+1(978)310-4246 credencewriters@gmail.com
  

I will be able to provide any of the PDFs in question. But I am struggling with this course and need to pass. Thank you.

Topics:

1. As a newly hired director of a famous Concert Hall, you must plan for the grand opening

night. You need to prepare a 90 to 120 minute Concert Program, as well as write up Program

Notes. You need a theme (thought-out reason for your choices); you need to fit the pieces in

the allotted time, with an Intermezzo (intermission). You must select music examples from

Folder 6 (files 1 and 2), or Folder 8 (file 2). You may also choose different music examples that

are not included in these folders, but they must still be from one of the composers listed in the

files. Your Program Notes must clearly describe your reason for the selections, with a touch of

historical/conceptual support for the selected compositions, including dates, information on

the pieces you select, as well as a juicy anecdote or two about the selected musicians. You may

cite from Folder 12, for deeper conceptual issues as well. Here are links to orient you about

Concert Programs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_program

– as well as Program Notes

https://music.wayne.edu/students/guide_to_writing_program_notes.pdf.

I will upload a few images of Concert Programs on our Shared Drive (for inspiration), but since

2

you only have four pages for this topic, your Concert Program must be written as your first

paragraph. After that, you may begin your “Program Notes.”

2. Select a passage, statements, terms, or position from my Virtual Lecture # 7 (Parts 1 through

4) that you would like to further develop. It is your task to develop it, by i) explaining the

position, statement, or passage, then ii) adding a specific musical example from Folder 6, then

iii) cross-reference terms/concepts from any of my VLs, and iv) adding further support from

one author that was mentioned in the Virtual Lecture. This can easily break down to the

required full four pages. Using one page per each section (i, ii, iii, iv), will hand you the four

pages. For this topic, you may use footnotes to cite references (primary text, or article) from

the one author you selected (for section iv).

3. Select two authors covered in my any of my solo days that you would agree with on a specific

issue(s) about music. Then, i) track that mention from my Virtual Lectures, and our PDF LAP

readings (in Folder 4), with your added explanations, and development, and then, ii) further

support your choice and reason by citing and explaining parts of a primary text, or article, by

your two selected authors. In the end, your task is to give clear reasons to a future student of

music & philosophy for the need to look into these authors as important theoretical positions.

Using two pages for each of the sections (i and ii) would lend you four pages with ease. For this

topic, you may also use footnotes to cite references (primary text, or article) from the two

authors you selected (for section ii).

Topics 2 and 3 are already broken down for what is clearly required, so that you can plan your

four pages with ease. The issue with these (as it was with Topic 1), is to have read, or listened to

enough of the materials to know where to go fishing for a catch. In the end, as I noted in my

“General Advice” … select carefully what works best for you. I wish there were actually

questions in class on Tuesday (11/24), but, thanks to one of your classmates, and their

wonderful question/concerns, I thought to share this with all of you so that it may help.

Remember, we (as a class) are like an orchestra, we have our shared score, our parts, and our

instruments (think, our voices, concerns, views), and only when this plays in unison (or close to

unison), is music made. If not, well, then there remains only empty, voiceless enclosures, like a

110’00” cage.

