Musical Theory: Misuse, Pitfalls and Power

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The slow evolution of Western society (and in consequence of the whole world) into the post-modern paradigm arising inevitably from the purely mechanistic cosmovision of the Enlightment sciences, which in the best of cases allow for a Cartesian separation of the physical and the spiritual, pervade every corner touched by the status quo culture. This results in a relegating of anything which cannot be explained or described in purely mathematical terms to what is referred to as ‘subjective’. Anything that is experienced but cannot (yet) be explained is assumed to be subjective. There would be a certain justice to this if the phenomena that are still unaccounted for by science were squarely placed in a category under a truthful label by the establishment confessing: “We don’t know how to explain this in our terms, but that does not mean it is any less real or without possible objective basis.” What takes place is an arbitrary classification of these into morally-justified beliefs when they are in line with the status quo and into so-called subjective experiences when they are not.

The views held by society must be enforced in every discipline precisely because they are the result of dogma and not actual science (a word unfortunately hijacked by a corrupt establishment lead by weak minds elevated to positions of prestige and power by other weak minds). It follows that dogmatic belief cannot be challenged at any level since any divergence spells out potential intellectual catastrophes and conflicts that are not guaranteed to be won by the powers that be. As a result, not only does education suffer in the form of indoctrination but so do the supposed heroes of objective knowledge that the sciences are said to be comprised of turn into the priests of the temple to whatever the hive believes. It is only to be expected, then, that the humanities and the arts are the most easily and selectively suppressed, limited or made irrelevant, since the processes and phenomena studied by them are even further away from the grasp of mathematical explanations.

In the Western classical music tradition,  the tenets of the Common Practice Period have been put into question for a very long time in progressively derisive waves. Very often, revolutionary thinkers that spearheaded such contrarian views had transcendent and elaborate reasons that motivated and justified their moving-beyond. But the hordes of followers understood only a portion of this, often inclined towards its most easily understood materialist explanation. In the case of Beethoven, followers of his defiance of what was expected of music were shielded from degeneration by the very fact that the then contemporary German culture was a very spiritual one, and its artists still acknowledged the magic behind music — occult properties and processes that can only be perceived but not fully explained. Contrastingly, in the age of Anton Webern,  his decision based on artistic principle to move away from traditional harmony to work with a self-defined and logical set of rules that he would use without falling into an empty materialism was taken up as fashion — the next “big thing” in classical music development. This directly reflected the way Western society saw the world around it at the beginning of the 20th century: as its playground, where anything “I like” goes and the capricious human will is allowed to do whatever it wants because we are the nihilist masters of the natural world. Gone was the romantic respect of nature and its view of humans as part of it. We must ask ourselves what dissolved the old German mysticism? The simple answer is that they, too, had to change, even if slowly and reluctantly, in order to not be destroyed in a world dominated by French Enlightment and overarching Russian influences — both with primarily materialist tendencies.

Music theory is one such set of occult properties. Yet it is only occult (hidden but observable) because there is no theory developed for the relation between arranged sound frequencies and mental states, especially at increased levels of complexity. Contrary to what scientifically-ignorant artists think, this is neither impossible nor irrational, just difficult. Contrary to the beliefs of Blank Slate – indoctrinated scientists, the study of innate human nature can yield explanations as to why, as a species, certain tastes, visual and sound arrangements and textures have certain effects on the mind (itself rooted in chemical states of the brain). The reason why both groups tend to back away from such ideas is not rooted in reason, but in the fear of not being acknowledged for who they are, which for them translates into what they want, like or prefer to believe to feel validated. In other words, reality is shunned in order to give way to a truth built on the necessities of feable human egos. The ramifications are manifold and most are out of the scope of this article.

Out of the accusations levelled against Common Practice Period theory, one of the most common and often accepted is that it somehow limits the imagination of artists. Presumably, this is because its rules define a perimeter around permissible options in a finite-state machine, thereby prohibiting the random allocation of space and time to music tones selected purely out of gut feeling. And that precisely is one of the defining factors of the post-modern vision of art. At this point, it may seem like I am contradicting my previous statements regarding the possibility of harmony rules being developed and justified on the basis of human nature. If they are, then an artist following only his gut feeling should arrive to at least similar results. First, that these rules are based on human nature does not mean they are free of the constraints of their historical context, including not only cultural implications but also material possibilities for the construction of certain instruments with particular timbres. Second,  the rules were developed through collective observations and philosophies over hundreds of years by many different people building on top and beside one another– in the same way that mathematics and modern science were gestated.

