Sounding Want – An Night of Music and Philosophy

Sounding Want – An Night of Music and Philosophy

Critchley & Simmons, Sydney Opera Home

Start with ‘A Stroll (alongside the River Lea)’ with visuals as individuals take their seats and quiet down. Music fades, stage to black, silence. Then stage lit with a single spot. SC comes on stage, finds the spot and speaks:

Good night, Girls and Gents. I’m Simon Critchley. Someplace within the darkness lurks John Simmons. Collectively, we’re Critchley & Simmons, not a agency of solicitors, however a beautiful, throbbing, dwelling experiment in phrases, sounds and pictures muzik shqip 2019 hitet e reja.

Music issues. It issues immensely. For some individuals it issues greater than anything. But, the why and the how of its mattering stays an enigma for us, a darkish riddle. Why does music matter? Why does it converse to us so powerfully? That is the place just a little philosophy may assist. The duty of this night’s leisure is to see philosophically into the enigma of music, to learn its riddle not so as to clear up it as soon as and for all, however to shed just a little mild within the darkness.

And relating to the philosophy of music the place else ought to one first flip however to the sage counsel of Albert Freiherr von Thimus, 1806-1878, writer of the compendious Die harmonikale Symbolik des Alterthums (The Harmonic Symbolism of the Historic World). He was an intriguing fellow, a lawyer, a decide and a Prussian politician, an obsessionally devoted beginner whose work on music is distinguished by the truth that it was completely ignored in his lifetime. He was a private pal of Baron Teufelsdröckh of Weissnichtwo, hero of Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus. Albert Freiherr von Thimus thought music, the music of antiquity, seemed like this,

What von Thimus is dressing-up in fairly tight-fitting 19th Century britches is the traditional Pythagorean concept of music, the so-called ‘concord of the spheres’. That is an historic, unwritten, esoteric and extremely influential custom that begins within the mists of antiquity however whose first textual assist is a passage from Plato’s Timeaus on the creation of the world soul written about 2,500 years in the past. The Timaeus was the one of Plato’s texts to be accessible all through antiquity and the mediaeval interval. Sadly, the passage in query is nearly fully unintelligible. Here is a style,

‘From an essence impartible, and all the time subsisting in keeping with sameness of being, and from a nature divisible about our bodies, he (the Demiurge) mingled from each a 3rd type of essence, having a center subsistence between the 2. And once more, between that which is impartible and that which is divisible about our bodies, he positioned the character of identical and totally different.’

You see what I imply. But, the fundamental thought behind the music of the spheres is that the heavenly our bodies made sounds as they moved by means of house. The traditional Greeks knew of 9 spheres: the Solar and Moon, the planets that we all know as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the Starry Sphere of the mounted stars within the sky and the Crystalline Sphere which managed the procession of the equinoxes. On the Ptolemaic, earth-centred view of the universe, these spheres moved across the earth in a stately and unvarying procession. It’s believed that Pythagoras believed (we do not know for positive; actually, we do not actually have a clue as no writings of Pythagoras have survived) that the Spheres, in widespread with all different objects which transfer, should vibrate and that these vibrations should produce sound. The totally different spheres, being of various measurement and transferring another way from the others, produce accordingly totally different sounds. Saturn, being in antiquity the furthest planet from earth would offer the bass be aware transferring up by means of to the treble of the Moon. Nonetheless, as for the Pythagoreans all nature was a harmonious complete, the sounds emitted by the assorted spheres should even be harmonious, a sort of superb common chord because the universe rotated eternally by means of house. It may need sounded one thing like this…

On this view, music, human music – plucked or strummed with human fingers – supplied it was composed and performed in keeping with correct guidelines, was a mirrored image of the mathematical concord and perfection of the universe. Greater than that, insofar as musical concord was in tune with the concord of the universe, music made doable a communion with the creator of the universe, God himself, herself or no self. Music is the important thing by which we’d enter the thoughts of God. Borrowing the diagrams of the 16th Century Swiss humanist, Heinrich Glarean, the musical universe would have seemed like this…

Right here, the 9 spheres of the universe correspond to the 9 muses. In fact, the phrase ‘music’ derives from the Greek mousike, that artwork over which the muses presided which was one of many three pillars of Athenian schooling the place younger residents had been taught to sing poetry to the musical accompaniment of the lyre, which is the place we get the thought of lyric poetry..

The important thing idea within the music of the spheres is concord: the universe is harmonious for it’s the work of God and musical concord is the human key to the divine concord. Removed from having all the very best tunes, the satan abhors concord. Within the phrases on St. Thomas of Villanova (1486-1555), “Music places the satan to flight…and he whom no power can overcome is overcome by concord”.

This Pythagorean custom twists and wends its approach by means of historical past like a subway line, repeatedly showing briefly over the floor earlier than slipping out of view. The Pythagorean perception within the mystical and cosmic significance of music is the core of a Airtight custom that spans antiquity, the mediaeval and renaissance worlds and extends into modernity in great figures like Charles Fourier (1772-1837), about whom I wish to say a couple of phrases as he’s so bizarrely fascinating. Fourier was enormously influential in radical socialist politics earlier than 1848, arguing that if human beings really liberated their passions, then they might reside in a state that he known as – shock, shock – Concord.


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