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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Thoughts for the day

Both music and language have literate traditions, traditions of writing something down. I saw that I wrote a song even if I don't actually write it down. We speak of reading music, too, and of interpreting the written text. Music has a hermeneutics by virtue of this literate character. There is a primary system of notation (notes on the staff, with rests, etc..) and then there is a conventional system of verbal indications, with words like accelerando. If I wrote down more music, I would use very detailed verbal instructions, That would seem to be part of the fun of it, getting to write a word or phrase in Italian about how you wanted your music played, dolce or cantabile.


Intonation is the among the first aspect of language acquired, along with rhythm. A childlike intonation is stylized, more "sing song" than an adult's. When we call intonation "speech melody" we are not using a metaphor. Likewise, the


When we speak of bird song, is that a metaphor? It is true that the bird's song is a metaphor for poetry itself, as in Keats. But we don't have another, better word for it.  It is a catachresis, like the legs of a table? (A metaphorical designation that has no literal equivalent). Or does the bird song actually qualify as song by its melodic and rhythmic characteristics.


Words like prosodymeter and phrase only refer to language, temporal arts like poetry, dance, and music. Aristotle says that dance has rhythm without music. Of course, most dance is still dance to music. What would prosody be in sculpture? It would probably be the gestural language expressed even in stillness or apparent stasis. (We can talk about rhythm in painting.) In visual arts, we could apply the idea of measure, to talk about proportionality or the like.


Aristotle includes music among the imitative arts, like poetry and painting. What is less important than their imitative quality (surely weak in music?) is the fact that they are forms of art closely allied and linked to each other, in the sense that melos is one of the six aspects of poesis.


What does music imitate, anyway? A treatise on music might not start with mimesis, but a treatise on ta poetika will start with imitation while including music and visual art as points of reference.

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