On 01/01/2006, at 6:36 AM, John M wrote:
Besides: music (as we know the western artform) is decaying to nonexistence after its 3-4 centuries in the European culture.
No disagreement on that point. I have not heard a convincing new musical statement in decades. Everything has come to resemble everything else in music. A kind of entropic loss of structure and meaning if you will. Perhaps the decay of the musical artform is a precursor of the decay of all art? Where art has sunk to mere (repetitive) entertainment we are encoding only the most uninteresting qualia, which is the low-quality (safe) approach of today's world.
Would you include the African drums, the Oriental 1/4-tone tunes, the "native American" hummings etc. in your term of "music"?
Of course. All cultures have some form of music. I am not discriminatory in the least about that. If we set aside the mechanics which, as you say, can be captured or emulated by machines, why is it so often that people feel that a musical experience rated as successful is *like* the description of a physical (whatever that means) object? A lousy piece conjures no such impression. By its very nature then, music seems to demonstrate that physicality can be conjured from nothing. In this case the physical presence of the perceived musical object would be located - where? Couldn't music, on this basis, emulate a universe?