While older attitudes were nature-oriented, and tried to keep their understanding of human nature in line with what was then understood of the natural world, the Enlightment sees a rupture between them as a necessary effect of placing  human beings over nature as overlords to do as they please with it– thereby setting them beyond judgement within it. It was an ideology-based decision, not a scientific one. As a result, there are those, especially among the post-modernist classical artists, that are not guided by a free search for musical perfection, but by contrarian and politically-charged statements that can only be described as the ultimate incarnation of a hipster’s dreamworld.

The comparison to mathematics is in dire need of further elaboration as it contains the potential to elucidate much about what musical theory is and what it is not. We may start by stating that they are both tools and means to an end. Admiring the organization and arrangement of a music passage on grounds of technique is akin to feeling a sense of wonder when shown a beautifully and clearly derived mathematical formula. But neither of them by themselves attest to the accuracy of the connection of these to reality itself. Both musical and mathematical theory are dependent on premises — they are both arguments developed from a set of assumptions which may reflect conditions and events in the real the world.

Common Practice Period theory arose from organizing tones in the spectrum of perfect consonance to most extreme dissonance as perceived by human beings. Not one human being arbitrarily writing up rules, but scores of audiences reacting to the works of many different composers through lifetimes. Each composer taking notes on the triumphs and blunders of those that came before them and adding their own ideas. It was a veritable scientific effort of occult nature. The fact that the notes were taken not from one society at one point but by the cumulative effort many through many generations also somewhat lends to the tradition a tendency towards the transcendental. Of course, this is completely dependent on a healthy balance between acknowledgement of tradition (whatever that tradition is for the artist) and a continuation of its ideals with a progressive intent.

To round off the metaphor of mathematics, we should stress that no development invalidates or properly subordinates older techniques to newer ones. This fallacy is so pervasive that it is common to hear people referring to the use of newer techniques in themselves as a sign of superior expression. This is related to the malady that is born from the cult of novelty. In truth, when it comes to mathematics, if one person solves a problem using simple algebra yet another fails using calculus, it is obvious that the simple use of a more sophisticated technique is not in itself superior. It may be true that in art and music we do not have the luxury of calling something right and wrong, but the comparison is done in parallel and not on the same plane as mathematics. This is the same as when Newton developed Calculus, he did not ditch arithmetic and algebra developed hundreds of years before he was born, but used them to build this tool that would allow him to develop theories concerning abstract models of the physical world.

Nobody is saying there is a right and wrong dichotomy in music. In fact, this is where it is necessary to part from the analogy. Music is much more comprehensive and complex than mathematics (which only has a cumulative complexity, not a multi-dimensional one). Mathematics is comparable to music theory, the tool, and not to music. Music is the resulting idea crystallized, probably through the use of  music theory techniques, the same ways physics derive explanations of the universe by using different techniques from mathematics. By its occult nature, music’s domain being states of mind and evocation, what we do have in music is degrees of esoteric communication through sensory perception. It is a communication at many levels rather than only at the level of reason and goes beyond it and to our instincts and learned behaviors which as a total reflect a unique vision from a unique individual. “Personal taste” advocates need not get too excited as the variation can only be as wide as human minds allow — which scientific research shows is not as much as we like to think. Variation is wide with respect to how we see ourselves, but not that wide when we see the whole spectrum of possibilities. And as an occult discipline guessing at phenomena of the universe (and our mind in it) that we do not understand, music is more liable to wander off more than mathematics in its search for perfection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGNh5BYJke0

Music as the manifestation of experience, as a gateway to purposely changing states of the mind in humans, is something that stands at odds with the idea of absolute music, for which music aesthetics themselves are the goal. This materialist vision based on the fact that current (this is a 19th century idea) scientific limitation of not yet having a mathematical model outside of aesthetics and certain organization cannot accept or encompass the higher-level processes of creation that reach for proportion, balance, direction and movement in an attempt to communicate. Ironically, it is rather this lack of tradition or significance that results in theory and rules being all there is that produces a much more limiting paradigm. The race of stretching aesthetics could only go so far and an artistic compound devoid of transcendental goals quickly gave up as they broke the boundaries of tonality, declaring music as we know it to be dead. Needless to say, this was as short-sighted as limiting literature to the number of “clever” arrangements of words — precisely the dead end of poetry without meaning, or poetry without form, all products of post-modernism. In any case, the disavowal of all meaning leads to music pursued as a sport, for the excitement that its physical acrobatics produce and not from what it communicates in and beyond its forms.

