Thursday, December 15, 2011

Semester Overveiw

Over the course of the semester these are the topics that we have discussed that stick out in my mind.

Early on we established that music is more than organized sound and using that definition results in difficulties. Through Q&As, class discussions, and readings on and about Adorno we learned that the social aspect of music is essential. Not too long after that, in order to distinguish sounds of nature from composed pieces we added the condition of intentionality. This condition lead us to talk about musak, and we decided that since there was no intention in computer programs that we could not define it as music but it could be sound art. Musique concrete and John Cages piece 4'33'' are not music but sound art. In Hamilton's book we discussed how rhythm is interfused with everything, and rhythm is a necessary condition for music. Imperfection is a part of performing and the fact that we interpret music makes it "abstract in form and humane in utterance." Music is not a language despite Cooke's opinions because music does not tell us anything semantically. Music is considered to display "the emotional life of humans" according to Langer, yet that is culturally specific. According to Woods music is its own revelation and its own truth because music does not have to refer to anything beyond itself.

So in conclusion we have established that: music is beyond organized sound, intention and rhythm are needed, and the social impact of music is essential. Computer generated music, musique concrete, and 4' 33'' are not music, but sound art. Music is not language and music does not need to refer to anything beyond itself.

Question: What were some of the other important discussion topics that we have had in class?