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Conlanging and music (was: Results of Poll by Email No. 4)

From:Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...>
Date:Sunday, March 24, 2002, 12:23
Peter Clark reported:
Christophe Gran[d]sire elaborates: "Music and conlanging are both arts, but that's the only connection. Conlanging is much more than putting notes together. In fact, the musical equivalent to conlanging would be to invent your own musical scales (a thing that quite a few conlangers do BTW). Music is more like poetry: like you need an already defined language to make poetry in it, you need an already defined musical scale to compose music with it." <<< Absolutely not! That's just the point I was making in my poll reply (which, to be fair, you hadn't yet read :) ) Messiaen, Bartok, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, even Debussy for goodness' sake, all used their own versions of tonality (or 'scales' if you wish), which may be difficult to approach at first, precisely because their 'language', or perhaps dialect, is not congruent with those with which the listener may be familiar. The point goes deeper than that, though - to me, the personal style of any great composer counts as a personal language, in the sense of an idiosyncratic medium of communication. The fact that Poulenc wrote many works in a largely diatonic idiom doesn't mean that the language of those works isn't importantly different from Haydn's. </rant> Wouldn't you say? :)) Jonathan. 'O dear white children casual as birds, Playing among the ruined languages...' Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'