Crew,
I received a solid question on the Topics from one of your classmates. I must say that it was so
very helpful that I wanted to share what I said as part of my explanation (see attached). I also
have uploaded this “Topic 1 (of Fourth Paper) – extra breakdown” to our Shared Drive, Folder #
19. Without a real question, there is no quest, but when an authentic and heartfelt question
emerges (as happened with your classmate’s question), then a path becomes cleared.
To reiterate a few points of my response to the question, the first was about the “theme.” A
theme will consists of, and demonstrate, a thought-out reason for your choices. For instance,
suppose you select as your “theme,” musical examples (pieces of music) based on, and
expressing the phenomena of “love.” The search could begin as, for example, “Mozart’s music
and love,” or “love in Beethoven’s works,” or “Schumann, music and love,” etc. The choice of
the “theme” is important so that you (as director of the Concert Hall) guide the listener from a
coherent Program, and thus as a learning, and pleasurable experience. Your “Program Notes”
will help that as well.
Breakdown B. A “theme” can be, as an example, “Nature” as expressed through music, or more
form-based theme, such as, first musical compositions of x, y, z musicians, or late (final)
compositions of x, y, x musicians, or, “overtures” through the history of music. You can have a
concert about “string quartets,” or “Organ music” through the years, or Sonatas, or Nocturnes.
With music, the “theme” example is very possible if you think it through with some seriousness,
yet, it is never simple, because, music does not “represent” anything clearly, unless it plays pure
onomatopoeia, or plays back recordings from nature, or social settings. What would represent
something more clearly? Well, paintings, or sculptures. However, in music’s expressiveness
there are hints, and triggers (and when lucky, even accompanying titles, or lyrics), that help cast
a spell upon (and possess) the listener about a “theme,” such as longing, love, anger, peace,
nature, dance, death, etc. When you select your “theme,” make sure to have the running time
of the pieces, and that they add up to close to 90mins, or no more than 120mins.
Breakdown C., of Topic 1 asks to look through my music example Folders 6, and 8, but also says
that you may find more examples on your own, but from the same composers, or, you can also
use a composer from Dr. DiSanto’s musical examples, if you wish. The point for you (as the
Director of the Concert Hall), is to compose a lovely and informative Concert Program that has a
“theme,” and that tells us something about the way the theme emerges (and reemerges and
evolves) from within the history of music.
Breakdown D. This is clear enough, and you will use references. You may cite the references as
footnotes to each of your pages.
Breakdown E. Use this only if you wish to get conceptual, or more philosophical about this
Concert Program. There are plenty of parts of my Virtual Lecture # 7 (or earlier ones), that may
serve to boost the understanding of a “theme,” or inspire you to cook up a theme, such as, for
instance, “Notation” changes through music history: a musical sampler,” “new sounds, and a
new day for music,” or “new instruments in music’s evolution.” “Music and places,” “Music as
emotional doppelganger,” “Music’s sorcery,” … and I can go on, but I will not. You get the
picture.
Topics 2 and 3 are already broken down for what is clearly required, so that you can plan your
four pages with ease. The issue with these (as it was with Topic 1), is to have read, or listened to
enough of the materials to know where to go fishing for a catch. In the end, as I noted in my
“General Advice” … select carefully what works best for you. I wish there were actually
questions in class on Tuesday (11/24), but, thanks to one of your classmates, and their
wonderful question/concerns, I thought to share this with all of you so that it may help.
Remember, we (as a class) are like an orchestra, we have our shared score, our parts, and our
instruments (think, our voices, concerns, views), and only when this plays in unison (or close to
unison), is music made. If not, well, then there remains only empty, voiceless enclosures, like a
110’00” cage.
P.S. I will not be able to respond to emails all day Friday, Nov. 27, because Stockton designated
this day as one of our 12 furlough days for Faculty. Such BS.
TOPIC 1. – Extra Breakdown
As a newly hired director of a famous Concert Hall, you must plan for the grand opening night.
A. You need to prepare a 90 to 120 minute Concert Program, as well as write up
Program Notes. [Your Concert Program must be written as your first paragraph.]
B. You need a theme (thought-out reason for your choices); you need to fit the pieces in
the allotted time, with an Intermezzo (intermission).
C. You must select music examples from Folder 6 (files 1 and 2), or Folder 8 (file 2). You
may also choose different music examples that are not included in these folders, but they must
still be from one of the composers listed in the files. [Remember to have the actual time (length
of the piece fit a 90, and up to 120 minute concert. Note the time for each piece.]
D. Your Program Notes must clearly describe your reason for the selections, with a
touch of historical/conceptual support for the selected compositions, including dates,
information on the pieces you select (find references online), as well as a juicy anecdote or two
about the selected musicians (also online). [“Program Notes” begin after your first paragraph
where you listed your choices.]
E. You may cite from Folder 12, for deeper conceptual issues as well. [Use this only if it
helps a point or issues for your “Program Notes.”]
Here are links to orient you about Concert Programs:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_program – as well as Program Notes
https://music.wayne.edu/students/guide_to_writing_program_notes.pdf.
See sample Concert Programs on our Shared Drive (for inspiration). Since you only have four
pages for this topic, your Concert Program must be written as your first paragraph. After that,
you may begin your “Program Notes.”
Music and Philosophy F2020 – Paper Topics 4
[Z # goes here: 000]
Prof. Lucio A. Privitello, Ph.D. [Paper Title here, plus “Topic #”]
Fall 2020 – Online – Upload papers in Folder # 20
[Start Paper at this line]
Paper topics # 4 – email & upload handout date: Monday, Nov. 23.
Paper # 4 due date: Tuesday, Dec. 8, by 8:00PM in Folder # 20. Late papers receive an F.
Four full pages, at 12-point font in Times New Roman, double-spaced. When citing, use in-text
(in parentheses) reference to (author, and page #) from sources in LAP PDF 1, 2, or 3 files.
When citing a piece of music, give (author and title of piece). When citing my Virtual Lectures
from Folder 12, use (Privitello, VL #, Part #, and p. #). If citing my Graphs or Pics from Folder 10,
use (Privitello, Folder 10, file #). Have the last three digits of your Z number at top right hand
corner of first page. Center title of paper one line below your Z number line, and include the
paper topic #. Begin your paper two lines beneath your title line. See above in [bold underlined
brackets].
Important note on uploading papers by the last three digits of your Z #. Upload your fourth
paper with the last three digits of your Z # just as before. Unfortunately, a previous paper’s Z #
and identity (for paper # 2) became known. This is how I will adjust the problem for the fourth
paper: After you upload your papers with the last three digits of your Z #, my secretary
(factotum) will access Folder # 20, open each paper, and assign it a new three-digit number and
eliminate your Z # from the paper. They will keep a list of the new assigned numbers with
