Music

I used some of my extra cash to buy a rather inexpensive keyboard. I’ve been learning how to play it. I was considering making it a magical project, seeing how quickly I could gain this new skill. But I’m not sure it’s a skill, other than on the surface. Plus, it’s fun to just putter and not make it into some sort of Project.

One of the things I like about music is that its harmonies are mathematical, but of the mind. We hear pleasant or unpleasant harmonies based on their mathematical interactions. It’s as if a chord drags a finger across the surface of consciousness itself, feeling out its contours. A minor chord shows us the mathematics of sorrow.  Something in the poet in me has to love that.

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One Response to “Music”

  1. I saw a lovely interview today of the mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozeva, concerning her 2006 recording of Mozart arias. She said that it made a huge difference to her that the recording was made at the more archaic A=430 Hz rather than the modern A=440 Hz. That difference of 10 Hz made the music more “velvety,” she said, and more suited for her mezzo voice (though 10 Hz isn’t even half a tone!).

    A couple weeks ago, I was rehearsing with our Gregorian chant choir, and we noticed that it was more difficult to get the intervals right if we started on a note like E flat or A flat, rather than something like G or D. In this case, I think it’s due to the abstraction of equal temperment colliding with the natural Pythagorean intervals and our tonal memory (which is the beginning of perfect pitch). I don’t think this would have happened to singers who were trained exclusively by voice.

    Feel free to post stuff on my blog — I’m into the western esoteric tradition too but definitely not as well-versed as you :)

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