Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Holmboe on music-blogging


Music is a disguised energy source which has a clear and strong influence on the thought and mind, an immediate effect which can reach far beyond the merely entertaining. Much is written about music, but when I consider the subject, as here, in a more psychological perspective, I must recognize the paradoxical in the relationship between the descriptive word and the inexplicable in music.
On the one hand, we can claim that music is exclusively forms moved in sound, that it cannot have any other substance, and that its assertions are as abstract as those of mathematics. On the other hand, it is precisely the substance that can be meaningful, be concretely present, produce a strong emotional impact and thought-provoking impulses. Music cannot say anything, yet it says so much. It is readily accessible to everyone, but nevertheless difficult to grasp. It is not logical, but can have a strict logic in its elaboration.
Such paradoxes are, of course, only apparent. They are pseudo-opposites which result from verbal formulations and visual ideas which can say nothing about the nature of music itself. It may thus seem absurd to wish to write about those aspects of music which words must relinquish. However, I believe that we must point out again and again the many particular relations there are between humanity and music, and that we discuss the subject in a perspective difficult from the purely technical, regardless that we can never get to the bottom of, but must constantly circle around, the inexplicable.
Vagn Holmboe, Experiencing Music, 105.

1 comment:

sfmike said...

I love the phrase "disguised energy source." I've been a supernumerary at the opera in San Francisco on a few occasions where the music close-up actually felt like it could cure disease, particularly Verdi finales if one was perfectly situated in front of the principal singers with a large chorus ranged behind them, and with one's butt facing the audience and the orchestra pit. I've actually entered the theater feeling down from a flu or cold and left feeling ready for anything.