Music

Another page, another work in progress.

Here I’ll gather posts and links aimed at articulating a connection – perhaps metaphorical, perhaps more than that – between music and moral experience.

On Helping My Daughter Learn to Drive – in which I connect driving with ethics and with music.

I picked up on the connection between music and ethics in a week-long class on improvisation with Joe Craven, who focused from the first on the development of particular cognitive skills of receiving and sending, which are very much like what I’ve been calling noticing and responding.

In that class, we didn’t do much at all with music theory, which is the thinking part of playing music, being able to stop and analyze a chord progression, for example.

Of course, what I would aim for, in the end, as a musician and as a driver and as a social being, is not to have to stop and think too often, but to be practiced and experienced enough that everything just flows.

The Music of Systems – how systems got rhythm.

To extend the metaphor farther than she did, to misperceive the system in those ways it so miss the beat of them, to fail to catch the tune, to be attempting a waltz when the system is playing a jig.

I sometimes wonder if a kind of tone-deafness for systems is the default in our species, and the kind of perception for which Meadows advocates can be acquired only with special effort.

The Music of Movement – Dr. Sacks’s phenomenology of walking, with a score by Mendelssohn.

Reading this for the first time in many years, I am now struck by the suggestion that a kind of music is at the root of the way in which we are real to ourselves, the way in which we experience ourselves as embodied beings.

Knowing By Heart – from a side comment to me after band practice

To know a tune by heart is to be able to play it, and vary it, and improvise on it, and dig into the structure of it, and play counterpoint against it without having to read it off a page or follow someone else’s lead.

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