Thursday, September 16, 2021

939: Listen to the Music....

In the study of music we find as early as the sixth century BC. a search for the underlying principles of harmonics. 


Such chords are created by sounding two or more notes simultaneously or immediately after each other. 


The difference between the tones is called an interval. We call some intervals (tone distances) consonant because they sound pleasantly together in our ears, 


for example when the first and fifth notes of the scale sound together (C - G) and dissonant, because we think it sounds unpleasant, for example when the first and the second note of the scale sound together (C - D). 


Homo sapiens is such a curious creature. Perhaps the sound of the string on his bow was one of the first notes he discovered as a pattern. 


Interesting...a tighter bowstring...a higher pitch...a slacker bowstring...a lower pitch. Some of you know I have cello lessons. 


Last lesson my cello teacher came up with Pythagoras (c. 550 BC), not literally, but with something he had discovered and what fascinated him immensely: harmonics. 


If you place a finger in the middle of the string and you play that string, it will sound an octave higher, from G to G'. 


Pythagoras introduced a "law" for consonant intervals. According to him, they coincided with the ratios between the first four numbers 1:2:3:4. 


He related these harmonic ratios to the harmony in the cosmos. 


Acoustically, his theory did not quite match the observed patterns. Aristoxenus of Tarentum (c. 350 BC) argued that the intervals, and thus the consonants, 


should not be judged on the basis of simple numerical proportions, but on the basis of human hearing. 


While Pythagoras put principle above pattern, Aristoxenus argued that this had to be reversed. 


First, the consonant tone intervals had to be determined empirically by ear and only then could the mathematical principles be drawn up for these consonants. 


Here, as in the astronomy of Hipparchus (c. 150 BC), we see the view that the theory must correspond to the observed facts. 


Aristoxenus lived almost two centuries before Hipparchus and then in his time was already the explicit mindset


to achieve a correct match between principles, with which patterns can be predicted and the empirically observed patterns. 


Already in that era, Homo sapiens was ready for a fundamental scientific attitude.


There is some documentation from the period around 150 BC that also in India and China the phenomenon of consonance and dissonance got special theoretical attention.


While Pythagoras linked the harmonics of the consonants with the harmony of the cosmos, in China the pentatonic scale 


was for instance described in a Confucian book, named "Book of Rites", as the relation between music and reality.


The base note 'kung' represents the emperor, 'shang' the second note above kung represented the ministers,'chiao' the third above 'kung' is the people, and so on.


When the notes don't sound in disorder, there is harmony in the land.


Homo sapiens had discovered the relations between tones and thence the possibility to play acoustically with these relations. There's the music.....


Thank you for your attention again....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its indeed something built into us because u can immediatley hear someone play a false note

[13:17] oola Neruda: I was fortunate to visit a monastery in Germany... and the monks were singing... it was very moving

[13:17] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita

[13:17] herman Bergson: Gregorian music I guess

[13:18] oola Neruda: could have been... it was some years ago so ...???

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like when they sing karaoke at the local bar and i think it sounds worse then me cutting sheet metal at work with an angle grinder

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:18] herman Bergson: Monks only sing gregoria music :-)

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:18] oola Neruda: ahhh good point

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how about the middle east sounds, they sound different to me

[13:19] herman Bergson: They do indeed Beertje, but I think they don't sound dissonant....

[13:19] Lai Fallen (laila.streeter) is online.

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): depend on what it is, not too fond of those screeching minarets which is another angle frinder to  me but i like arabic music

[13:19] herman Bergson: stange, yes,

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like that we play at that parvana place i brought u to once or twice Herman

[13:19] herman Bergson: but that is because they use different scales from ours

[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): my ears don't like it

[13:19] herman Bergson: that is another matter

[13:20] herman Bergson: maybe they use pentatonic scales

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some Arabic music and instruments we find screechy also i think

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): depends on

[13:21] herman Bergson: Sure...

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some instruments sound very sharp

[13:21] herman Bergson: Arab ears might dislike our violins and cellos perhaps :-)

[13:21] oola Neruda: drums and rattles in Africa... made more exciting by firelight

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no idea, its different

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa that i like

[13:22] herman Bergson: We need an arab guest to tell us what he thinks of Western music

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that a ritm, a pattern

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or a thing i love doing , play Japanese taiko drums

[13:22] herman Bergson: but unfortunately there isn't one here atm :-)

[13:23] herman Bergson: Drums sound the same in all cultures :-)

[13:23] oola Neruda: I disagree

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nope they don't

[13:23] herman Bergson: ok :-)

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): many different drums exist

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the base sound is same but

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they have different tones

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): like steldrums in Suriname

[13:24] herman Bergson: I mean the basic operation....a blow on a surface...

