2.22.2010

The 'Flow' of Music

A an interesting and exciting post from what looks like a now no more active web/blogsite_____________-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------Steve Masson's



FRACTAL AESTHETICS


"The 'Flow' of Music 'Unlike poetry ... music and all energetic arts work through time.' (Music and Aesthetic ideals, p.13, 1984)



"As Deleuze and Guattari wrote, 'It has been said that sound has no frame' (What is Philosophy?, p.189). By 'frame', they mean the interlocking artifacts which make up a composite whole. For example, the wall, window, roof, the ground floor must join together to create a house, just as the bricks must join together to create the wall. They argue that music perhaps 'embodies the frame even more powerfully' (p.189). This is because compounds of sensation arising from a musical stimulus 'equally possess sections or framing forms'. Of course, an entire symphony is not interpreted solely on its completion, it is subject to ongoing temporal blocs of cognition throughout its performance - these cognitive blocs arise from the differing musical frames inherent in the work itself. Such a conception of sound undermines the populist notion of a linear 'flow of music'. Deleuze and Guattari do not negate this notion; they incorporate it in their theory. A composer's objective is to use these differing frames of mmusical expression to create a theme, a continuity in the piece. The theme then is the overall composition or 'great refrain' (What is Philosophy?, p.191) - the unification of differing sonorous units. Music then is a deterritorialization of frame and theme - of closure and opening. The deterritorialization produces an ambiguity which, as Rapp suggests, stimulates the strange attractor in the listener's brain. Such stimulation accounts for music's emotive effect on the brain. I believe that music must reproduce ambiguities at differing scales - for example, at the scale of a movement, a passage, a bar - in order to create the intense stimulus provided by an artform. I shall illustrate my claim through an examination of Mozart's Requiem d-moll KV 626 (1791). Requiem In the sixteenth century, composers were obliged to use a formal layout when considering the Catholic High Mass. Mozart used the five principal musical parts: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Santus-Benedictus and Agnus Dei to underpin the Requiem's brief individual movements. These movements act as frames within 'the great refrain'. But this separation or 'closure' is off-set by Mozart use of text. Pius V's decision to prescribe a text for use in the requiem mass left little artistic freedom to the composer. Yet, Mozart uses the repetition of expression over wide spaces in the mass to highlight the linguistic theme, and to develop an overall consistency. The Domine Jesu begins with cantabile ease, but in bar 3 it is preceded by a sudden rhythmic change during the words 'Rex gloria' (Ex. 1). Rhythmic change in the Domine Jesu. Example 1 Rhythmic change in the Domine Jesu."

For the remainder of this fracting essay and several other expositions of Steve Mason's I'd recommend heading right to the site __ and 'checking' it 'out' into your mind _____________________


The flow of Music Fractal Aesthetics