corresponding Z #s in their possession until after I read, comment, correct, and complete the
grades on all the papers. At that point, after all grades are complete, the new three-digit
number will be changed back to your original Z # so you can locate your paper in the folder, and
read my comments. Grading will remains anonymous, and problem will be solved.
Topics:
1. As a newly hired director of a famous Concert Hall, you must plan for the grand opening
night. You need to prepare a 90 to 120 minute Concert Program, as well as write up Program
Notes. You need a theme (thought-out reason for your choices); you need to fit the pieces in
the allotted time, with an Intermezzo (intermission). You must select music examples from
Folder 6 (files 1 and 2), or Folder 8 (file 2). You may also choose different music examples that
are not included in these folders, but they must still be from one of the composers listed in the
files. Your Program Notes must clearly describe your reason for the selections, with a touch of
historical/conceptual support for the selected compositions, including dates, information on
the pieces you select, as well as a juicy anecdote or two about the selected musicians. You may
cite from Folder 12, for deeper conceptual issues as well. Here are links to orient you about
Concert Programs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_program – as well as Program Notes
https://music.wayne.edu/students/guide_to_writing_program_notes.pdf.
I will upload a few images of Concert Programs on our Shared Drive (for inspiration), but since
1
you only have four pages for this topic, your Concert Program must be written as your first
paragraph. After that, you may begin your “Program Notes.”
2. Select a passage, statements, terms, or position from my Virtual Lecture # 7 (Parts 1 through
4) that you would like to further develop. It is your task to develop it, by i) explaining the
position, statement, or passage, then ii) adding a specific musical example from Folder 6, then
iii) cross-reference terms/concepts from any of my VLs, and iv) adding further support from
one author that was mentioned in the Virtual Lecture. This can easily break down to the
required full four pages. Using one page per each section (i, ii, iii, iv), will hand you the four
pages. For this topic, you may use footnotes to cite references (primary text, or article) from
the one author you selected (for section iv).
3. Select two authors covered in my any of my solo days that you would agree with on a specific
issue(s) about music. Then, i) track that mention from my Virtual Lectures, and our PDF LAP
readings (in Folder 4), with your added explanations, and development, and then, ii) further
support your choice and reason by citing and explaining parts of a primary text, or article, by
your two selected authors. In the end, your task is to give clear reasons to a future student of
music & philosophy for the need to look into these authors as important theoretical positions.
Using two pages for each of the sections (i and ii) would lend you four pages with ease. For this
topic, you may also use footnotes to cite references (primary text, or article) from the two
authors you selected (for section ii).
***
General Advice. Read these choices over carefully. Select what works best for you. I will make
time in our Zoom class to respond to questions you might have about these topics. The
important thing is to plan your approach, set up your readings, texts, and examples (in outline
form), so to unfold the paper clearly. This indubitably involves listening (again, or for the first
time), to musical examples, when dealing with topics 1, and 2. This also involves reading and
reflecting upon the Virtual Lecture segments and the PDF LAP readings of the authors for topic
3, as well as topic 2. Topic 1 only calls for a mention of something from my Virtual Lectures
(Folder 12), if you wish to add deeper conceptual issues to your “Program Notes.” Stay inspired.
2
Music and Philosophy F2020 VL 7.3
©2020 Prof. Lucio Angelo Privitello, Ph.D
Virtual Lecture # 7. Part 3 (in Folder # 12)
The Ghosts that Possess You
Part 3.
Our abstract (dematerialized) relationship to music
ghosting
The subtitle of Part 3 of Virtual Lecture 7 opens up a portal from a rich detail that Pierre Boulez
mentions between “abstract and concrete relationships” (73). This is from our readings for
today (Nov. 24), in LAP PDF 5, pp. 69-74. I firmly believe that the oscillation between abstract
and concrete relationships is a factor where the ghost(s) of music appear to us. As I stated in
Part 1 of Virtual Lecture 7, “… musicghosting travels and slips between the dimension of ‘sound’
and ‘music’ … [and] there is little hope in catching one without its morphing into the other.”
The same morphing applies between the abstract and the concrete. What Boulez points out on
page 73, especially at the bottom left, and the right side of the page, is this type of slippage
between stability and instability of the elements, e.g., a triad chord struck on a tuned piano
versus a strike on a tam-tam (a type of gong). A triad chord (or trichord), is made up of three
tones (root, third, fifth), and makes up the foundation of tonal harmony. A tam-tam does not
have this potential, and made so deliberatively. Its sound expands in an unstable, yet strangely
harmonic resonance.1 [Listen/watch video 3 in Folder # 6]
Now that this was described, I return to my ongoing point, and that is, we, as listeners
(or hearers), experience this sort of thing (the abstract versus the concrete), when we listen to,
interpret (or reinterpret) a piece of music, from the where we have listened from. Even if you
have never heard the piece before (as in many of my music examples), the w/here/from
1
If we were face-to-face (as we once planned for this wonderful maiden voyage team-taught course), we could
have demonstrated this with the instruments available to us from the Music Program. Alas.
1
emerges based on your music history enculturation. The inter-dimension between the sound
and the music, the “abstract” and the “concrete” is from where the w/here splits open. Therein
you meet either your ghost, what you ghosted, or what ghosts you. The ghostly is, after, all
inter-dimensional. This is also the spectral realm of memory and history.2 All three, memory,
history, and interpretation, act as unstable, yet strangely harmonic resonances, whether
latently (near unconscious – viz., “abstract”), or in a manifest (conscious – viz., “concrete”) way.
After all, “memory” and “history” exist as inter-dimensions from interpretations.
Back to ghostly dematerialization. Dematerialization also takes place in the triad chord
of a perfectly tuned piano, but it is much easier to place that in a musical hierarchy. However,
the idea of a hierarchy is, as Boulez correctly states, “… latent, stimulating in us many affective
as well as theoretical resonances, in a proportion that depend on a person’s education, as well
as on the powers of imagination” (73). Here we have how music’s history meets the cultural
preparedness and experience of a listener. Your w/here is constantly resonating, and
expanding, and in every earnest worked-upon self-reflection (interpretation), one dances to the
metaphorical strikes of the tam-tam, because said self-reflections (interpretations) are the
spectral fluidity proportioned from one’s education and imagination. The same applies to
music’s evolving history and experimentation.
Now comes the eerie part. Wait for it. You have probably heard the cute or exasperated
expression, “oh, you have such an overactive imagination.” I have heard this one myself. In a
deeper sense, the ghost in our w/here, in music, and in our very own life-narrative, viz., our
libretto/score in the making, is how imagination rules. I say this thinking of the wonderful play
