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The role of music in history

 
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:01 pm    Post subject: The role of music in history Reply with quote

Maybe it's foolish to look for large-scale patterns in history, at least of the quasi-teleological kind that Marxists did, for instance. I don't know. But so think of our modern radio-laden world. We have music surrounding us constantly. But also, cuckoo-clocks were designed to make music. Churches have rung bells for centuries and centuries.

And think about the role of music in the development of technology in its entirety. In fact, a musical instrument of any kind is a simple piece of technology. Now, I just found out two days ago that it was a tailor obsessed with a better view of threading who devised the microscopes through which bacteria were first perceived; so who knows how musicians have likewise influenced science? I mean actually there are probably books and essays aplenty on the topic, of which I am not aware. For example, general studies of sound waves probably often involved reflection, at least, on musical resonance in particular.

So, my overarching judgment in this case, or maybe just my guiding question, is: is there a large-scale quasi-teleological pattern in history, one that functions like a musical archetype in the human subconscious? Do our minds automatically hum a song deep inside themselves, so to speak, and the pattern in this song affects our motivations in various ways that end up expressed in public activity that coalesces through societies, cultures, and civilizations, to form the "telos" of our time? And even granting the hypothesis on its face, just what exactly would this music be?

(The conflict between "good" and "evil" might be conceived of as the conflict between the archetype of harmony for the inner song, and the archetype of dissonance in its place.)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: The role of music in history Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
So, my overarching judgment in this case, or maybe just my guiding question, is: is there a large-scale quasi-teleological pattern in history, one that functions like a musical archetype in the human subconscious? Do our minds automatically hum a song deep inside themselves, so to speak, and the pattern in this song affects our motivations in various ways that end up expressed in public activity that coalesces through societies, cultures, and civilizations, to form the "telos" of our time? And even granting the hypothesis on its face, just what exactly would this music be?


1. Yes.
2. No.
3. It would be Rush's "Freewill". Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ommmmm......... difficult to say. Wink

I love the idea of our innate need for rhythm coming from our nine months of listening to the 'lub-dup' of our mothers heartbeat, and that indeed the rhythm of poetry may have preceeded the flatness of prose in our early linguistic communication.

Yes sound is a much underated thing and music even more so......!

So expand, expound and explain your theory Mig, and I for one will (as always) enjoy floundering in its depths! Smile
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, and don't say you didn't warn yourself Razz

First, the major counter to the theory: deafness. I actually have no direct answer to this problem right now except to say that I think it remains possible for the brain to relate musical qualia to itself via the internal stimulus of the imagination plus its own innate resources. There are these suits out there, apparently, that convert sound into patterns of vibrations across people's chests, and this has sort of "cured" some people of deafness, so who knows...

That aside...

Let's suppose that moral (or ethical or whatever) judgment can be inspired either by intuitions, feelings, perceptions, or suchlike on one hand, or by careful analysis/inference on the other. But let's moreover then say that, as per the history of philosophy, the real form of human moral knowledge is not intuitive. No one really knows almost anything about right and wrong just because it "feels" some way to them.

Why is this? I will present the following as an assumption for the nonce: the form of our moral knowledge was itself chosen by us somehow. That is, our souls, in some Kantian noumenal state, decided not to know right from wrong by both intuition and discursion but solely by the latter route. (Or, to complicate the picture: some people choose one route, others the other; but few to none choose both or neither.) This, though, was itself wrong, or an error, a mistake, whatever. And that error sets for us the task of transforming our moral consciousness so that we will one day know right from wrong intuitively as well.

What kind of intuition are we speaking of? As per the musical bent of the idea, not so much visual awareness. Rather, moral action itself is to be understood as action that relates people to themselves and to each other with a harmony that corresponds to the order of music. An action is right or good, then, let's say, if it harmonizes people (all people, in principle) as if they were instruments in a song.

Goethe said something like, "Architecture is frozen music." A city skyline is analogous to the rise and fall of musical notation. Because of the role of entropy in the world, our minds come preloaded with a meme that personifies entropy as a force of destruction, something like Freud's death-drive concept. So subconsciously, all of humanity is involved in a conflict between the moral city of ideal intuition and the demon-shadow of entropy. That is, the destruction of cities is the distilled correspondence in physical activity, to the pure impulse to destruction, with the will to destroy the intuitive city being the core "motive" of the destroyer-meme.

Granted all these things, the role of the massacre of Troy, fictional or not, in the foundations of Western political and literary history, carried the will to death far beyond its mimetic origins. But everyone knew, deep down inside, of the conflict, for they all knew, more or less, of the opposition of the concepts of good and evil per se. So all history such as it has ramified from the foundations referred to, maps the rise and fall of good and evil, like notes in a song (or notes in two songs), one that seeks to perfect its harmony, the other of which seeks to eradicate all harmony forever in the silence of the void.
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Btw, if it wasn't obvious that I have read way too much fantasy in my time, hopefully it will be now Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part 2, (as) if part 1 wasn't ridiculous enough Razz

It is not unusual to come up with cinematic accompaniments to musical pieces. This follows from the relationship between the form of music and the form of emotion, and narrative as the context of emotion in total. Accordingly, my theory of history is that the moral purpose of humanity (to date) is to make a series of films that climaxes in a specific juxtaposition of audiovisual information, representing the message of the intuitive city. By participating in the creation and witness of these films, humanity would reset its collective subconscious so as to defeat/redeem the archetype of destruction within, and presto, the world would be saved.

