosta scripsit: > > Which kinds of music? I, sans training, appreciate some music that to > > others is mere cacophony. (And vice bloody versa when my wife goes on > > a Wagner binge!) > > Quite so. Wagner's operas, as Mark Twain told us, are better than they > sound. I suppose what music one appreciates as a matter of first, and > what as a matter of second nature, is relative to the perceiver.
In the West we have a bad tendency to believe that "our" tonal musical language is a universal, while other kind of music are rather considered strange deviations. As soon as our children are born, we start to sing simple songs to them, that are (almost) always examples of the very basics of tonality, thus feeding them with the source of prejudice against any other kind of music. As a result, the vast majority is unable to accept music that is not entirely tonal or escapes the dictature of 4/4 measures. That it can be different is proven both in other cultures and by my little cousin, who at his first concert appreciated Anton Webern’s Symphony op. 21 more than any other classical piece on the program. Nevertheless, the idea that music appreciation is a matter of training is a myth. It is a matter of mentality. The unfortunate truth is, that a lot of people are not prepared to appreciate (or even listen to) other music than the music they already know; the only new music they can accept is nothing but the mere repetition of the same old thing. If a person is able to open his ears and forget for a moment what he already knows, he will experience wonderful things he would otherwise have missed. It is a cliché, but nevertheless true (which is a cliché as well, I’m afraid): there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music. Good music speaks for itself, and I don’t believe it would require any other sort of training from the listener than openness. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --- John Cowan wrote:
> I think these are *exactly* the factors that determine what is beautiful > mathematics, and the criterion of so-called "pure" mathematics is indeed > beauty. Of course, this raises the question of what beauty is, to which > I can do no better than William Blake: "Exuberance is beauty".
Iannis Xenakis is a great example of a person who mastered both arts (adding the art of architecture). He applies mathematics directly in his works, with a very strange, almost alien, but always smashing result. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- --- Gustavo Eulalio wrote:
> You guys really need to read "Gödel Escher Bach", by Douglas Hofstadter.
Yes, I did, but honestly, I don't like it, except maybe as a curiosum. IMHO this is really the worst kind of musicology; it's greatest plus to me is that it covers one of my favourite German words: "hineininterpretieren". I think it’s time to close this completely off-topic thread now, in order to avoid the List from being closed again for five miserable days :( Jan --- "I can't listen to more than an hour of Wagner. It always makes me feel like invading Poland." – Woody Allen __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts


Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>