of two German terms, Vorstellung, meaning both “imagination,” and “performance,” and
Einbildungskraft, which means “the power of mutual informing unity.”3 Without this power,
and ability to inform unity, and without the ability to perform the composition,4 and relate
2
See Folder # 12, LAP Virtual Lectures, VL 1 Notes, p. 2.
Einbildungskraft comes from the term Ineinsbildung. I learned this from the great F.W. J von Schelling, in his 1859
text, The Philosophy of Art, see p. 32 in the series “Theory and History of Literature, Volume 58,” Edited, translated
and introduced by Douglass W. Scott, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989).
4
Think of this “performing-composition” as a choreography of your very own existence.
3
2
parts into a whole, (thus ‘memory’ and ‘history’), there would be (and there is) no creation.
Much of someone’s life remains ghosted due to the lack of these three “imagination” aspects.
This will lead to Part 4, and final part of Virtual Lecture # 7, for our meeting on Tuesday,
December 1, where I will wrap up my side of this team-taught course with “Memory and
Creation,” the “That/What,” as well as conclude on “the ghost in music: interpretation.”
***
Da Capo
From Virtual Lecture # 7, Part 1, I stressed that “interpretation” is the life (or death)
blood of music, its ghostly presence, and applies as well to our own attempts at self-reflection
memory, and our history. Music is an extremely precise gauge for this phenomenon. In this
experience, we are enveloped in time’s non-unidirectional drift. In this, we find the
simultaneous pleasure of fulfillment of an anticipation, and/in a recovery of a foregone
moment. [See Folder # 10, PDF 15 – Music/Brain]. I also mentioned what Leibniz (1646-1716)
stated, “Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that it is calculating.”
[See video 3 in Folder # 6 for an example of patterned order made from different sound
frequencies/vibrations]. If music is like the stars, and the stars are a) dead, or b) as Hegel
(1770-1831) described, “Only a gleaming leprosy in the sky,” I added that musicghosting is a
sounding pox (pox marks) upon the page, from how the composer was working through
symptoms of diss-ease/disease. In all this inter-worldly haunting, we are suggestively possessed
by the “spirit” (Geist) of music’s Geister (ghost). [Reread footnote 4 of Virtual Lecture 7, Part
1). I concluded with a nod to Freud, and my position, that a “… rationalistic, or perhaps analytic,
turn of mind in me rebels against being moved by a thing without knowing why I am thus
affected and what it is that affects me.”5
5
Freud mentions music in only a few place in his vast collection of works. In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
(1901), in an extended footnote to chapter 9, he mentions C.G. Jung or Alphonse Maeder that “take the trouble …
to pay attention to melodies which one hums to himself aimlessly and unconsciously, will regularly discover the
relation of the melody’s text to a theme which occupies the person at the time.” The catch is, this footnote came
after Freud wrote that loss of an object (a parapraxis) is possible because one is repressing a thought or memory
“which one would rather not hear—or it may represent a sacrifice to the obscure forces of fate, the worship of
3
From Virtual Lecture # 7, Part 2, I mentioned where Boulez gets it right is when he calls
this “language,” (of music), a “phantom language.” You can see where there is an agreement in
what I have been saying all along (since day one), about music’s “trickster language,” and more
recently, of musicghosting, or the ghost of interpretation. Even in our attempts at describing,
enjoying, or, at best understanding music (a musical piece), we are surrounded, “before and
after [a musical piece’s] death,” with its ghosts, and ours. There is no clear way that we can
hear (listen) to the very same piece of music written in 1788, and performed by the same
composer, in 1789, and 1790, such as Mozart’s Symphony Number 41, in C major, K. 551, (later
called the “Jupiter” symphony). Too many ghosts roam the historical and musical paradigms
from that time to ours. Too many lost codes tucked not only within the music’s compositional
form, but also within cultural, performance, instrument qualities, and social and political
circumstance. I mentioned how, on page LAP PDF 4, 63, things heat up nicely, from how Boulez
stated that “composers challenge musical language [by their individuality working it as] … a
language that is a personal possession.” While he is not using the term “possession” in the way
I have used it in my Virtual Lecture VL 7.1, I must point out that his usage of “possession” will
bring home an aspect of what I meant as the phenomenon of self-reflection (interpretative
possession). This self-reflection is part of the creative process of the composer (performer, and
listener) and in that cauldron; we are dancing with ghosts (viz., previous codes, forms, their
history, and music history and theory, writ large). A best then, musical language is a code6, as
Boulez mentions on p. 62. Ecce Music’s trickster language, a Babel (at times) of non-intentional
communication problematized by un-translatability. Music is not a lingua franca.
which it is not entirely extinct even with us.” Priceless! In the 1917 Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis, Freud
mentions an “old analogy, [that] the content of dreams are like the sounds produced when “ten fingers of a man
who knows nothing of music wanders over the keys of a piano” (citing Strümpell’s 1877, Die Natur und Entstehung
der Traüme, p. 84).
6
By “code” think of “a system of words, letters, figures, or other symbols substituted for other words, letters, etc.,
especially [but not always] for the purposes of secrecy [or information conversion].” This basic definition (see
OED), must be widened to capture how a musical code (or music’s code) works in technical, cultural, and
historiographical areas. Here are piece on codes in music https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/cb7ac9cf-207e4244-8302-2436f2c2ba5a – and here https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/apr/05/mozart-bach-musicnumbers-codes – and here https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2010/jul/01/composersclandestine-codes-plato – and there is much more that is about the basics of musical composition itself.
4
Music and Philosophy F2020 VL 7.4
©2020 Prof. Lucio Angelo Privitello, Ph.D
Virtual Lecture # 7. Part 4 (in Folder # 12)
The Ghosts that Possess You
Part 4.
Memory as Creation … of ghosts
I begin with two citations to set the stage from an ellipse’s mood of what is to come in this
fourth and final part of Virtual Lecture # 7.
Deinde in libera mentis potestate non est, rei alicuius recordari vel
eiusdem oblivisci. (Now it is not within the free power of the mind
to remember or to forget anything. Spinoza, Ethics, Part 3, Scholium
to Proposition 2. [1677])
I am half inclined to think we are all ghosts … it is not only what we
have inherited from our fathers and others that exists again in us, but
all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of
that kind. They are not actually alive in us; but there they are dormant
all the same, and we can never be rid of them. (Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts, 1881)
In laconic brevity: music is the sounding tracks of memory as creation … of ghosts. As you have
noticed, the subtitle to part 4, employs two terms that are from today’s assigned readings. They
are from the Pierre Boulez piece entitled “Memory and Creation” (LAP PDF 5, pp. 75-76). The
difference is that I changed Boulez’s use of the conjunction “and,” (meaning ‘as well as,’
‘consequence of,’), to the correlative adverb “as,” (meaning ‘to the same degree, sameness, or
