Friday, 23 October 2015

Are there musical universals?

Interesting article that may affect our opinion about Chinese cultivation of European classical music:

It also shows that Orpheus is of all times and places, and that Jung's idea of 'archetypes' wasn't so bad as has been made-out so often.

Anonymous painter from Antwerp, 1st half of 17th century

Jung's idea of 'synchronicity' still eludes Western rational thought, however. If there exists something like a 'spiritual wave length', still unproven by Western science but equally possible like the notion of radio waves was in the 19th century, there may be an underlying unity hidden in a 'deep structure' of the world, of which humans are a natural part. The Chinese oracle book 'I Ching' - so completely misunderstood by concept artist John Cage - takes this unity as an empirical given, and operates through its connections. Physical nature (the overtone series), human biological proclivity and cultural conditioning may together form a musical receptive framework defining musical universals.

The implications for contemporary music are quite drastic.

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