The other branch of a materialist appreciation of music surfaced more clearly in the freedom afforded by the post-modernist world to idiots to call themselves artists and plague us with moronic musical expressions supporting themes of self-pity communicated only through lyrics. Going further, many artists not only took this liberty but openly rejected any sort of tradition or knowledge as being only an obstacle for their expression. Again, ironically, their rejection of it resulted not in a revealing work transcending the ages, but an extremely simple product that even a child banging on the wall and singing with no thought or experience could produce.

This is not to say that you need theory to create good music. As was explained before, theory is only a tool based on cummulative observations over many lifetimes. We do fine geniuses and other people with an outstanding aptitude for music creation who will find ways to create solid music that is often technically rudimentary but complex in communication.

As with any mathematical techniques or grammar in language, theory augments and sharpens the natural talents of the person. But the catch here is that the artistic intent and vision of the artist is often as important as his natural aptitude towards creation. Whereas a Varg Vikernes consistently tries to find an ever-more ephemeral depuration of the essence of his music against the tides of trends in what is fashionable, a Luc Lemay gets lured in by what is chick, his talents wasted on kitsch. Granting a directed vision of music in a clear direction rather than with vague adjectives to justify fashionable aesthetics, the person with average talents can, with appropriate training and dedication, become a Franz Berwald, while the talented may reach the heights of Johannes Brahms.

The importance of following a transcendental route versus a materialist one are exemplified in two products of the 20th century. One followed the mechanistic descriptions of music to the point of absurdity and was hailed as a genius by the hipsters crowding the halls of academia. These were the many frauds of John Cage. Intellectually interesting experiments devoid of the basic dimensions of music: melody, rhythm and harmony. Contrasting the first comes a work that attempts to communicate a sense of wonder in nature without the vulgarity of dissoluting music proper for recordings of nature or other cheap tricks of post-modernism. This is the Fourth Symphony of the romantic Jean Sibelius, reviled by academic theorists and critics looking forward to the mechanistic augmentations of aesthetics and possible transformations rather than for the actual content of music. This was music for the music fan, not the ironic intellectual.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yybn6iKmYdQ

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28 thoughts on “Musical Theory: Misuse, Pitfalls and Power”

  1. Daniel says:

    You mean a child who has heard Boston’s “More than a Feeling”

  2. Parasite says:

    okay, where was that first picture taken? It looks like a place i would like to live out my last days.

    1. La Bette says:

      More Malevolent Creation reviews please !!!

    2. no troll says:

      I’d bet on Italy or Spain but it’s actually in southern France, close to the Spanish border. The Mediterranean element is obvious.

  3. Felix says:

    To me, (the best) metal is usually more about great intuition from musicians rather than theory; we then appreciate highly musical (intuitive) metal that let us feel the same as the musicians behind it (kind of like what was called on this site “communication”).

    1. That an interesting simplification. But the article is not saying you should depend on theory, or that theory is communication. Try to stay away from brutal oversimplification

      1. Felix says:

        Oh I wasn’t referring really to the article’s content. Just a thought related to it :)

    2. Cynical says:

      Intuition (in anything, not just music) generally comes from being well familiar with the rules at a subconscious level.

      These days, when I write music on my guitar, I generally just “gut it out” so to speak and do it all on intuition, and doing so produces my best results. However, I’m only able to do that because of experience; when I started nine years ago, I was generally pretty conscious about staying within a defined scale or mode (frequently Phrygian, sometimes Locrian, sometimes the Locrian variant used by a lot of classic death and black metal bands with an additional perfect fifth and an a major 7th instead of a minor 7th), and would have had no clue what to do without the structure that the “rules” imposed.

      1. Great, this is exactly how it should be. An internalizing of the past experience of those who came before you. Your own intuition is built up. Intuition should never be forgone.

        1. Felix says:

          Indeed! When “rules” were taught around the 19-20th century, some teachers, composers and writers like Théodore Dubois made it clear that those rules were destined to instill “good taste” to the apprentice rather than to point what is to do what and what is not. The practice of rules is then merely an ear training, and if the rules have to be broken, it is not for the sake of doing so but to produce a desired effect. Some applied those principles very well and many others failed.