manner’). Therefore “memory as creation.” This will resonate, or grant you a click-track, if you
1
recall that the mother of the nine Muses was Mnemosyne (Memory).1 (See Virtual Lecture VL
2, p. 2). Thus memory as creation, when referring to the advent of humankind, stems from the
arts and sciences inspired by the Muses, born from mother-Memory, and nursed, let us not
forget, by Eupheme.
What about Boulez? He mentions the “passionate sense for cultural identity over
centuries” (75), though raises an eyebrow at the sense (and examples) of “authenticity.” He
stated is “dirty more authentic than clean?” when it comes to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
(and Last Judgment). He is referring to the conservation of the frescos between 1980 and
1994.2 Huge issues of aesthetics, cultural identity, collective memory, and similar to the
sculptures from Ancient Greece.3 The same applies to music, where this issue is redoubled. As
part of its trickster language (its ease of use), new instruments, refined acoustically engineered
concert halls, amazing recording techniques, more precise notation, and music’s ease of use,
(due to a plethora of listening/seeing platforms), grind “cultural identity” to dust, or (in some
cases) raise toxic nationalist fumes.
Thus, when it comes to works of the past, your Palestrina, Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart,
Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, or a baroque concert, to mention a few of what you might have
heard earlier this semester, “the term ‘authentic’ [as Boulez noted] in our search through the
past is more pretext than reality” (76). The search for the “authentic” is actually the splendor of
the “imaginary,” and like the stars themselves, “Only a gleaming leprosy in the sky” as Hegel
once quipped, or as I stated, “a sounding pox upon the page from how the composer was
working through symptoms of diss-ease/disease.”
1
Mnemosyne was daughter of Heaven (Uranus) and earth (Gaia). She had nine daughters, all by Zeus, one for each
night that they slept together. The Muses were, Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry) Euterpe
(music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Terpsichore (dance/chorus), Thalia (comedy, idyllic
poetry), and Urania (astronomy). Each of the muses, like their mother, worked through and with remembrance as
their technique; patterns, modes, designs, etc., that can be learned, mimicked, and used to navigate through our
life in this cosmos. Remembrance is how time emerges. Music is an amazing technique, all syntax and show of how
what has passed “can enter into the intuition of what follows.” W. Dilthey. 1910. The Formation of the Historical
World in the Human Science. p. 242.
2
Here is a wonderful study on this project. https://conservation-science.unibo.it/article/view/7166
3
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/true-colors-17888/ and
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/29/the-myth-of-whiteness-in-classical-sculpture
2
Yet, there is music’s interiority (its use for the listener and composer, its more
philosophical theories), and then there is music’s exteriority (its venues of performances,
Concert Programs, treatises, commodity, and battles of virtuosi). Both dimensions, interior and
exterior share the same sheet of musicghosting or suggestive possessions, in a word:
interpretation. To continue Ibsen’s quote from above, “Whenever I take up a newspaper and
read it, I fancy I see ghosts creeping between the lines.” Whenever I read a musical score, or
listen to a performance of a piece of music, I too see ghosts creeping between the staves, sheet
music, full scores, sounds, and recordings; ghosts emerging from the where I have listened
from. The here/hear of the listener exposes the where, and in that, the from rushes in, in both
directions. [As a coda4 to this fourth part of Virtual Lecture # 7, I will recapitulate on the
development of the exposition of Parts 1 through 4, and then some.]
1. Interpretation (the ghost in music) is not an automatic authorization to say anything,
just because one can mangle words together to either express their feelings, or clumsily
attempt to describe a work of art, or a text without knowing enough (or anything) of a criticalcontextual-historical apparatus. Interpretation is an art, an art that resides between the
intentio operis (intention of the work), and the intentio lectoris (intention of the reader). To pull
an interpretation, or to have it slip in one direction or another of these poles without critical
brake pads, is to either dismiss the nature of the work on one end, or merely verbally react to
one’s use of the work. In the art of music and in philosophy (properly studied and practiced),
there emerges a clear view of the art and technique of interpretation. In an accomplished
critical interpretation, you are reading the unconscious (ghost lines) in a text, by allowing the
work’s intention, not the author’s biography to emerge, or merge as authored-text. To put it
with a deceased acquaintance of mine, Umberto Eco, who in turn cites C.S. Peirce, “To make a
4
The coda, (tail, or end), musically speaking, is made up of measures added to the ends of a composition, as a
summing up, or climax. Yet, it is also a bit more, depending on the composer, especially if you study Beethoven’s
coda of his 8th Symphony http://home.uchicago.edu/~rblocker/beethoven/analysis/symphonies/8/4/, or listen to
it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV1zTM2P_LE
3
conjecture means to figure out a Law that can explain a Result. The ‘secret code’ of a text is
such a Law.”5 Not all conjectures become interpretations.
2. The Philosophy of Music, or music through the history of philosophical theory (or
more precisely “aesthetics” or “philosophies of art”), is a systematic study of the place of music
in a hierarchy of normative values (aesthetics, ethics, logic), that aims not at mere description,
but at criticism. However, in music, the stricter rules of how we should clearly and adequately
think (logic), and the precepts of how we should conduct ourselves (ethics), is loosened to a
point where, the critical eye/ear, and cultured, or cringe worthy habits, wrestle as antinomies in
the judgments of taste. To break the mirror of a subject’s self-made reflection of a work (the
naïve “it’s all subjective” BS), and to oust music (or philosophy) from merely being a placebo for
our own moods and modes, is to begin to have a say in what are the actual rules, reasons,
precepts, and procedures of music and philosophy. The rest is mere chic-chat.
2.a. The article you read on Nov. 12, for Dr. DiSanto, entitled, “The Philosophy of Music
in the 20th Century,” is an example of the problems and possibilities of a philosophy of music, or
“philosophical musicology” (188).6 The two approaches Migliaccio says are “equally legitimate
perspectives of musical philosophy” (187), is overstated. Why? Because, the second approach,
or where music is seen as a “frontier territory for which logical and linguistic tools are
inadequate” (187), is a precise development from aesthetics, and the more totalizing
philosophical theories, where music’s niche, once contained, is now, due to the proliferation of
the Culture Industry’s entertainment machine. The same proliferation has happened to
philosophical texts, approaches, styles, and distribution. They morphed in tandem.
Beyond the first six pages, there are a few mentions worth noting when it comes to
what I called musicghosting. Think of what Bloch called “motor-fantastic,” and what might “go
5
See Umberto Eco, 1994. The Limits of Interpretation, (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press), 59. See my work,
Chapter 20, “I Have Wandered in a Face …” as an example of the art of interpretation of a novel by Umberto Eco.

