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Re: TS Eliot

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  • Kevin Marshall
    ... (be they ... is also ... in new ... do you want to go farther and change listeners thinking about what they want to get from the music? or is your
    Message 1 of 5 , 10 Feb, 2005
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      > as i mentioned in previous posts, the idea of PT for me is to get people
      > thinking about their relationship to traditional music in new ways
      (be they
      > musicians or listeners), and ben has pointed out that the community
      is also
      > being built to influence institutional bodies to react to this music
      in new
      > ways as well, by creating funding or marketing contexts for it.

      do you want to go farther and change listeners' thinking
      about what they want to get from the music?

      or is your ambition less than that?

      is ptrad's ambition that:

      ptrad fulfills the same function for the audience that
      other music currently does in our (western affluent)
      society.

      > so PT is not so much a rejection of traditional music as it is an
      expansion
      > of how tradition is actualized.....

      and acheives different ends than traditional music did?

      as to the larger discussion of what ends music does
      achieve, i must refer y'all to steven pinker's "The Blank
      Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" chapter on the
      arts (chap 20)

      i will summarize pinker's views if there is interest.

      k
    • Debashis Sinha
      hey everyone thank you kevin for some interesting and provocative questions. allow me to answer with regards to my own concepts about PT music: ... i can only
      Message 2 of 5 , 13 Feb, 2005
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        hey everyone

        thank you kevin for some interesting and provocative questions. allow me to answer with
        regards to my own concepts about PT music:
        your first questions were:

        > do you want to go farther and change listeners' thinking
        > about what they want to get from the music?
        >
        > or is your ambition less than that?
        >
        > is ptrad's ambition that:
        >
        > ptrad fulfills the same function for the audience that
        > other music currently does in our (western affluent)
        > society.
        >

        i can only speak for myself, and how i am trying to make sense of the PT movement (such
        as it is) and what it means to my own creative path. i think PT music, besides being an
        intellectual concept, is also just music, and as such, fulfills whatever space the listener
        makes for it. while music does have a function in our western affluent society, it is
        generally either a) the same function that it has anywhere else, ie spiritual and emotional,
        or b) of the realm of industry, profit, etc. PT music, i should hope, is more about (a) than
        (b), although there is nothing wrong with making a living.....

        i don't think the PT movement has an "ambition", but i do think that we as people who are
        interested in making/listening to PT music have ambitions for the music---that it
        becomes more widely listened to, appreciated, etc. and i think that it is not my place to
        tell people to change what they want to get from the music---they will get whatever they
        want from it. when i listen to XTC, i want to feel like there is still room in the world for 12
        string electric guitars and great melodies. when i listen to gapa i want to listen to sounds,
        skin and bone. i think its the same for many of us---we put on a record because we want
        to feel something.

        i think this whole PT website/discussion group/radio project that ben and i have started is
        more about that we (i am speaking for ben here, but i think i am right) would like this
        music to be listened to....

        > > so PT is not so much a rejection of traditional music as it is an
        > expansion
        > > of how tradition is actualized.....
        >
        > and acheives different ends than traditional music did?
        >

        not really, no. as i said, music is music. i am not really concerned myself with what ends
        my music serves, i just make it, hopefully well and hopefully guided by mindfulness and
        good taste....for me, organizing my creative juices around the concept of PT music helps
        me make sense of and articulate what i am doing if i have to. i like to think that there is
        some organizing principle behind my work, and having the concept of PT appeals to my
        more rational side, as well as helps me relate to and organize my thinking around the
        work of others.

        this may or may not work for everyone......

        i hope this is making sense.....

        > as to the larger discussion of what ends music does
        > achieve, i must refer y'all to steven pinker's "The Blank
        > Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" chapter on the
        > arts (chap 20)
        >
        > i will summarize pinker's views if there is interest.
        >

        i would love to hear what that reference says. the more the merrier.

        out
        d
      • Kevin Marshall
        ... merrier. fools rush in where angels fear to tread. (i m no angel for sure) i will attempt to summarize a whole book, which in turn is a summary of
        Message 3 of 5 , 17 Feb, 2005
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          --- In ptrad@..., "Debashis Sinha" <deb@d...> wrote:
          > > i will summarize pinker's views if there is interest.
          > >
          >
          > i would love to hear what that reference says. the more the
          merrier.

