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From Ethics to Aesthetics



  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    I still hold that English, or any other natural language for that matter, has elements which music does not have and thus cannot be understood to be a language.


    X is a language.
    Y is not a language.

    What does X have that Y lacks?

    Edit: Asked another way, what are the quintessential components of a language?

    _J_ on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    I just want an argument, man. There's no need for you to get uppity. Just make some claims and then explain what you mean and give me some evidence.

    I'm quite serious. This conversation in itself proves my point about the external information required to assess a text. What I have said, to someone with a similar background as myself, absolute perfect sense such as there would just be nodding and a "Well duh" response. That you don't understand it is because you have a distinctly different background and psychology as myself. And yet we're two English-speaking people living at the same time. Understanding the words of a long-dead person of another language in another part of the world with vastly different experiences is going to be that much harder.
    Meaning and understanding are two separate things. You are saying that there are different levels of understanding. I don't think that's particularly controversial, but you aren't addressing what I was talking about.

    Again, I have written words that have a meaning that I intend, which someone with my background could understand very clearly, without having to ask follow up questions. And yet, with those same words, you don't know what I'm saying. This conversation is wondrous evidence. To me, what I have said has a very clear meaning. To you, it is apparently gibberish. It is not that my words lack meaning, but that you lack the information to decipher that meaning, and so you must ask the author of his intent.
    You are asking about the universality of music. You are asserting, somehow, that music is universal because of...biology? That music is biological, or that music has some element to it which is biological? I'm not really sure. If we are talking about foundational, reductionist elements of music which we can take to be universal, the most natural things to point to are its mathematical elements. Frequency and ratio and time, which are the things which allow us to have tones and metre and sequence. These things are necessary for music and they also apply categorically, and so they can be true in all possible cases.

    I'm not sure how much more universal you can get.

    The REACTION to music is partly biological. Music in itself is just vibration. Noise. Matter bumping into matter. It is universal because we all evolved from the same general ancestry with relatively similar conditions. Without the determination of biology, culture, experience, and so on, music would just be noise. Music is really just a word for patterns noise we have a certain collection of reactions to.

    Incenjucar on
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