Re: A one-dimensional universe of sound

Subject: Re: A one-dimensional universe of sound
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Sat Feb 12 2005 - 10:34:02 EST

There cannot be an infinite number of possible recordings of the Bach
Prelude, because it is finite in length. There is a large but finite number.
There would be recordings for which it was questionable whether the piece
was indeed the prelude, and recordings for which it was not questionable,
and of course almost all recordings would not be of the prelude at all and
nobody would mistake it.

Perhaps you mistake my intent in my arguments. By saying that a digital
recording sufficed for my argument, I was not saying that all digital
recordings can be considered music. Recordings are a proper superset of
music. If an argument works for all recordings, then it works for all music.

In considering works of art as objects, I am attempting to penetrate
whatever it is that makes them what they really are, by excluding bias. I am
not attempting to exclude subjectivity and inwardness -- at all -- merely to
wash the window of the soul, if you will.

In arguing about the size (i.e. the complexity) of the art of music, I am
arguing about freedom. Finitude is unfreedom, infinity is freedom --
unlimited possibility. My arguments try to counter what I see as a
formalistic, idealistic spirit in contemporary culture by demonstrating that
the assumptions of formalism entail finitude, which is a lack of freedom.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Austin" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2005 8:30 AM
Subject: A one-dimensional universe of sound

> The clarification, for me, has been made.
> There are an infinite number of pieces called the Bach Prelude in C major
> played on a harpsichord, for their are an infinite number of possible
> "digital recordings" of the sound. The displacement of the microphone by
> .1 mm will produce a different digital recording. (This point of view
> reduces the problem of simultaneity to zero.)
> If I correctly understand the position, there exists an external standard
> that determines the 'identity of the object' of the "digital recording" as
> being "music", enter Eliot's post-human universe. It is possibly
> regretable that a human was involved in the production to begin with.
> As far as I can determine, I do not live in, and cannot perceive or
> conceive of either of these possibilities.
> Best
> Kevin
>>Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 21:06:45 -0500
>>From: Michael Gogins <>
>>Subject: Re: Solo ea
>>To: Kevin Austin <>
>>For the purposes of my discussion, "work of music" is simply "digital
>>recording" and could in fact be noise. But if you can't have a digital
>>recording of it, it is not music, so that suffices for the argument.

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