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ANTHC)NY STORR

MUSIC
AND THE MIND
Iffil
THE FREE PRESS
A Divisioll of Macmillan, ille.
NEW YORK
Maxwell Macmillan Canada
TORONTO
Maxwell Macmillan International
NEW YORK OXFORD SlNGAPORE SYDNEY
I'99
t,1 "v -
.L L c
>-,
O!UGINS Af-.Jll CdLU:CTlV F FUNCTiONS
It will never be possible to establish the origins of human music
with any certainty; however, it seel1ls probahle that music de-
veloped from the prosodic exchanges between mother and infant
which foster the bond between thclll. from this, it became a form
ofcommunication between adult buman beings. As the capacity for
speecb and conceptual thought developed, music became less
important as a way of cOllvcying information, but retaincd its
significance as a way of communicating feelings and cemcnting
bonds between individuals, especially in group situations. Today,
we arc so accustomed to considering the response of the individual
to music that we are liable to forget that, for most of its history,
music has been predominantly a group activity. Music began by
serving communal purposes, of which religious ritual and warfare
arc two examples. It has continued to be used as an accompaniment
to collective activities; as all adjunct to social ceremonies and public
occasions. We share these functions of music with pre-literate
cultures. In Ollr society, one cannot imagine a Coronation or a State
funeral taking place in the absence of music. We know less than we
would like about what musical activities went on in the past in
private houses; hut it is important to recall that the modern concert,
in which instrumental music is performed in a public concert hall as
a separate entity unaccompanied by voices and in the absenc:: ofany
ceremony, was not a prominent feature of musical life in England
until the late seventeellth century. Since then, music as a distinct
form in its own right has continued to grow in importance. During
the same period, the pen()fJllCf has become more slurply differ-
entiated from the listener. The individual listener's response to
III mil' is a principal theme of this book.
2]
MUSlc- !\Nll'IIII'. MIND
storofmany other'projective
'11 a subiectIS lIlciucedto
same smdcllts ofpanlting to
ubtl'theirimaginations by at dal1lD-staillcd walls
iCl1ly tosec
m;lllllLT of
particular piecc of mllSlC IS
atthetil1le; :llldsOllie part
from tile proJcctioll ofhis
1emotions soklY;l dircctcOllseyucllCL'
;IC
a noverbal or refcrence
f()r its ownsake, It IS not sllrpnsll1g
care sometimcs different rcsponses to it. What 1S more
is the degree ofconsensLls. In spite ofthe difficulties
earlier, \"'C can be t:1irly confident that listeners to great
,IC whichis fllniliartothemareusuallysharingaclosely
eneneC',
ornc writers suggest that music conveys the same llIeaning to
l'relltlistencrsmoreaccuratdythanaverbal11lessage; tlutmusic
likely to be misinterpreted or v:lriously interpreted than
rds. Theepigraph to this chapter is ;111 extract from a letter by
ndclssollllin whichhecontinues:
worddot's not meal! the tlJlng to one person as to
thetuncS;IYS thesalllethillg, awakensthesallle/(:dlllg, in both
that fl'l'linl!: maynotbeeXDn:ssnlIII the words.')
'list speculates along SlIl11Iar li11l's, I ofa
Icert, variolls Illembersofthe
am what \vcrc their words. which like every hUI1lJIl and cxtcrllal
word left Ille so indifferellt, comp:ucd WIth the hC:lvenly ohrase of
YllllSic with which I h,ldJust heen cOllllllulling? I W;lS
who, bllcll fro[ll the illl'brianng bliss ofP,iLldisl', subsides
7
0
\I
SON(;S \\'ITIIOUI W()HllS
Illtothe Illl'S! hUllldrlllll reality And,JlIst;15 n'n,lllllTl'atllrl's:m.: tlil'
I.lstsurvi\'illgtcstllllOIlY to,I tl>rm oflifcwhichll,ltlln:has
Iwonderedwhether1ll1lsi,-1I11giltnotbethelIn](llIl'c,a IIIplvof wi Lit
have bCL'l1 - i(thl' ill\'l'l1tlOll oftlllgll,lgc, til<' formatioll of
the an,liysls of idcas had nor illtcrvcllnl - the 1l1l';IIIS of
tOlllIlIUllic.HIOIl bet\vl'cllSOliIs. Itis liked th.ltiI;l.' COllll'to
nothing;ilullJ;miry hasdeveloped;dollgotherhill'S, thoseof
,lilt! written hllguagc_,,,
Itis dC;)f thatbothProust
are refl'rring to music
Western
tLlditioll. COJ11IllUIlICltioll bet\VTl'1l
possible if
share thesallle culturealld he11(,(, the
sameloudof Illllsic.
Iluwl'vcr, 111 .I differcnt context, soullds without words call be
accurately interprcted. Iftwo people conduct ;1 'conversation' by
hUlllming, withoutpartingtheirlipsorusingwords, agooddealof
information GIll beconveycd, stichas 'Iam weary'; 'Ialll pleased';
orevcll 'I love you'. The prosodicclements speech CUI
wi tholltthesylltaetie, evenhetweellaclults froll) differellt elll tures,
becausethesoulldsmaderd1cctbasichUI1l<l1lelllotionsandhaveHot
elaborated intodifferellt varieties ofIlIllsic. SOl1le composcrs
vc bcclJ particularly aware ofthe prosodic aspects of
JlIl;icck systematically recorded the melodiccurvesofspeech; and
hecalled 'speech melodies' relllailled (emraltohis Illethodof
composItion.I'
It Illust always be remembered th;tt clllotiollal aroLlsalls partly
that clllotions overlap and call change fi-Olll olle
easily. Critics may agree that a p.1
workof artis 'SIgnificant' becausetheyfInd
interestcd; and are likely toagreein general terms
work is tragic, humorous, prot{lUlld or superfIcial. llut deLliled,
oCtheirsubjcctivereactionsmaydifferCOil sid-
erably.
