On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thursday, September 20, 2012 1:25:48 PM UTC-4, Platonist Guitar Cowboy
> wrote:
>> Reflected eternal song(s) dressed in the illusion of time. As far as I
>> can see: proportions, relationships, ratios.
> That's what I mean by "a conceptual sculpture of abstraction". It's not
> real though. Proportion of what? Relations between what?

Pick your ontological primitive and insert it there. That said, a theory of
everything with my stamp of approval has to account for music, as
intangible as it is: is it the code, the score, its syntax, the technical
levels a musician has to engage in (rhythm, harmony, melody), the physical
vibrations produced, nerve cells and neurons, the composer's intention, the
listening experience etc. simply because, despite that ambiguity: music is
here and guitars are awesome dream machines.

This ambiguity, that music appears only partially in all these different
ways, makes a piece of music materially intangible. A piece of music is not
reducible to the page of notes, nor to its interpretation by one musician
live, nor the recording etc. It does not exist materially. If you play me a
Mozart piece on Piano, I might not agree with articulation or some
parameter: for you this would be music and you'd point to the physical
waves of sound in the room and the corresponding score; and I'd say:
"nope." Even concert professionals see their best work as "approximations"
of a piece and rarely as "perfect" rendition of the piece.

So despite physical vibrations and neurological correlations, music is as
intangible as ever.

> When we think of these things we can conceive of them abstractly
> as-if-they-were-real, but only because we are borrowing the concrete
> reality of our own neurology to do that.

How is this room I'm typing in not "some mental abstraction or conception"?
Neurologists can't explain "aesthetic experience" either.

> Just because we can imagine how a song would look as a graphic
> representation doesn't mean that there is an independently real
> mathematical spirit which is clothed in different forms. It is the math
> which is derived through experiences of form, not the other way around. We
> are informed by experiencing forms, not by composing in silence and then
> hoping to discover sound.

How are forms not another kind of "mental abstraction"; the sort of which
you just denied "real" existence.

>> Time makes them appear to chat and sing; but in some sense every song has
>> already been sung, even if they've never been voiced or heard.
> I almost agree, but I think that in the same sense that every song has
> already been sung, it has also already been voiced and heard, only not in
> the 'small now' of ordinary waking human consciousness. When I heard the
> song Street Spirit for the first time, I immediately knew that it was the
> song that I had heard in my mind often as a child. Not the exact Radiohead
> recording, but the tone and mood of the song, foreshadowings of the notes.
> They had found what I found and recorded it. What I heard as a child had
> nothing to do with ratios and pitch - it was pure aural psyche. A
> melancholic science fiction embodied as music. Music is a feeling that
> turns math when you play it or compose it...when we touch things with our
> fingers (actual or mental), they become as fingers: digital, distant,
> objects to be controlled.
>> Beethoven was almost completely deaf while he composed/dreamed the 9th.
>> Mahler wrote/dreamed his later symphonies in a hut by a lake in Austria. No
>> Piano, no reference pitches. He never even "heard physically" his 9th.
>> Some are amazed by this. I am not.
> I would be amazed if they were born deaf though. Once you have heard music
> it is not too surprising that you could still compose or perform.
> Remarkable, but not surprising. Even if someone was technically deaf, they
> still might be able to feel the vibrations and rhythms. I think there is a
> famously deaf drummer I heard about. But to truly have no way to experience
> music at all, there would be no point to composing it. As a mathematical
> curiosity it would be pretty boring - simple repetitions for the most part.

Music's major appearance last century as "mass-product", as Adorno has
pointed out, materializes it into something taken for granted and boring
anyway. To most, music doesn't change much and they stick with a set of
favorites from their twenties onwards.

Sex is a series of repetitive moves. You can do these boringly and crudely
or not.

Music has only to satisfy those aesthetic criteria, that everybody involved
can identify with.