          fools rush in where angels fear to tread. (i'm no angel
          for sure)

          i will attempt to summarize a whole book, which in turn
          is a summary of important new findings in evolutionary
          psychology mostly initiated by toobey and cosminides. gee
          thats not much.

          but it is necessary context for anyone who is
          philosophizing in modern times.

          one principle to keep in mind is there are ultimate goals
          and more immediate goals pursued by organisms (including
          humans).

          another is from matt ridley who used the analogy for
          science and morality. science and morality are like two
          different card games played with the same deck. even though
          both have the same 52 cards, the rules they play by and
          the outcomes are decidedly different.

          ultimate goal for all organisms: produce more of the same
          genes they are made of. (dawkins selfish gene)

          what this means in terms of the blank slate is: there
          is no behavior people engage in that is not partly
          genetically determined. example language: although the
          language you will speak is determined by your environment
          - all languages share a deep structure (chomsky) and the
          stages that children go through to learn language are not
          culturally determined.

          there are many more examples and numerous book length
          presentations of the large body of science behind these
          ideas. i'll move on.

          what does this mean for music and the arts? babies
          recognize and are drawn to consonant intervals from the age
          of a few months. this is bad news for stockhausen, harry
          partch and the whole serial twelve tone thing. melodies
          are also a very early attractor.

          music and the arts seem to be an evolutionary adaptation
          around the core message "my senses are working right and
          are not easily deceived". this promotes the ultimate
          organism's goal of being well adapted and surviving.
          a more proximate goal is the long list of aesthetic
          pleasures, intellectual interest in the arts etc. and
          attracting members of the opposite sex, but mostly males
          attracting females. sorry about that, but it is quite
          factual. look at the distribution of the sexes in the
          membership of this group for example.

          so if consonant intervals are attractive, what is
          going on with "stockhausen, harry partch and the whole
          serial twelve tone thing"? there is also an important
          evolutionary adaptation to desire status within one's
          peer group and ever larger subcultures. thus it is an
          adaptation to say "my senses are so refined that i can
          listen to and enjoy stuff that makes every one else gag",
          and proves my superiority... (tom wolfe, From Bauhaus to
          Our House)/pinker

          back to the cards/deck analogy: although one can play
          another game with the deck of aesthetic pleasures, i submit
          that the deck itself does impose limits and guidelines on
          what is a best practice for making music. one does not have
          to stay within the consonant/rhythmic constraints imposed
          by neurology, but an awareness of them gives likely limits
          as to what is neurologically pleasing as opposed to a more
          status seeking aesthetic response.

          so my caution for a post-traditional aesthetic is:
          traditions have existed for some length of time and
          over some (sometimes quite large) population. thus they
          are likely to match with what neurologically is the deep
          structures for music (and the other arts, too). when ptrad
          claims to depart from tradition i submit that a knowledge
          of what these deep structructures are, can be helpful
          in making what is a neurologically sound as opposed to a
          status-related statement.

          what are the deep structures? it is probably not a
          mystery. here's a quick list of suggestions.

          all musical cultures have consonant and dissonant
          intervals and favor melodies that employ more consonant
          than dissonant ones. melodies are close to universal in
          resolving to the tonic. melodies do not last for less
          than 1 second or more than 60 seconds. western harmony is
          a dominant factor all over the world. rhythms of speeds
          less than 40 or greater than 200 beats per minute are not
          favored. rhythmns in 4 are found everywhere. non melodic
          series of notes have a tension and release cycle similar
          to melodies.

          one other proximate goal for organisms is pursuit of
          novelty for the senses. thus while we as musicians are
          constrained by the deep structures (neurologically based
          and not changable by one's conscious will) we also have
          the duty to produce novelty in our productions. how
          much? traditions give a bound.

          this note covered a lot of territory, so write me back with
          things that are not clear or seem nonsensical. i can reply
          with quotes from pinker and ridley (and their sources)
          and expand on any topics that seem of interest.

          this is new stuff to everyone - the research is still
          ongoing. y'all seem like a thoughtful bunch, so if y'all
          can see an error in this line of reasoning (other than
          the canonical: you are SOOOOOO wrong) i'm interested in
          your counter arguments.

          k
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