6
See Carlo Migliaccio. “The Philosophy of Music in the 2oth Century.” Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, 2000, Vol. 35,
No. 1 / 2, pp. 187-210. Migliaccio is wrong about Schopenhauer’s position (187). He obviously did not carefully
read Schopenhauer’s 1,180 page, 2-volume text entitled, The World as Will and Representation.
4
beyond,” as Migliaccio stated, “gnoseological knowledge”7 (193). Think of how “atonality” and
“dissonance, [and] unfulfilled expectation” problematizes ideologies in Adorno (195). Think also
of the “fictional world,” “initial and final silence,” (197), in what Jankélévitch called the
“disappearing appearance” of the “ineffable” (198). Musicghosting contains these aspects.
3. Muse-sick. Now that you have read my neologism, “Muse-sick,” you realize the
terms. Yet, if I had spoken this (without you seeing the written terms), it would have sounded
exactly like “music.” This is a “homophone,” or “homophony,” meaning a sameness in sound
but not in meaning, or a word that is identical in sound with another word of the same
language, yet, different from the written form. “Muse-sick” speaks volumes of what I would like
to use (in a condensed manner), to tie-up this Virtual Lecture. In a ghostly way, “music-sick”
strains, yet reveals a deeper meaning and origin of issues in “music.” It is a reason why music is
not a language, as we commonly believe.8 Muse-sick also definitively and surprisingly answers
the question “why is there music in the first place.” Let us see how.
As you recall, the Muse of “music,” Euterpe, was one of the nine Muses. Euterpe’s
means “giver of much delight.” She was born from Mnemosyne (Memory), and raised by the
nursemaid Eupheme. “Eupheme” is from where we get the term “euphemism,” meaning the
“substitution of a word of more pleasant connotation for one of unpleasant or disagreeable
connotation,”9 such as ‘they passed on’ instead of ‘they died.’ This sounds just about right when
it comes to how Muse-sick/music (musical compositions) compose touching, expressive, and
breathtaking passages, and sounds that may emerge from the realization (“feelings”) of
profound sadness, loss, sickness, deafness, violence, death, hopes, joy, compulsion, desire,
love, or thwarted longing, etc.
7
“Gnoseology” is the theory of the nature, validity, and limits of knowledge.
I recall here a quote from Paul Valéry that might help understand my pushing the limits of language. He wrote, “…
one should give up the practice of considering only the habit and the strongest of all habits, language, present for
our considerations. One should try pondering other points than those suggested by words, that is to say, by other
people.” Sometimes, when pushing sound over and against signification, we are granted a secret passage into
deeper meaning, or actually, straight through all meaning, and into, what, in a way; Muse-sick/music does in
circumventing “language” for an expression that resists meaning-minding-its-language.
9
See Mario Pei and Frank Gaynor, Dictionary of Linguistics, (New York: Philosophical Library, 1954), 68-69.
8
5
This is a perhaps the greatest trick of music/Muse-sick as a trickster language.10 It is
saying, ‘listen how beautiful and transporting, and healing, and inspiring, all this suffering,
panic, loss, collective murder, death, hope, beauty, and fleeting joy really is for mortal finite
existence.’ This aspect is due to Eupheme, who raised Euterpe, and who softened the cold hard,
violent truth of their birth, absent father, and their fate as guiding voices through the panic and
chaos of existence. I have used the term “panic” twice, and for good reason. Eupheme,
nursemaid to the muses, was the daughter of Pan, (and Echo)! No wonder. Pan, the only Greek
god that lived on earth, and died, Pan, whose riot provoking shouts started a war of gods
against Titans. Pan the lecherous seducer, and founder of music (as suggestive possession) from
the Panpipe named Syrinx. Euterpe is the well-tempered Muse (See Virtual Lecture # 2, pp. 2-3
in Folder # 12 for more.)
4. X2-pressed ∃-motions.11 I have pushed this homophone into radical heights. You
probably heard “expressed emotions,” (and that is fair enough), unless you read the math and
logic notation. Then, a tension of meaning ensues and remains. The same goes for reading, not
just “listening” to music (musical scores). I have condensed quite a bit in the terms “X2-pressed
∃-motions.” It contains some of what I mentioned in parts of my Virtual Lectures, and now with
a particular nod to György Lukács (1885-1971), Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970), and T.W. Adorno
(1903-1969). From Lukács, I am pushing his idea of music’s “double mimesis,” meaning, music is
a copy (reflection) of emotions, feelings, expressions, which, in turn, are already copies
(reflections) of/from one’s lived social reality. Basically, “art” reflects reality (in all its torqued
dimensions). The term “copy” does not mean a “snap-shot” or “pic,” or cheap photocopy; it
means a reflection/refraction/condensing of what was/is a basic characteristic of one’s relation
to nature and one’s historical-cultural condition. Music and the arts allow for your X2-pressions.
10
Perhaps the words of T.W. Adorno would help in all this. “The language of music is quite different from the
language of intentionality. It contains a theological dimension. What it has to say is simultaneously revealed and
concealed. Its Idea is the divine name, which has been given shape. It is demythologized prayer, ride of efficacious
magic. It is the human attempt, doomed as ever, to name the Name, not to communicate meaning” (Adorno,
Quasi una Fantasia, p. 2).
11 2
X is an exponent, so x raised to the second power is the multiplication of the thing (x) by itself. ∃, from symbolic
logic, means “there exists.” I can here (for brevity’s sake), only hint at how this expression can be played out.
6
From working through a process in forms, usage, styles, or histories, a musician (artist) may
shape the experiences of said relation, and that (with much X2-pressed ∃-motions), can become
a style, or type. The object (prepared ground, or canvas, notation) of this mimetic reflection is
one’s interiority, the emotive inner life, that, in-itself, is a product, (never forget), of a socialhistorical-cultural evolution. Music has its double mimetic (or as I called it, its X2-pressed ∃motions) that are loosened from a direct (one-to-one) “reproduction” of exteriority, and works
from a transformation from within its own trickster language, or “codes.” Carnap, a philosopher
of science, analysis of language usage, (musician, cellist), and critic of abusive
metaphysics/philosophy/aesthetics, once said, “Metaphysicians are musicians without musical
ability.”12 We must be mindful [realize the ∃-motions] that, (as Carnap believed), “… a word is
determined by its criterion of application [deducibility, truth-conditions, verification].”
Sentences are statements, if not they are meaningless, or pseudo-sentences. In a philosophy of
music, we need to learn how to describe states of affairs in what we are experiencing, as well as
inch closer to music’s freedom from strict references to objects. Difficult indeed. Adorno comes
close, (he too was a musician, pianist), yet his prose makes the reader work through a code, and
one that is also focused on music’s social position and logic, though similar to Carnap’s view,
where music and metaphysics are responses to an “attitude towards life” (Lebensgefühl). For
Adorno an “… aesthetic experience essentially consists in taking part of [a] co-enactment, in
joining the process of the work of art by being inside it, by—to put it very simply—living in it.”13
For Adorno, such a process is not about diversion, therapy, or “enjoyment,” but of heightened
attentiveness. This happens in a “… secularly magical domain that may be connected to
empirical reality through its elements and does, after all, refer to them in a highly mediated
way, either critically or utopically.”14
12
Rudolf Carnap, “The Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language.” Erkenntnis, Vol. II (1932).
It is well worth finding and reading this piece by Carnap. It would help clear up language usage.
13
T.W. Adorno, Aesthetics. Lectures from 1958/59. Edited by E. Ortland, translated by W. Hoban (London: Verso,
2018), p.117.
14
Idem.
7
In the end, and to wrap this up (already!), “The language of music is quite different from the
language of intentionality […] what it has to say is simultaneously revealed and concealed.”15
Trickster language indeed, and the riddled sounding of a veritable Delphic oracle.
Ciao,
Prof. Privitello
15
Adorno, see Footnote 10, above.
8
Music and Philosophy F2020 VL 7.2