          1. The question is: was the rule broken, or was a greater rule that unites multiple existing rules discovered? Goedel wonders.

            1. Felix says:

              Debussy might answer: “Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”

              1. Trivialism: the work of art succumbs to rules of its own, mostly aesthetic ones in his case. Whether we name them as rules or not has little import.

                1. Felix says:

                  Would you mind explaining your use of “trivialism”? I honestly don’t think I got it.

                  1. Here’s the Debussy quote:

                    “Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”

                    Here’s my response:

                    The work of art succumbs to rules of its own, mostly aesthetic ones in his case. Whether we name them as rules or not has little import.

                    His distinction is trivial, or linguistically clever but not actually on point, because he admits that rules can be inferred from the work of art, therefore it is also rule-based, only from the instance and not the abstract. This is a nonsense observation since history is comprised of events, like works of art, from which we learn the rules. Thus, his statement is a linguistic deflection that does not hold up to even basic analysis.

      2. Benevolent GayHaitian says:

        My music theory teacher in high school said “You have to learn the rules before you can break them.” I have never tried composing, only some dabbling in improvisation here and there, but this adage always seems to hold true.

        Even in the case of death metal musicians who couldn’t tell you the difference between an octave and a semitone, they usually started learning to play by teaching themselves their favorite KISS or Judas Priest songs where they presumably became acquainted with the basic “rules”. Once their abilities matured, they started bending those rules, or in some cases, throwing them out the window entirely.

        1. My music theory teacher in high school said “You have to learn the rules before you can break them.” I have never tried composing, only some dabbling in improvisation here and there, but this adage always seems to hold true.

          I agree. But, as you point out, “learn” does not necessarily mean formal and articulated learning, only an awareness of how music functions.

      3. Intuition (in anything, not just music) generally comes from being well familiar with the rules at a subconscious level.

        Or to have internalized them, in other words. There is also a priori intuition, which is entirely different but intermingled with this internalization of knowledge.

  4. Ara's abandoned mulatto son says:

    has anyone seen my daddy?? hes big as a mountain and strong as a bear. he plays in a metalcore band and theyre really neat. i wanna be just like him when i grow up. i just know he’ll come home someday.

    1. Ara father of Many says:

      I am here son…

      I’m everywhere and nowhere!

      I am the bringer of storms and golden showers.

      Fear us, for we are many and we come bearded.

      1. Ara's abandoned mulatto son says:

        daddy!!!! is it really you??? this is the happiest day of my life!!!!! will you by me a xbox? please oh please daddy i wanna play calladooty!!

  5. OliveFox says:

    Enlightening article! I will certainly refer back to it when discussing music in the future.

    Do you believe, for musicians, that it is advantageous to be an autodidact, or that formal education is more useful in the long run?

    I ask because you seem to correctly vilify the culture of recent academics and their annoying championing of anything that “deconstructs” for selfish purposes, Yet developing advanced theory and technique are often most efficiently synthesized at schools in one form or another, indoctrination aside. I am sure their is no clear answer, metal musicians are usually self taught it appears, but I wonder if you have any thoughts on what form of training is best suited for natural talents in music.

    1. I think it is advantageous to have the will and impulse to learn and to keep looking for something of your own. If you have access to formal musical education and/or teachers, I think the opportunity should not be squandered. If you find out after a while that the teacher is not providing you with the information/training that you think can contribute to your goals, then just keep studying, practicing and writing on your own.

  6. Dualist says:

    Although several parts of this article contained much pretentious bullshit there were also many interesting points of interest.

    Your decision to insist on the ‘occult’ nature of music on the basis that such ordered sounds influence mental states I initially included in the former category but after reading the rest of the piece I feel it is one of your better points (as long as we understand ‘occult’ in its decidedly vague definition as ‘hidden but observable’).

    Your arguments against most of post-Enlightenment ‘theory’ as being totally ideology driven are, of course, correct.

    My only real disagreement regarding specific content was your rather facile understanding of the nature of Mathematics. It is emphatically NOT a method, certainly not in essence. PURE Mathematics, not music, is the most original creation of the human soul. Its USE, for example in theoretical physics or engineering, is what you have confused PURE mathematics with. This is why books that teach such ‘ready-to-use’ math are always called ‘mathematical METHODS for physicists’ etc.