QED Razz

EDIT: Part 3, just in case this all still sounds remotely possible haha

As I have both stated and indicated elsewhere, there is a good chance I am schizophrenic (or schizoaffectively disordered, though that kind of diagnosis is "on the rocks" in the new DSM, IIRC). Therefore, it should be no surprise, to myself at least, to find that my theory, applied to my own life, says that I personally know what the parts for the hypothetical film series' climax, are to be, namely my favorite song and the epic story I came up with in that song's name, and a girl I am "supposed" to try to find (in South Africa!*) to play the role of the savior in the story (which would end up meaning she was the savior of the real world too!).

Why my favorite song? Well, what is this song, anyway? "World Sick" by Broken Social Scene. Ironically or not, this band itself says that it wants to try to save the world, or help do so, or whatever, and they're obsessed with city-imagery and so on, too. In fact, the lead singer of the band likes "Choose Your Own Adventure books" a lot, a fact I discovered while writing a CYOA-kind of book with this band showing up in the story, a book I wanted to use as a springboard into my filmmaking career (the idea being that the money I earned from the book would go towards production of the films, supposing the book sold enough copies or whatever). (As if reality couldn't help but try to completely trick me, it also turned out that BSS's lead singer *is also into filmmaking.*)

More absurdly, before I ever heard "World Sick," I (a) clearly imagined the first chords to the kind of song I knew I'd want to use for the movie series' climax, (b) expected that the right kind of song would have to be about 7 minutes long, and (c) believed it would resemble songs by bands like Tool, U2, and Coldplay among others. So, presto, the first chords in "World Sick" sound identical to the ones I imagined for this hypothetical composition, the song's duration is 6:47, and it sounds like something made by all those bands I just mentioned, blended into one. So maybe I can be forgiven for losing my mind in the years since...

Worse (or not), I believe that other people throughout history also have had "visions" of the song/movie scene in question. Specifically, I think that a transcendental object I call "the Test" (like God, sort of, except God also exists in this context) sent these visions to at least the following people: Joachim of Fiore, Dante Alighieri, and Carl Jung, both of whom reported having extremely significant mystical experiences revolving around musical concepts (a ten-stringed psalter, the ten heavens of the Paradiso, and a feverishly hallucinated "concert" or "vast musical composition" that inspired Jung's Answer to Job).

Now, I'm willing to confess all this so flippantly, because by now, I have failed so much at life that I doubt I'm going to be alive for more than a few more years at best anyway, and even if I lived longer, I no longer know how on Earth I would ever make enough money to produce the films I would have liked to. Running off the steam of "I have been given a chance to personally help save the world" has left my emotional motors sorely in need of repair Sad and meeting that Dean fellow didn't help pretty much whatsoever.

*Why South Africa? Well, first off, not that any specific nation is required on this count, but I figure this character ought to be someone who would tend to be identified as black. I got a little tired of seeing almost all the saviors in popular fantasy stories be "white" guys (or a girl, in Miyazaki's case) and figured it would help end racism or whatever, to go this route, here. As for the country in question being where the girl in question would be found, as I told Avatar in a different thread, I figure it would be poetic for a country that got rid of its most evil destruction-meme-serving weaponry, to be where the savior came from.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mig, interesting post, much of which as predicted was lost on me, but getting to the important part which was the last paragraph, I do have something​to say. Failing at life is of small significance in comparison to that of failing as a human-being, and there is precious little evidence in your posts of that kind. I have no knowledge of your age or condition in life but I do know that you, like the rest of us are constructed with the inbuilt ability to abide. I'm​ going to quote you two passages from the book Maurice by E.M. Forster.
Quote:
Fed neither by Heaven nor by Earth he was going forward.......He hadn't a God or a lover - the two usual incentives to virtue, but on he struggled with his back to the ease, because dignity demanded it, a flame that would blow out were materialism true. There was no one to watch him, nor did he watch himself, but struggles like his are the supreme achievements of humanity and surpass any legends about heaven


And this one......
Quote:
Madness is not for everyone, but Maurice's proved the thunderbolt which dispels the clouds. The storm had been working up not for three days as he supposed, but for six years. It had brewed in the insecurities of being where no eye pierces, his surroundings had thickened it. It had burst and he had not died. The brilliancy of day was around him, he stood upon the mountain range that overshadows youth, he saw.

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'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You *would* just happen to mention which book, of all I know of but have not yet read, that surely in general, and perhaps especially right now, I ought to read. Vain
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