Karl Miller wrote:
>I have often wondered if the notion of "pure thought" (whatever that
>might be) is better expressed in music.
um. I doubt you should start with such a foggy conception. nothing
good will come from such a start, I believe.
biology and linguistics have btw. found that all thoughts are also
triggering the larynx and are running there in parallel, albeit mute.
no way to think without our larynx. so thoughts are bound to language.
as for your actual question: well, while I love many composers, who
have written music that speaks of the world, like Mahler or Ravel, I
deep inside hold, well not a grugde against this but at least I think
I favour the idea of pure music, 'unhindered' by lowly matters.
But even when listening to 'pure abstract' composers, like Bach, I don't
think that they evoke thought; their music, like all music will lead our
brain along the time axis. but I wouldn't want to call the result
'thoughts'. 'Feelings', yes, even 'ideas', sometimes, but 'thoughts',
no I don't think so.
But maybe you are using a broader meaning of 'thought'? Maybe music can
or even must muster a 'syntax of emotion'? Like it may make use of and
command bodily motions?
Frank Wales wrote:
>This sounds like the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the notion that what we can
>think about is limited by the languages we have learned.
>This has always seemed obviously bogus to me..
Well, our thoughts are limited by our language, but this limitation is
not absolute. Instead we can transcended them especially by giving new
meaning to our word and also by inventing new words and phrases. Also
by borrowing them from other langauges. This must have been obvious to
Sapir and Whorf as well - after all no language could have evolved
>I think music is the interaction of two things: the natural rhythmic and
>periodic activities that are at the heart of us as living creatures, and
>that permeate biological life generally; and our inherent pattern-
>matching skills that provide the basis for our intelligence.
well put, I trust I may quote you on another board? (where Mehldau and
Metheny fans find themselves in wonder about head over heart in music)
>Karl (wishing he had a better command of language to express his thoughts)
Thomas, feeling the same
PS: I'm still wondering why it is that I feel so much better about the
idea of absolute music and still listen mainly to the other 'impure'
type?? Maybe my heart just works better than my head? ;-)