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Re: [ARSCLIST] Are we at the end of the road musically??

Steven Barr wrote:
Two thoughts (after deleting the long message)...

First...any new forms of, or new developments in, music (be it
"popular" or "classical") will only become part of the "body of
music" if enough of those who hear these novel ideas respond by
becoming paying "fans" thereof! I wonder how many musicians tried
new inventions/ideas/etc. only to find out that they couldn't
attract audiences, and then abandoned them!

Second...I have been reading a serious work on the relationship
between sound (as a physical entity) and music. It postulates that
a fair amount of what determines "music" is actually, or at least
seems to be, "hard wired" into our brains! It suggests that there
is a minimum degree of frequency difference that can be perceived
by humans as different notes...and that what we think of as harmony.
thus chords (and dischords) is dependent on the "beat notes" which
are created by frequency differences. Thus, if we hear two tones
a "half-tone" apart, our instinctive reaction is to find that
unpleasant...while many standard musical intervals are perceived
(again, naturally) as pleasant. Thus, while technology (or slide
guitar, or "bent" notes on a harmonica...) can create an infinite
range of frequencies, our perceptions of them are "built in" to
our human brains!

Finally, considering the list membership, and their educations
and experiences...as well as the fact that "recorded sound" is
probably 95% or more "music"...I think this list is an ideal
facility for this discussion!

I have the feeling that you are discussing music in terms of the conventional, Western variety. One need not turn to the 'exotic' music of Japan, but only to the music of Biber and, especially, of Gesualdo for counterexamples. Note that a composer can be important without being popular. Virtually no one outside of a conservatory knew of Gesualdo for four centuries, but he proved important to the development of 'modern' classical music.

Pythagoras is credited with the term "music of the spheres", building the same laws of harmony and dissonance you suggest. However, the music of India and to a lesser extent also of Greece itself goes against those laws.


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