On Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 12:59 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> On Saturday, April 20, 2013 1:15:02 PM UTC-4, Platonist Guitar Cowboy
>> On Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>> I do.
>> Then you're conception of aesthetics is more limited than that of old
>> Greeks who saw number relations giving rise to beauty ( => computing
>> results in aesthetic experience of music) that paved the way for all forms
>> of harmony we are familiar with today.
> I don't dispute that the aesthetics of music are enhanced by musicians who
> understanding harmony mathematically. I don't know that understanding the
> mathematical aspects of music unambiguously improves a listener's
> experience - it might, but seems unimportant.
It's not important and mostly even the contrary: because music
theoreticians can identify structures and classify them, they think they
"know" these structures and can distinguish in some absolute sense "trivial
music" from its opposite. This arrogance is common.
> My idea bout music and math is that math is not inherently musical, and
> that music is more than mathematics.
Mathematics is "more" than a reductionist view of it. Both math and music
seem to me infinitely vast and happen to correspond on many levels,
especially on number relations relating to other number relations.
> There is no question that math and music are intertwined, and that
> intertwining is significant to the point that it is worthy of a
> Platonic-divine esteem. My issue is that as intertwined as they are, there
> is no mathematical reason that math itself would generate any kind of
> aesthetic experience.
Simply: joy of relating infinite relations. No reductions, no
substitutions, no discount, offer available for infinite eternity only.
> Why would math enjoy itself as music?
Same as above.
> If it is the complexity and sophistication of the data which is being
> 'enjoyed' as music,
> why wouldn't that complexity be experienced just as effectively as it is,
> with no suddenly-appearing experiential abstraction layer on top of it?
In music, theoretical knowledge does not lead to "more effective
experience"; I just illustrated why somebody versed in music theory might
even have her/his capacity to enjoy music limited by that very knowledge.
>> You can verify this connection between number and beauty/aesthetic
>> experience by consulting Donald Duck, keeper of absolute truth and sense:
>> Donald makes a some good plausible points about this. Better than "I do",
>> in any case.
> Haha, cool. I'm not disagreeing with you though about the mathematical
> nature of music, I am disagreeing that music can be generated purely by
I cannot play a single note without counting or computing relative numbers
(be it formal music theory; or just intuitive numbers of frets, keys,
notes, buttons, steps, counting rhythm etc.).
> Once music exists, you can certainly use mathematics to enhance music (not
> as easy as it seems like it should be though...a lot of digital music seems
> pretty anesthetic to me. If music never existed, however, I do not think
> that you could create it using math alone. Math has something to offer to
> music - the formality of math and its structural insights in music theory
> certainly increases musical knowledge, intuition, appreciation,
> musicianship, etc. Maybe even songwriting too, who knows? What does music
> have to offer math though? What does math need from music?
It's a false problem imho because I don't take the domain specificity of
"Music" vs. "Maths" as literally as you. Not because I want to win an
argument with you, but because I couldn't play a single song, without
thinking in notes and their relations (intervals we say), key's, harmonies,
melodies, iteration of groove, tuning.
Now, you strip all the formal stuff away and assume I'm autodidact: I'll
still be forced to think, like I did as a beginner, "first note, 4th
string, 5th fret, 2nd finger to second note/chord with 2nd finger etc."
which will train my ear in time to distinguish finer and finer relations
and possibilities, even without formal training, so I might not be able to
name say a chord or analyze its function, but I will be able to communicate
to other musicians a complex formal arrangement by giving the sequence with
"first this sound with this rhythm then this like this, then 2 x this, then
repeat 1st part, then vary part 2 but with this transition"; which is still
full of numbers fundamentally, even without the jargon.
That's why I can't distinguish numeric relations from music as easily. No
culture could make music without agreeing on some rhythm counting- or pitch
system based on the fundamental tone and all tones around it. With most
music, there's A LOT of counting going on for the listeners' "aesthetic
>> :) PGC
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