Also, I don't think having impaired hearing inherently bars people from
learning to interact meaningfully with music. Google "hearing impairments

But I guess that won't satisfy you: you want somebody completely deaf, for
their whole life to compose. Besides this being perhaps cruel to some
people with profound hearing impairments, I will say this: if the problem
set of formal music theory and its genealogy is made explicit to them with
enough clarity, then I bet their internal "semantic imaging/thought/voice",
for lack of a better term, will eventually be able to pick, through pattern
recognition and refinement: the more appropriate line, voicing, and or
chord; even if you have to work pedagogically with just trial and error:
writing a fugue is also like crossword puzzle. It's not all that ethereal:
stringing events convincingly in code. If they like puzzles and stringing
code, it might be great, but I don't know explicitly of any scientific work
done in this direction.

>> You're probably gonna state that they needed experience hearing in the
>> first place, which leaves me unconvinced as I have read the scores:
>> whatever is being coded there is not "dead information" but entities,
>> portals into dreamworlds.
> I agree with portals into dreamworlds, but I see that as psyche, as sense,
> not as math. What does math care for mood or timbre? If you don't need
> experience first, then why not compose music-equivalents in a sensory mode
> that doesn't exist yet?

The timbre of most recorded instruments today is brought totally into the
digital domain; even if this is avoided until CDs are produced. As for
Vinyl, I wish people lots of joy with their hissing analog records.

How can composition take place in an unknown unknown? Throw people a
sensory mode, and composing will take place. Composing is a bit like
dreaming with interventions of analytical aspect of mind, to render the
dream more universally accessible for others. But we dream constantly; if
mind is allowed to run redundantly, with no focus and or functional
distractions, it will naturally start to dream up its own worlds.

With certain consciousness altering plants and substances that perturb the
mind's routine illusions/dreams, or to a less explicit degree, right
between waking and sleeping (you know you're dreaming, the
self-referentiality of which usually kills the dream "machine" from just
running) the mind dreams redundantly and starts creating one artistic
universe after the other. In a few hours people experience more art,
poetry, music, dreams than the entire tangible history of mankind.

What implications this has for us, is for every mind to explore.

> Note how in festival culture from woodstock to burning man: music
>> functions as portal, a kind of carrier wave, to other loci of being and
>> perception => physical sound strings point towards some dream, mind of the
>> festival goers do the introspective traveling.
> No question of that. I don't know that the dirt and blankets have a
> similar experience though. Seems like a human journey to phenomenological
> places. Figurative spacetime, not literal. You can't play a song from the
> 1920s and learn who was vice president by osmosis.

Yes you can, I guess if you don't annoy anybody: speech is a stringed
succession of small mouth noises, pitch, articulation and rhythm... People
play music with their mouths all day. I just keep wondering why so many
don't take the opportunity to make this more beautiful. We're here. Stuck.
So why not a more musical global discourse, while we are? A bit more Mozart
and reggae in global politics and law, anyone?

>> Their use of similar adjectives, hyperbole and superlatives to describe
>> their experience points towards kind of eternal universality of music, when
>> removed enough from "consumer of music", "User of music" through the usual
>> list of consciousness altering practices, substances, and plants.
> I think that music gives humans access to a kind of human universality -
> to point the antenna of the psyche to different places that it wouldn't be
> able to point on its own perhaps.

I'd buy that, no probs.

> Dogs and cats don't seem to care too much about it though.
> Craig

Yeah, I only know of one cat that responds to it at times. But our dog just
chills out whenever I play. Doesn't matter if guitar or piano... he just
lays there and forgets to nag for walks, treats or to want to go outside on
his barking routine, annoying the neighbors (not music anymore sadly). He
does not give a damn about speakers however, even if I play him the same
songs I play, played by concert pianist in pristine studio conditions
through reference quality studio monitors... Perhaps my dog argues in favor
of physical universe. Then again, he might just have aesthetic preference
for my strings of code.


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