Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Sun Nov 06 2005 - 13:34:16 EST

Kevin Austin wrote:

> I started to hear small scale form(s) before I was 10 (without formal
> musical training), and understood the concept of repetition /
> variation before I got to high school.
> The hearing and organizing was hierarchical in nature, starting at the
> "micro" level, and progressing to larger and larger regions. Slowly,
> in time, this mode of listening extended beyond the limits of
> individual pieces and by the time I was 16 or so, I heard 'rounded
> binary' (Minuet and Trio) forms with relatively little difficulty. I
> was / am a structuralist.

 How would you describe the "micro" level you heard, eg was it motivic
or some such. Did it emphasize local
elements? What qualities drew your attention to that "level" whatever it is?

> There are two basic types of forms for me, based upon an idea called:
> "energy analysis". This concept begins with the idea of whether or not
> new energy is put during the execution of an event.


> At the level of (for example) instruments, the struck bell is a form
> of the (single) impulse variety. Energy enters the system and is lost
> over time. (A transient source.)

And why do you like this? Or are you saying that it's not relevant,
because compositions can be
looked at as physical systems, or studied as natural phenomena?

> My experience says that there is no (single) listener, or single model
> for how listening (perception / interpretation / understanding) occurs.

When Jimmy Durante stopped the orchestra and said, "let me hear DAT note
again -- dat was a GOOD note" I
certainly understood what he meant and I have no doubt that much of his
audience did as well, otherwise he
would have dropped the gag from his act.

 The problem is this. Are there some moments in the piece that are more
salient for you than
others -- the dissonant climax section in the eroica, eg, as opposed to
the first statement of
the second theme?

My guess is that statistically speaking -- studies of course would have
to support this -- many people
would answer in a consistent way. Not everyone would answer in the same
way, but it would be
surprising to discover that most people who liked the eroica didn't
like the dissonant climax.

This preferential ranking of what takes place in the music is, I'm
suggesting, a strong candidate for
"a way of listening that the majority practices."

The notion that we all hear differently doesn't explain the existence of
stylistic cohesion as in EA.

> It strikes me that when Eliot looks for "new ideas", it is somehow
> reflecting where his mind is, as my writing reflects where my mind is.
But perhaps, as Lennon said, "I'm not the only one." For example, I
especially happen to like the
dissonant climax inthe eroica..

-- eliot

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