©2020 Prof. Lucio Angelo Privitello, Ph.D
Virtual Lecture # 7. Part 2 (in Folder # 12)
The Ghosts that Possess You
Part 2.
The return of the ghost in music: interpretation
[NOTE: This part of my Virtual Lecture # 7 (Part 2), will mention parts of the readings for our
Thursday, Nov. 19 class, and thus, of the Pierre Boulez pages in LAP PDF 4, pp. 61-68. As you
well noticed, Part 1 of this Virtual Lecture included reference to LAP PDF 4, pp. 50-57, with a
nod to pp. 58-60. Both Part 1, and Part 2 have, as their sound-track, my music links in Folder #
6, parts 3 through 7, and the ghosting music “interpretations” examples in Folder # 8. Only
earnest attempts at listening and reading the aforementioned sources will grant a grasp of
what will follow. Lacking that, the w/rest remains chatter.]
***
I will mention the “That/What dichotomy,” a theme from my syllabus for Thursday, Nov.
19, after we cover the readings. The “Overcoming of the That/What dichotomy” remains, in a
strict philosophical sense and reading, an imposing ghost that forever travels between reality
and appearance. Check out my graphs (pics) in Folder # 10, pics, 12, 13, and 14.
For Boulez (and I agree), mere techniques, no matter the inventory (vast or small) is not
what musical creativity can be “reduced” to, yet, without the means of technical transmission,
musical thought would never emerge (see also p. 67). We need procedures. That is, we need a
syntax, technique, and notation (and logic) (see p. 67). Boulez also suspends a direct call to
applying the term “language” to music. He leaves it suspended, or at best as a metaphorical use
of the term. As you might know; a metaphor (a figure of speech, or method of description),
1
works in a particular way. For instance, in a simple statement such as “the linebacker was a
bear,” there are two elements of the metaphor. There is the “linebacker,” and there is the
“bear.” The “bear” is the vehicle, and its purpose is to bring you closer to the thing you want to
understand, in this case the “linebacker.” The “linebacker” is called the tenor.
Where Boulez gets it right is when he calls this “language,” “phantom language.” You
can see where there is an agreement in what I have been saying all along (since day one), about
music’s “trickster language,” and more recently, of musicghosting, or the ghost of interpretation.
Even in our attempts at describing, enjoying, or, at best understanding music (a musical piece),
we are surrounded, “before and after [a musical piece’s] death,” with its ghosts, and ours.
There is no clear way that we can hear (listen) to the very same piece of music written and in
1788, and performed by the same composer, in 1789, and 1790, such as Mozart’s Symphony
Number 41,in C major, K. 551, (later called the “Jupiter” symphony). Too many ghosts roam the
historical and musical paradigms from that time to ours. Too many lost codes tucked within
cultural, performance, instrument qualities, and circumstance.
A best, musical language is a code1, as Boulez mentions (62), and he gives a very fair
glimpse of what that means by the “plainchant” and in Western and non-European traditions. A
code can also masquerade as a “theme,” a leitmotiv, and these become another trick in music’s
trickster language, her acupuncture needles that solicit our emotional codes (see p. 68).
On page 63, things heat up nicely. What I will focus on first, is his mention of how
“composers challenge musical language [by their individuality working it as] … a language that is
a personal possession.” He is not using the term “possession” in any way I have used it in my
previous Virtual Lecture VL 7.1, but I must point out that his usage of “possession” will bring
home an aspect of what I meant as the phenomenon of self-reflection (possession). This self-
1
By “code” think of “a system of words, letters, figures, or other symbols substituted for other words, letters, etc.,
especially [but not always] for the purposes of secrecy [or information conversion].” This basic definition (see
OED), must be widened to capture how a musical code (or music’s code) works in technical, cultural, and
historiographical areas. Here are piece on codes in music https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/cb7ac9cf-207e4244-8302-2436f2c2ba5a – and here https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/apr/05/mozart-bach-musicnumbers-codes – and here https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2010/jul/01/composersclandestine-codes-plato – and there is much more that is about the basics of musical composition itself.
2
reflection is part of the creative process of the composer, and in that cauldron, composers are
dancing with their ghosts (viz., previous codes, forms, their history, and music history and
theory, writ large). Many composers worked to abolish restrictive codes. The technique of
“notation” (musical scores) is a case in point, and in that type of abolishing codes, and working
from their “personal possession” another point of mine on music’s trickster language
reemerges, and that is, the confusion, or Babel of non-communication from un-translatability.
Music is not a lingua franca.
Boulez realizes that “there is no necessary link between language and material, that
something is music in itself” (64). Therefore, by using what is beyond “codes,” the “consistent
and organic whole” of what a “language” must be is “completely negated” (64). This is where
we are at (from my music examples), and how music has evolved, and now we begin to
hear/see “the absences,” as Boulez noted, “of a true relationship between the object and the
language” (64). In a stricter more philosophical sense, I mentioned this as the imposing ghost
that forever travels between reality and appearance, in other words, the That/What dichotomy.
I will leave this to haunt you until our next meetings (Nov. 24 and Dec.1), and as specters, see
my graph (pics) in Folder # 10, pics, 12, 13, and 14.
3
Music and Philosophy F2020 VL 7.1
©2020 Prof. Lucio Angelo Privitello, Ph.D
Virtual Lecture # 7. Part 1 (in Folder # 12)
[NOTE: I will be adding three more parts to this Virtual Lecture as I round off my four solo days
between Tuesday, Nov. 17 and Tuesday, Dec. 1. Here is Part 1.] 1
***
The Ghosts that Possess You
Part 1.
In the next few meetings, and as a clear theme on the syllabus (R Nov. 19 and T. Dec. 1), I
mentioned the “ghost in music.” As you can see, this ghost appears as “interpretation.” My use
of the term “interpretation” (to be developed in an upcoming part of this lecture series), entails
the more technical and precise means of discovering and displaying a hidden sense, intention,
or meaning of a thing, text, or piece of music. Think of this when actually interpreting and
performing a musical “score.” [See LAP extra Links, Folder # 8, entitled “The problems and joys
in Interpretation: the Ghost in Music,” and give those pieces a listen].
As part of the range of my use of the term “interpretation” there is the more
overarching phenomena of one’s own interpretation (self-reflection), from where a musical
piece was originally heard (possibly “listened to”). Within that, is the where you have listened
from. That inter-dimension is simultaneously where the w/here splits open.2 This is
undoubtable spectral, ghost-like, and a form of “possession.” You meet your ghost, or what you
now may have “ghosted.” The here/hear of the beholder/listener exposes the where. Within
this, the from rushes in from both directions. This creates, as I previously said, the utopian bind,
1
The days are T. Nov. 17, R. Nov. 19, T. Nov. 24, and T Dec. 1. See syllabus, page 5, and 6 for the readings, music
examples, and their Folders on our Shared Drive, and email sent along with this Virtual Lecture # 1, Part 1.
2
See Folder # 12, LAP Virtual Lectures, VL 1 Notes, p. 2.
1
tied tight by the simultaneous pleasure of fulfillment of an anticipation, and/in a recovery of a
foregone moment. This is also how music’s trickster language plays another trick, which is “to
raise a ghost” (making appear). Perhaps music’s entire history is nothing but a ghostdom (a
region of ghosts), which makes any interpretation infinitely more complex, more interdependent. This complexity works from various levels. It works from how the music is
composed, from the “score,” that you read, from its various performances, instrument
construction, architectural venues and acoustics, music theory, as well as the philosophy of
music itself.
Why do I mention all this? Because musicghosting travels and slips between the
dimensions of “sound” and “music.” [See PDF 4, pp. 50-57]. There is little hope in catching one
without its morphing into the other. The one appears when you have forgotten about the