    Pure mathematics is the highest of the Sciences but is also the Art possessing most Beauty. Music comes a close second. It is an entirely creative endeavour. Pure mathematicians are exactly analagous to musicians. Though the masters of the art are even rarer in mathematics (if we are classing Varg et al. as master musicians, that is) The only reason most people do not see math in this way is simply due to the fact that virtually all humans are capable of at least appreciating if not creating music, whereas the vast majority of mankind are biologically incapable of even understanding the heights mathematics has now reached, much less so creating it further.

    Please do not take this as necessarily an attack on your wisdom. If you have not studied PURE math up until at least 2nd year degree level I can very much forgive you for making this mistake – as all of the math below this level is of the ‘methods’ variety, so you may not have had all the information needed to see the matter in its true light (though this defense would be insufficient to clear you of charges of pretentiousness however…)

    What confuses me is why you would feel that trying to draw analogies with math would make your article’s arguments more forceful. I would understand this if you believed that the human mind/spirit contained a spark of the TRANSCENDENTALLY divine. But you SEEM to believe that the whole of human consciousness can be explained (if only one day) by neurotransmissions along nerve pathways. I would be genuinely interested to hear your views in this area.

    Because if that’s what you DO believe then what do you even mean when you talk of the transcendental?

    1. >”Although several parts of this article contained much pretentious bullshit there were also many interesting points of interest.
      Your decision to insist on the ‘occult’ nature of music on the basis that such ordered sounds influence mental states I initially included in the former category but after reading the rest of the piece I feel it is one of your better points (as long as we understand ‘occult’ in its decidedly vague definition as ‘hidden but observable’).””

      This might come from a misunderstanding of what “occult” actually is. Also, artists do not usually consider themselves to be doing that, precisely because they would not want themselves associated with it, but it is precisely what they are doing, in the best of the cases, when they do believe in that “something” that ommunicates all human beings, the perfection behind whatever veil we cannot see and all that.

      >”My only real disagreement regarding specific content was your rather facile understanding of the nature of Mathematics. It is emphatically NOT a method, certainly not in essence. PURE Mathematics, not music, is the most original creation of the human soul. Its USE, for example in theoretical physics or engineering, is what you have confused PURE mathematics with. This is why books that teach such ‘ready-to-use’ math are always called ‘mathematical METHODS for physicists’ etc.”

      Err 1) Mathematics is a tool, not discussing that, it simply is
      2) music or mathematics being greater, not sure this was really my point. What I did say is that they stand on different planes. Music encompasses more.
      3) Your view of the relationship between mathematics and physics is wrong. You see, this comes from the mistake of thinking that reality comforms to the formulae of mathematics, when in truth, each refinement of formulae in PHYSICS is an approximation to reality. Purely mathematical formulas work in their abstract world, their application to the physical world in any area is a different matter. A matter of how well you can adapt it to MODEL what is happening

      > “If you have not studied PURE math up until at least 2nd year degree level I can very much forgive you for making this mistake – as all of the math below this level is of the ‘methods’ variety, so you may not have had all the information needed to see the matter in its true light”

      I’m in engineering currently coursing through a Master’s Degree. But don’t let yourself be fooled by saying we do not do pure math. I do have friends who are more into the pure sciences, and you can read good discussions of this elsewhere as well (20th century philosophy, for instance).

      > “What confuses me is why you would feel that trying to draw analogies with math would make your article’s arguments more forceful.”

      The article was attempting to classify not MUSIC, but MUSICAL THEORY as a useful tool. The article was not about music, but about classical theory as a methods compiled through history, stacked on top of one another through observations of many different people through time.

      > “Because if that’s what you DO believe then what do you even mean when you talk of the transcendental?”

      The idea is that transcendental goes beyond the method, beyond the mathematical, beyond the “theory” itself. And that these, if used properly are extremely powerful, not detrimental. And they will only be detrimental and a distraction if they become a goal in themselves.

      Of course, mathematics is more pure, by itself it does stand for clear abstract concepts that are just true (2 is 2, 2 of what? it doesn’t matter, and so on with the rest of arithmetics, but what are the constraints? we are counting indivisible units, etc). But its application to the physical world is not straight as some may think.

