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CLASSICAL  October 2006

CLASSICAL October 2006

Subject:

Re: Music as Language

From:

Anne Ozorio <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 30 Oct 2006 12:59:48 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (50 lines)

A few random  musings on the subject we've been discussing.

The basis of all language, whatever type, is communication.  If music
is a language its basic root is communication.  Even music played solo
and in isolation is communication of a kind: in so many cultures there's
the image of a solo flute player or similar, ostensibly playing for
himself, alone in a landscape.  But he too is "communicating" something,
perhaps developing his own feelings and ideas.

If the essence of language is communication, language is about conveying
thought or feeling.  It certainly doesn't have to be concrete or narrative
or even specific.  Often music is a way of expressing the otherwise
inexpressible.  Until music is created by machines, to be played by
machines, I don't believe there is such a thing as "pure" absolute music.
Abstraction per se doesn't make music absolute, since abstraction and
obliqueness are what mnakes the language of music what it is, "beyond"
words.  "What" is being communicated isn't as important as the fact that
"something" is being communicated - it's up to the listener to intuit
for himself or herself and not always in the same way.  As in any
communication, there are at least two parties involved: giver and
revceiver.  Both need to do something for communication to work.

Language, whatever type, is constantly evolving as long as it's being
used.  Only dead languages like ancient Etruscan, stay the same.  So,
if music is langauge, it too is constantly evolving.  Which means constant
learning and adapting to new concepts.

The way we learn a language also affects how we understand it.  Many of
us have learned from recordings, so that's affected the way we listen,
not entirely good.  The main thing is, the medium is not the message!
People who learn from playing, probably have a completely different
approach.  Listening to premieres of new music also requires a different
way of listening.

If music is about communication, inuiting that communication, whatever
it might be, and however partially, is deeper listening.  anyone can
audit: real listening goes a bit further, into the heart or soul.  I
don't believe any composer really wrote only "notes".  Even the more
mathematical convey something more than theory.  And many mathematicians
can talk about the inherent beauty of mathematics.  If something as
abstract as a mathematical theorem can inspire the best minds, can we
blank out such feeling from music?

These are random thoughts, to take or leave or to ponder.  No doubt I
shall regret this.  But if someone, somewhere, and not necessarily the
important people on the net, gets something out of this, it's been
worthwhile.

Anne
[log in to unmask]

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