Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap
From: John Nowak (
Date: Thu Jul 01 2004 - 23:04:54 EDT

On Jul 1, 2004, at 10:36 PM, Paulo Mouat wrote:

> Michael Gogins writes:

>> Indeed, I fail to see how a person from one culture could
>> learn to appreciate the music of another culture if there
>> were not something universal in music as such. Otherwise,
>> "appreciation" would be pure predatory assimilation, stealing
>> really, without the appropriator ever entering into the
>> subjectivity of the music of the other.
> I believe the "something universal" in music is that it somehow
> conveys the
> impression of purpose.

If you are implying that music is universal in the sense that it
appears to be music, that the sound's purpose is to be musical, I
disagree. Plenty of people think much of what I enjoy to be anything
but music.

> Music is always a cultural
> practice (meaning, it is indelibly tied to a specific cultural
> framework),
> and it is probably our natural interest in transcending our own
> cultural
> boundaries (e.g. the search for novelty) that transports it across
> cultures.

I have to to disagree with that. Music tends to be similar amongst
cultures not necessarily because the culture shapes the music, but
because the music becomes ingrained in the culture. Its true that it
works both ways, but I have to take issue with the amount of influence
you suggest culture has on music. I don't think there's anything about
Japanese culture that spawned noise music. Noise music just happened to
originate there, and then later became part of the culture. (We can
argue about where noise music originated, I'm just giving an example.)
I also think that, for example, a painter like Pollock could've come
from anywhere. He happened to come from America, but I think it
would've been just as natural for him to come from Europe, Asia, of

- John

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