      1. Dualist says:

        “Err 1) Mathematics is a tool, not discussing that, it simply is
        2) music or mathematics being greater, not sure this was really my point. What I did say is that they stand on different planes. Music encompasses more.
        3) Your view of the relationship between mathematics and physics is wrong. You see, this comes from the mistake of thinking that reality comforms to the formulae of mathematics, when in truth, each refinement of formulae in PHYSICS is an approximation to reality. Purely mathematical formulas work in their abstract world, their application to the physical world in any area is a different matter. A matter of how well you can adapt it to MODEL what is happening”

        Firstly, let me tell you something about myself, Mr Engineer; and as you are trying the condescending tone you’ve been adopting lately, I’ll condescend to do the same: I got my 1st degree (1st class) in Mathematics from Cambridge University. For Part III (ie. MSc) of ‘the oldest and most difficult examinations in the world’ I specialised in theoretical physics (‘coursing through’ courses in Advanced Quantum Field Theory, Supersymmetry and String Theory, amongst others).

        That was the start of my studies into ‘reality’. So please don’t lecture me on the relationship between maths and physics. Incidentally, the remarks you made about physics being a mathematical approximation are obviously correct. The fact that you thought my comments hinted at anything to the contrary really just confirms my feeling that the rest of your writing really is just pretentious bluffery – I did not even make a statement about the connection between maths and physics.

        Maths is only a tool when it is used as such. As an engineer, even when he uses ‘advanced’ maths (though I suspect the most advanced maths you have used was developed a century ago) is using it for an aim: to approximate a physical system eg. a bridge or turbulent fluid flow. I would use math in the same when why I describe the even horizon of a black hole.

        But the actual discovery of new, totally abstract mathematical objects, as an endeavor for its own sake, is a completely creative process. That is why I emphasised PURE mathematics, several times. Already-discovered theorems are ‘used’ in the proofs – but it is the mix of deep pure reason PLUS ‘inspiration’ wherein lies the Art, the transcendent. Denying this process lacked Art is the same as saying Mozart lacked it because he was using the musical ‘methods’ that had been developed up to that point – an argument you would be the first to disavow, rightly.

        You commented that maths was inherently axiomatic. If you want some interesting reading I suggest you start looking into Mathematical Logic and then onto the philosophical foundations of maths (vice-versa if you prefer). Two of what, indeed? You may even then conclude that the ‘reality’ you claim to be grounded in is LESS real than mathematics…..

        The fact that your comments seem to imply that you haven’t even thought about such ideas makes me worry you haven’t even read Plato. Meaning the rest of your allusions to 20th century philosophy are just pretensions.

        Now, if we can (both) drop the condescending tone in future we may have a chance at some decent discussions. I, for one, promise never to bring up that you consider an arch-hipster such as Robert Storey as an authority on the transcendent.

        1. “Firstly, let me tell you something about myself, Mr Engineer; and as you are trying the condescending tone you’ve been adopting lately”

          There was no condescending tone. You alluded to my not understanding mathematics because of a lack of education in it. I just stated what you apparently were asking for.

          All of what you said does not change the fact that it is a tool, nor did you give me any information about mathematics that I didn’t understand already. And the comparison with music theory still stands.
          Yes, mathematics discovers abstract truths. The point is that SO DOES MUSIC THEORY. But they are truths related to human perception of sound in certain contexts. Does it make it less universal? yes. But I still do not understand why you take offense in the comparison.

          Mathematics by itself is then used as a tool for the real world. In the same way, music theory is used FOR the creation of MUSIC. Music theory is not Music despite the rules in intervals preferences it discovers humans tend to have or perceive. Mathematics is NOT the real world, despite the abstract truths it uncovers.

          I did not say Robery Storey was an authority of the transcendent. Why do you TRY and go out of your way to minsconstrue what I say in order to be offended? I said that his classification was a useful and simple way of seeing what the transcendent might be partially defined as: something that we share as human beings, as a species, that allows someone from 1000 years ago to create something that someone today “feels”, and not only understands. In Music, this becomes more tricky to figure out or discuss.

    2. Regarding what is transcendental, Robert Storey identified three voices in literature: the author, the audience and the species (us as human beings). Great art does relate to everybody, contrary to what some might think.
      It is the outside that differs, and this is just like the religions, in the end they seek similar things and speak of similar needs, but through different methods — even wildly different approaches.

      consciously grasping this transcendence as an artist is impossible, I think and is often done through windows, certain convictions and longings that are akin to ancient needs and longings. This is what feeds someone like Varg Vikernes, which is why he has done so much, even though what is recent is more musically questionable from teh technical point of view (less interesting in that sense). This translates to certain sound arrangements, certain sense of proportions , etc

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