other. The other rushes in when you doubt what once appeared. This is haunting-by-and-assilence. Silence is the life-blood of ghosts. This will become clearer when you (we) listen to a
few pieces from LAP Music Links 4, 5, 6, and 7 in Folder # 6. The pages by Yates (pp. 50-57)
show us the struggle to contain noise by how music orders sound, and this ranges from good
old Pythagoras, to the “tempered scale,” “fixed intonation,” and their unravelling (see Debussy,
Schoenberg, Webern, Cage, and Ives, to mention just a few). Most dramatically, this is what
Leibniz (1646-1716) thought by stating, “Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind
unconscious that it is calculating.” (See video 3 in Folder # 6 for an example of patterned order
made from different sound frequencies/vibrations).
Stepping back, far, far back into space, and time, musicghosting, like the stars, is also dead,
yet shines on, when described, heard, listened to, studied, enjoyed, or read, and acts as an
emotional/somatic constellation if understood. Hegel (1770-1831) once described the stars as
“Only a gleaming leprosy in the sky,” and I would add that musicghosting is a sounding pox upon
the page, from how the composer was working through symptoms of diss-ease/disease.3 We
3
“Heinrich Heine, a devoted pupil of Hegel, mentions him several times throughout his Confessions (1854). Among
his memories, one is particularly telling […]: ‘One beautiful starry-skied evening, we stood next to each other at a
window, and I, a young man of about twenty-two who had just eaten well and had good coffee, enthused about
the stars and called them the abode of the blessed. But the master grumbled to himself: ‘The stars, hum! Hum!
The stars are only a gleaming leprosy in the sky’.” “Hegel and the advent of modernity: A social ontology of
2
thus read, or listen to a ghost of what once was, and in recalling a melody, or humming to
ourselves we are suggestively possessed.4 One may generically call this “spirituality,” and that
would fit, since “ghost” is translated as “soul, “spirit,” from the German, “Geist” (spirit, or
mind).
As, I mentioned in my previous Virtual Lecture # 6, Gestalt theorists believed music is an
“unfolding in time [that] creates a play of expectations for the listener.”5 Yes, but it is more
than that. It is more like how Schelling put it; an “informing of the infinite into the finite [viz.,]
sonority,” that, with the addition of “rhythm,” creates a necessity whereby “the whole [a
musical piece] is no longer subjected to time, but rather possesses time within itself.”6
Unfolding needs in-folding (informing). Time is not uni-directional. This is another trick of
music’s trickster language, in this case, its languid gauge. It is a gauge that binds the life of who
is listening in pleasures, as if it were a story, (a ghost story), a narrative, even a drama where,
within it, you recall, and retell. Think of the different dimension of what Yates mentions in PDF
4, p. 55, 57. I believe this type of tracking, recalling, and retelling could fit upon the graph that
Yates drew (see PDF 4, p. 55). Those dimensions are the sound tracks (silence tracks, and noise
tracks) to each of our lives. Our lives are ghost stories in the making. This is what I mean by
noticing and working on the overarching phenomena of “interpretation” in one’s own
interpretation (self-reflection). Think of it this way. Where does your “score” end, and your
performing of it begin? Each seem/seam ghostly elaborations of the other.
abstraction” Jamila M. H. Mascat (February 2018). In Heine’s own words: “Altogether, Hegel’s conversation was
always a kind of monologue, sighed forth by fits and starts in a toneless voice. The baroqueness of his expressions
often startled me, and I remember many of them. On beautiful starry-skied evening, we two stood next to each
other at a window, and I, a young man of twenty-two who had eaten well, and had good coffee, enthused about
the stars and called them the abode of the blessed. But, the master grumbled to himself: “The stars, hum! hum!
the stars are only a gleaming leprosy in the sky.” [Heinrich Heine, Confessions (1854)]
4
From my Virtual Lecture # 5, I mentioned the words of Bosanquet, and that “of all the arts [music is] the most
imitative.” That means, it is the most “expressive,” and the easiest (quickest) to imitate, carry with you, whistle,
hum, lip-sync, or even karaoke. Recall also Bloch’s words, “As an endless singing-to-oneself and in the dance” (PDF
LAP 1, p. 2).
5
Folder # 4, LAP PDF 3, p. 47
6
Folder # 4, LAP PDF 1, p. 7.
3
This brings me to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), and his issue with music. Perhaps that
issue is also mine. As I pointed out repeatedly this semester, music theory is a deeply
philosophical (and psychoanalytic) issue. The variability in music’s syntactic vocabulary (and the
instruments employed), is able to transpose (transport) the listener’s anticipatory emotive
states, into emotive (sematic-like) scenes, due to the need of the listener to make meaning out
of pure syntax.7 This is one of music’s trickster language abilities. The listener’s startled
question, is reacting with an ‘all this beauty cannot mean nothing,’ and so, donates
(transplants) their emotive states to humanize mere sounds (see Virtual Lecture # 3 and 6). I
call this suggestive possession. In a psychoanalytic register, “suggestion” (from analyst to
patient) is not recommended, because it muddies the waters of self-disclosure. As Freud wrote
in 1914,
…I am no connoisseur in art, but simply a layman [.] Nevertheless, works of
art do exercise a powerful effect on me, especially those of literature and
sculpture, less often of painting [.] I spend a long time before them trying to
apprehend them in my own way, i.e. to explain to myself what their effect is
due to. Wherever I cannot do this, as for instance with music, I am almost
incapable of obtaining any pleasure. Some rationalistic, or perhaps analytic,
turn of mind in me rebels against being moved by a thing without knowing
why I am thus affected and what it is that affects me.” 8
7
Recall this beauty of a syntactically correct, yet semantically nonsensical sentence: “Colorless green ideas sleep
furiously,” from Noam Chomsky, The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory (1957).
8
Freud mentions music in only a few place in his vast collection of works. In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
(1901), in an extended footnote to chapter 9, he mentions C.G. Jung or Alphonse Maeder that “take the trouble …
to pay attention to melodies which one hums to himself aimlessly and unconsciously, will regularly discover the
relation of the melody’s text to a theme which occupies the person at the time.” The catch is, this footnote came
after Freud wrote that loss of an object (a parapraxis) is possible because one is repressing a thought or memory
“which one would rather not hear—or it may represent a sacrifice to the obscure forces of fate, the worship of
which it is not entirely extinct even with us.” Priceless! In the 1917 Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis, Freud
mentions an “old analogy, [that] the content of dreams are like the sounds produced when ‘ten fingers of a man
who knows nothing of music wanders over the keys of a piano” (citing Strümpell’s 1877, Die Natur und Entstehung
der Traüme, p. 84).
4
Tough, but realistic words. Though Freud did enjoy selected Operas, such as the Don Giovanni,
The Marriage of Figaro, and The Magic Flute of Mozart, Bizet’s Carmen, Wagner’s
Meistersinger, and The Flying Dutchman, and mentioned the, as he called it, the “(incidentally
charming tune) of Paris’s song in Offenbach’s La belle Hélène.”9
Think of this psychoanalytic position in the true spirit of the ghost of Freud’s work on
parapraxis exemplified by Charles Ives, in what he said to his copyist (the person who sets a
handwritten score into print): “Mr. Price, Please don’t try to make things nice. All the wrong
notes are right” (See LAP PDF 4, Yates, p. 53). Yes, leave some of the silence, or noise of the
murmur of the unconscious (individual or perhaps collective), and there you will see how music
developed from the formally sounding Palestrina to nosier Beethoven, and on through Debussy,
Satie, and then Ives, and of course Cage, Stockhausen, and the many musical examples I linked
in LAP Folder # 6, parts 3-7. Therein you may discover the various dimensions of sound (see
LAP PDF 4, Yates, pp. 55-57, and Boulez, pp. 58-60).
9
See Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis (1917), Lecture VI, p. 133 New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
1966).
5

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