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Interim Post—Music, Physics and Metaphysics October 19, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in metaphysics, music, physics, spirituality.
Tags: , , ,

As I indicated at the end of my last post on this topic, I am nearing the end of my study of the subject (for now—I am never closed to new ideas), and conclusions are forming. At the risk of this study winding on into infinity, I have identified yet more additional material to consider. As I finish up Bruno Nettl’s book on ethnomusicology, I find myself wanting familiarity with more “non-Western” music. I have identified material for further study. I have no chance of absorbing everything on such a broad topic. But I would like to learn more than I know now in order to address the issues I have taken on. I don’t think this will take long. I can see offering some comprehensive conclusions in a post during the first half of next year.

I need to clarify, for any musicologist, ethnomusicologist or other music scholar who has stumbled onto this—I am not a music scholar. I am a music creator—songs, music pieces, improvisations—I study music to expand my capabilities to create music. I am extremely grateful to scholars who have devoted hours/years/lives to studying aspects of music. I feast on your findings—then I draw my own conclusions from your work. And those conclusions function for my own creative purposes. If I have advanced any sort of scholarly understanding, I would be honored—and surprised! But the results of my feast on music scholarly findings will be in the music I create. I write here simply for anyone interested in my thought processes.

Conclusions that are starting to take shape:

  • Music, more than any other art, has the potential to relate the physical to the metaphysical. I will address this in detail in my final post, going into all three of the subjects, to offer an admittedly speculative and unconventional conclusion.
  • Music appears to be universal to all of humanity. The physical/metaphysical relationship with music may be a primary aspect of this.
  • Some basics of consonance and dissonance are discernible and may be universal. But cultural context also plays a part. Within some broad general principles of consonance and dissonance, wide fluctuations across cultures seem obvious.
  • Tonality also appears to be built into humans despite all recent (within the last century) efforts to shake up the tonality framework by music creators. (I will be reading the Leonard Bernstein book of his interview on this topic, The Unanswered Question, which will address this. I suspect it will do nothing to dissuade me from this conclusion!)
  • A harder question is whether music is universal for all sentient beings. I will discuss this—conclusions still forming on this one—though this is a highly speculative area!
  • I will discuss how all of this will influence my music production going forward. I’ve acquired some incredibly sophisticated music production software.  This opens up capabilities rarely dreamt of when I produced “Issa Music” back in 1998-1990. With the time I have left, hopefully a few more decades of creative productivity, I intend to utilize this gift computer technology has provided for a number of different projects: 1) more “Issa Music,” cross-cultural “mystic jazz,” 2) a Christmas CD of mostly familiar songs (four originals/eleven “covers” will be included) that will celebrate the “cross-cultural” musical idea, celebrating Christmas as a spiritual holiday that belongs to all of humanity and 3) a series of Richard Warren Field songbook albums that will offer about 25% originals and 75% covers of rock/pop/jazz songs, also reworked with the cross-cultural idea.

So expect a few more posts on reading and other activities related to this topic, and then a grand post. Brace yourself for that one—some of the ideas will seem “out there,” but I believe “out there” in a magical, mystical place.

Previous posts on this subject:

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin

Music, the Brain and Ecstasy by Robert Jourdain

Music and the Mind by Anthony Storr

Good Vibrations/The Physics of Music by Barry Parker

Measured Tones by Ian Johnston

Exploring Music by Charles Taylor

Music and Mathematics: From Pythagoras to Fractals, edited by John Fauvel, Raymond Flood and Robin Wilson

Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Mysticism in Music by Joscelyn Godwin

(This series has been triggered as a result of  my rediscovery of the love of creating and performing music. There is definitely a spiritual connection to this rediscovery, evidenced by my recent release of “Issa Music” and my posts about mystical/spiritual aspects of the music of the progressive rock group Yes (The Poetry of (the Progressive Rock Group) Yes: Introduction to “The Revealing Science of God—Dance of the Dawn” from “Tales from Topographic Oceans”  and The Poetry of (the Progressive Rock Group) Yes). This further relates to spiritual meditations with the theme of more than one path to God, and the possible coming together of both physics and metaphysics I and II).



1. Greg Vanderlaan - October 19, 2012

Music has a biological power. How often have a couple met at a dance? Billions of times.

rwf1954 - October 19, 2012

Music is wired in – I agree.

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