Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Sun Nov 06 2005 - 01:45:39 EST

Morgan Sutherland wrote:

>Could it not be that you simply find a surprise every time you hear the piece
I should be so lucky,.

>Regardless, yes, I think it's over simplified, but by adding some
>dimensions it makes sense:
>You may have had plenty of "surprises" upon first listen. Listening to
>it now, those surprises are replaced by nostalgia and deeper analysis.
>Nobody (except Stockhausen) ONLY likes music with no predictable
>elements. Perhaps it changed from an "unpredictable" piece to a
>"predictable" piece over the course of your listening career.

That's a fair objection. I think I can recall what it was like when I
was a kid -- it was, then,
an amazing conversation between superintelligent beings who could all
talk at once and told elaborate stories in a way
that seemed meaningful.

Music creates a world, not a set of cheap surprises. I have the idea
that music is the
auditory module's analogue of vision. Listening to music is a kind of
seeing inthe sense that
we;re integrating objects -- the shapes of music -- into scenes with
parts and wholes and
cross-references. You can eneter into these worlds especially when you
know them very
well because the scene of activity becomes larger. TS Eliot also said
something like this.
He thought that surprises were the stuff of detective novels that you
would never reread.

>And a clarification. Who said anything about "liking"?

Well I do.

>The theory
>makes sense when "judging" upon first, second, third, and/or tenth
>(depending) listen.
The theory is that "good" music has the right balance of predictable and
unpredictable. If it's "good"
then I "like" it. If it's not "good" for me (or whomever) then any
attempt to appraise
goodness had to rely on expert judges. A theory of music has to be able
to predict when
I will like something.

>Bill kind of developed on what I was trying to say. Maybe the field is
>not so focused on innovation anymore. Would you say the goal of modern
>impressionist painters is innovation? (I don't know what i'm talking
 There's a problem with political stasis that's happened because no
major innovators have come
on the scene in a long time.

-- eliot

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