Sunday, May 22, 2005

Miscelaneous Musings, One

A friend's band played last night and I attended the show, so it was relaxation with beer and buddies instead of study yesterday. All work and no play and all of that. I did manage to run into a local hotel manager though, and he was interested in a classical guitarist for Saturday nights, so I landed myself a new weekly gig. There's nothing wrong with a little mixing of business with pleasure.

As I have been considering the state of our understanding of music of the earliest periods of the Western tradition a few things seem unlikely to be cleared up by modern scholarship. Performance practice bfore the advent of mensural notation seems likely to remain in the realm of conjecture. So too then does the true nature of the musical examples presented alongside or along with the earliest theoretical manuscripts. Since there really is no way to answer some of these questions, and I don't wish to get bogged down in such minutae anyway, I have decided to make the evolution of the theoretical concept of consonance and dissonance and that concept's relationship to the natural harmonic overtone series one of the main thrusts of my investigation, at least in the short term. Later, I'll pick up the thread of the evolution of tuning (By that I mean concert pitch level), and temperament (The various ways devised to account for the diatonic and syntonic commas). As you will learn later, these concepts and their evolution have everything to do with my views on the nature of music and my... ahem... strongly critical stance against much of the music of the twentieth century.

Well, I have a gig to prepare for. I plan on studying a few more chapters of Riemann when I get home tonight, so I'll see you tomorrow.


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