Music + Symbols

02005-02-12 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Music does not express this or that particular and definite joy, this or that sorrow, or pain, or horror, or delight, or merriment, or peace of mind; but joy, sorrow, pain, horror, delight, merriment, peace of mind themselves, to a certain extent in the abstract, their essential nature, without accessories, and therefore without their motives. Yet we completely understand them in this extracted quintescence.
– Schopenhauer

Music is the only art-form which transcends symbols. Novels, even poems rely on symbolism. Even the three lines of a Haiku depend on such symbols. Cherry Blossoms represent the fleeting nature of beauty etc….

Painting uses symbols, unless it is abstract painting in which case it takes a certain amount of training to understand the meaning…

Music on the other hand is completely accessible to anybody – without using any symbolism at all. For me that beauty is destroyed by the words of a song. A song becomes about the lyrics, and for most people the words rule. I am one of those (fortunate) people who do not hear words. I will listen to a song and only hear the quality of the voice, the singing, but not the words. Just like the eyes rule over the ears – and a video is about cool visuals rather than the music – how could it be different when a TV is 99% screen and 1% sound coming from a tiny 5 inch speaker… I wrote more on the subject here.

It is almost as if music is a straight line to our brain – maybe even a programming language for our mind.


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