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): steel

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but also its how u play them i guess

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): steel drum = the typical carribean/jamaican sound

[13:25] oola Neruda: and if they use voice to accompany which case they do or don't accommodate the singer

[13:26] herman Bergson: What amazes me is that homo sapiens already in times BC was studying music theory

[13:26] oola Neruda: my brother was a drummer

[13:26] herman Bergson: I find music a peculiar phenomenon.....also the behavior of homo sapiens to make music...

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:27] herman Bergson: it is in fact nothing more than producing well organized sound....

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:27] herman Bergson: and we like it :-))

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep!

[13:28] herman Bergson: MAybe biologically it is  a need of our central nervous system to be stimulated like that

[13:28] herman Bergson: Besides it produces joy in the maker of the music too :-)

[13:28] oola Neruda: think of a mother singing to a baby

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): vary mush possible, i always have something punchy going when i work

[13:28] oola Neruda: vs. a rock star

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): going all in with my machines!

[13:28] oola Neruda: different uses

[13:29] herman Bergson: Good point oola

[13:29] herman Bergson: Singing to the baby to get is to sleep

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): another example

[13:29] herman Bergson: very biological actually

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): many uses

[13:30] herman Bergson: animals don't do that

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that seems logical, the same thing as with those false notes

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): are u sure

[13:30] oola Neruda: singing in church to help the message "get in" to the congregation... to make it their own

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): dogs and cats can take a like to music i know

[13:30] oola Neruda: chanty songs on sailing ships...

[13:31] herman Bergson: yes cows too, Bejiita

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:31] herman Bergson: They seem to produce more milk when listening to Bach :-)

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): my parrot liked old jazz.....dancing when he heard it

[13:31] oola Neruda: smilesssssssss

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): jazz/lounge/soft house is my usual music when i program, gets me in right cozy mmoood

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and this classical music right now is perfect for philosophy

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): matches the current task

[13:33] herman Bergson: There must be something biological in music....creating it, listening to it and homosapiens found out this very early in his existence

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same with dancing

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we all do it more or less

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): different styles

[13:34] herman Bergson: yes...also such a redundant activity in relation to survival :-)

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): music can be very annoiying when others play it and when you don't like it

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like I do street/hip hop a lot with my buddies, Africa have their dances i also find really awesome

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and so it goes

[13:34] herman Bergson: Iknow, Beertje ^_^

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha indeed beertje

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i like silence

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "STOP PLAY RAMMSTEIN I CANT SLEEEP!"

[13:35] oola Neruda: a lot of the African dances have purpose attached to them

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but its fridayyyyy! I SCREAM BACK!

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): LOL

[13:35] herman Bergson: Me too likes the Sound of Silence :-))

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes I think people are afraid of silence

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (fires up my angle grinder) WEEEEEIIIIIIIII!

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): MUAHAHAH

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i love making noise!

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i hear it Bejiita

[13:37] Lukkie Sands: I have been silent all the time Beertje...without fear :-)

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but sometimes i like to relax also

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i know sweety

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like now I'm actually in soft mode

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then I'm not too noisy

[13:38] herman Bergson: Oh dear....wonder how it sounds when you're in another mode Bejiita :-)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u don't want to be near me at work

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but also its a metal workshop, its supposed to be noisy

[13:38] herman Bergson: Thought so :-))

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): boss needs to know I'm working!

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): aren't going to be nuts of all that noise Bejiita?

[13:39] herman Bergson: is interesting to think about the meaning and function of music in human existence.....

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well u need hearing protection of course or you'll go deaf

[13:39] herman Bergson: Might be a good idea to think about that this weekend :-)

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i mean YOUR noise

[13:40] oola Neruda: think of Mozart... for him... it was to entertain people.... so he had to figure that into whatever he did

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the thing is these Bluetooth earbuds are often better than those yellow foam pads and they go under a welding helmet also

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Mozart was deaf?

[13:40] oola Neruda: will they like it

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa eys Mozart was deaf that's true

[13:40] herman Bergson: Beethoven was, Beertje...the older he got

[13:40] oola Neruda: yes

[13:41] oola Neruda: what Herman said

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): fascinating he still could make so much great music

[13:41] herman Bergson: Mozart wasn't deaf

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or just lowered hearing maybe, just heard something before he was totally deaf

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah wrong man:)

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or who was that

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mix them together

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i just like all stuff they have made don't think so much of the rest

[13:42] herman Bergson: Then, let me thank you again for your participation, wish you happy listening this weekend :-)

[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:43] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting again and a VERY important subject regarding patterns!


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