Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A friend was wondering aloud this morning about why we no longer have certain keys that are taboo. For centuries people were aware that certain sounds evoked strong feelings--some good, some not so good.

When pitch became neutralized and we were no longer supposed to notice the difference two things happened: First, our subconscious responses to tone got locked inside of us to such an extent that we have no idea they are there (though they nevertheless have physiological and sometimes psychological effect). Second, conductors and other conspicuous performers had to start pursuing interpretation because sounds had lost their inherent weight.