A Composer's World: Horizons and Limitations (Schott) by Paul Hindemith

By Paul Hindemith

(Schott). The booklet goals to be a consultant during the little universe that's the operating position of the fellow who writes song. As such it talks predominantly to the layman,although the specialist composer can also locate a few stimulation in it... From the middle of easy conception the dialogue will opened up into all of the nation-states of event which border the technical points of composing, similar to aesthetics, sociology, philosophy, etc.

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This means that music, due to the absence of any stable connotations in its messages of sound, does not have the properties of a language and cannot be used in the same sense verbal communications are used. VI There will always be a tendency for all participants in music to trust their musical equivalent of the prosaic but helpful horse sense: to believe that an inspired composition will inevitably release in the minds of all concerned one and the same kind of emotional reaction. But quite apart from the fact that inspiration is not a plain artistic phenomenon 32 ctâÄ [|ÇwxÅ|à{ T VÉÅÑÉáxÜËá jÉÜÄw to be taken for granted (as our next chapter will disclose), the following more careful examination of our emotional reactions to musical impressions will disprove so simple a supposition.

On the other hand, if the temporal units of the melody are felt as being accelerated against the heartbeat, we will be reminded of moods of alertness, serenity, mirth, and frolicking, the degree of merriness again being determined by the degree of deviation from the heart’s natural metronome. As long as we adhere to the most primitive structural material which even neglects the rhythmic or metric subdivision of temporal units in a melodic line, we can be fairly sure of its emotional effects. But adding to these basic facts all other ingredients music uses, such as melodic elaboration, harmony, meter, tempo, dynamics, tone color, et cetera, the range of simple mood images will, between the extremes of utter sadness and utter gaiety, be filled up with an endless number of variations and deviations, each conditioned by the groupment of the musical material at any given moment.

Furthermore we cannot have any musical reactions of emotional significance, unless we have once had real feelings the memory of which is revived by the musical impression. ) Reactions of a grievous nature can be aroused by music only if a former experience of real grief was stored up in our memory and is now again portrayed in a dream-like fashion. “Musical” gaiety can be felt only if a feeling of real gaiety is already known to us; “musical” complacency arises in our memory only if complacency felt before without musical prompting was already part of our experience.

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