Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eric Havelock's little book The Muse Learns to Write presents the dilemma that underlies all writing and reading. The act of writing causes non-linear events to appear linear. Non-linear thought seems, then, not relevant to "real" thought.

I can see how, in our approach to notated music, this has come to apply also to non-linear tone perception. The more I teach the more clearly I perceive the problem in terms of the many dimensions of tone.

Tone's linear aspect can be shown with standard notation on a staff. But every child will tell you that A is not "close to" G at all, while B is--indeed the octave G, apparently even farther away, is even closer. The child correctly perceives the resonant relationship between G and its overtones as closer than the proximity of the keys designated G and A on the piano.

The in and out of resonance is what causes music to come alive.

How much has your training conditioned you to deny that level of response to tone?