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Re: Music is not political (Was Re: music is political)

this reminds me on an idea i read somewhere, somewhen i can't recall  
atm... anyway, the idea was essentially that before (what we now  
consider) language humans communicated in a much wider range of  
symbols but also much less widely-understood. as language developed  
as a widely universalized understanding of specific symbols (words),  
this took one-half of the previous communications content - the  
literal half, the half containing specific quantifiable meanings. the  
other half of pre-language communication was, roughly, absorbed into  
an abstract form we now call music. so, according to my semi-hazy  
recollection of this idea, music is communication, but of a more  
abstract type than language (spoken or written).  there are complex  
emotions and ideas that can be communicated in music but not in  
language. and vice-versa of course. to me it seems they both have  
their needs and uses, strengths and weaknesses, etc.  for example,  
something like communicating "pass me the potatoes" might be hard to  
do in music and easy in language, whereas the exact feeling of  
sadness one has being gone from home for a while is easier to  
communicate in music. in music it seems more possible to communicate  
an individuals feelings specifically, whereas in language it is  
necessarily more impersonal and generic.

i'm not saying this is true or false, right or wrong, communist or  
anarchist - just an interesting idea.

</end rambling>


On Apr 6, 2006, at 4:16 AM, Stefan Tiedje wrote:

> a k butler wrote:
>> I'm not at all sure that one has to understand music to enjoy it.
>> Rather the opposite, if anything.
> There is also an emotional understanding, which is required. To  
> quote Xenakis: Music is not a language.
> But it has an aspect of communication. The musician does express  
> some feelings, the listener will resonate if there is an emotional  
> understanding. The feelings of the performer and the feelings of  
> the listener do not need to be the same, (no language with clear  
> mappings) but it needs to have a common space of resonance  
> otherwise nothing would happen.
> I did not refer to intellectual understanding, this could even  
> distract the resonances, but sometimes it can also help...
> If I don't like music, I should consider not understanding it, to  
> be able to finally find the beauty in it. But still if I  
> understand, I could dislike it... If I don't, I don't know yet if I  
> could like it.
> Stefan
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