>(...) the question...is it possible that the appeal of music could be
>its attempt to articulate "pure" thought? True, many of us listen on
>the level of the sensuous and narrative (as described by Copland in his
>"What to listen for in music.") but yet, as Copland suggests, we should
>try to listen to music "on its own terms." or, as I wonder, is Copland
>suggesting listening to music as thought.
What I think you mean by "pure thought" in music has been named by others
as "pure will" or even "soul". This means that, in music, we hear a
"will" which doesn't express itself by the means of any "objective"
determination (i.e. limitation), but by the simple relationship between
a moment and another (i.e. pure "change"). "Sense", here, is sense of
nothing, objectively, but a sort of illusion provoked by this "movements".
Or, as some others say, instead an illusion, this "sense" is perhaps
what lies beneath the sensitive world and we can't get.... I believe
that Schopenhauer ("Welt als Wille und Vorstellung") may help you a lot
at this point, specificly, his concept of "will". Language and even
thought are objective determinations (limitations) of the "will", of
which the only direct and true reflection is, precisely, music. (Sorry
for this simplification, but Mr. Schop. will show it you rightly and
with much more appeal).
>Is it that music has the potential to provide specificity of thought
>without the specificity and limitations of thought imposed by or the
>result of language? Or is the appeal of music that it lets us think
>freely, with less specificity, perhaps more in a manner suited to the
>nature of thinking, and hence, will have the potential to provide us
>with an inner calm or a level of stimulation unfettered by the constraints
>of written/spoken language.
I think that music touches something that is deeper in the human being
than language and even, thought. But the big question remains: What is
that?. A footnote: even verbal language may work as music do: try to
remember some ocassion in which you heard one or two people talking in
a language completely unknown to you. You may say that you didn't
understand a single word, but perhaps you may say also that you had a
very vague intuition of the general content of that dialogue. Intonations
and facial expressions aside, the repetition of a single word becomes
"significative" in this context. There's a funny analysis of this
intellectual effects of music and language at De Quincey's "Confessions...."
("The Pleasures of Opium").
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