There is a good ex.lInpk in BCrIlsteill's Harvard knurl'S. Hl'
ukestheopeningharsof Beethoven'sPianoSOIl,ltain Etbt,Up.3I,
1
No, 3, and asks vl/hether we listellers arl' hea what lkl,thovcn
supposedly felt whcn he \-vrotc them. Bernstcin thcn verbalizes
wiut Bccthuvell's IIlLlsic nLlkcs him
terms of pleading
alldeqll ailsV.!CL
71
MUSH :\NIl Till: MIND ':,ONes WITII( lUT w( ll{l IS
I'lc:ISl',l'k;hC . 11I1I]'IOIC you . rlltlo.! If , Y l'S; but ]
!)Il cnl.llIl cOllditi'H)s.
LTl1stcill thell
But, did lk"thoVl'1l kcl all that, or .lllythin[!; like n? I )Id IJust make
lip tht'se tl:dillgS, out ufthl' hlut', ur .In' the}' to "ome degree related
to lkcthu'.'l'n's teelings tLlIlstt-rred to me through IllS !lotes? Wc'i1
IIl'Vl'r know, Wl' can't phollc him up: bur tIlt' probability is that botiz
arc trUl". And If so, Wt' havc jllSt disc()\'en:d ,\ Ill,qur ambiguity .- :1
hC:lUtltltllll'W st'lll:lIlnc ,lI11hi\!uitv to .!dd to our t:Ist-growing lis(' t:
lkrustein's proJcctions tcll llS more ,lbollt Bertlsteill tklll
f,.Tthovl'll. [f I had to put words to Becthoven's phr:1ses, I should
U.OOSl' diflcrcnt olles. But that is unimportant. We certainly share
tllC pern:ptioll that the llIitial COlItT;lsting phrases of this sonata are
1st ill terms ofqucstlOll and answer, and recognize that
jA.Sl'S this pattcrn eiscwhl're. For example, Bcethoven
",notatcs the opcning phrases of the tlll.lk of IllS last string quartet
3:\ III r major) by writing 'Muss es scin) Es muss sein! Es
.uss selll"
answer IS so ;J patterll in humall
we h:lrdly recognize it ,lS snch. In these two
is distillilH.! the essence and answer III
lWusic without words. Although I disagree with some of
$chopcnilaller \vritcs abollt IlILlsic, I Clli appreciate his rdi.:rclIcc to
M\uslC ,IS expresslIIg 'thc illner nature, the ill-itsdC of every
fllclIonwnoll' .
[n The
.ftaturcs of
tersollal
l$eethovclI IS
P.1l.1 ,1IlSWLTlllg
\(itl'rprl'tatioll ill
repn'scnts thc deepest essential
to know all
portLlycd, [n similar Clshiol1,
trolll till' particular. lilat lS
terms of :l pkadlllg lIltlTchange between indi-
Vidll,t!S C,H1SL'S llIollll'l1L1ry unease, as he would have been the first to
,-lpreci,ltl', Ikl'thovclI's mastcrly gCllcraliz,Jtion should not be
i'ltcrprcted ill tcrllls of' plln'ly lIeeds, We arc bOllnd to
brillg om prejudices ,\Ild fcclinp with LIS whcn wc approach a
1
work; hm it is the extcnt to which a work
thV
person,II which makes it
Dcryck Cooke, in Thl'
4MIISi{, ,lttcmprcd to show that
within the Western
is COllsenSllS betwecn COl1l-
posers as to
arc llscd to represellt partlnilar
of the llJ:ljOr third COllllllOllly
millllr third IS gcnerally associated with
called bv mediaeval theorists ilitlbo/lls
llsed by coIII posers to
or otl1cr Ilorrors. Cooke's cX:l1llples of its
llsC include works by Mozart, Wagner, Liszt, Berlioz, GOllnod,
BUSOIll, and lIlallY others. I don't think th:1t :llIYOIlC reading
could {;Iil to bc convinccd that there is a good deal 111
says; but there are also so many exceptiolls that his vinvs
have hcen sharply criticized, Moreover, Cooke cxplicitly
discussion to European art lIlllsic which IS
cl1lotiollal cft(xts of music arc morL' dependcllt UpOIl
contcxt, less upon pmcly musical devices, than Cooke allowed.
Eduard Hanslick, the famous Austrian critic
pilloried as Beckmcsscr in Dit' JHl'isfcrsil1gl'r, pointcd out
lIIelody of (;tuck's 'Chc faro sellza Eundicc' might be
Jolly if we did not know tlut the aria is reAecting
The French carol 'Quelle cst cettc odeur agr0ablc, lkrgcrs qui
as a bcautiful! y tClIder llldod y wllL'n
sung as ,1 carol; but the tllne serves as .1 rumbustious drinking
song, 'Fillcvery glass', in The HI:I!.\!ur's Opera, Therl' is a poillt ill
'Offertorio' of Verdi's ReqlliclII at which the te1l0r, plcadlllg to
grantcd eternal litl" sings sOIlll'thing sllspiciollsly like 'Au pres
ilia blonde'.
expericllced listeners agree that Mozart's String Quilltet ill
(; minor, K. 5J 6, is a predominantly tr;lgic IlListl'rpll'Cl'. But sOllle
people fl'cl that the last lIlovemellt expresses JOY bCl'311se, alter its
adagio introductio1l, the key challges to G and the time
sign;ltllrl' to 6/R. Howcver, the Mozart scholar, Alfrcd Einstein,
to this last movelllent as beillg ill 'the (iIsconsolatl' major that
MOlart utilizes ill so mallY ofllis last works', '.1 thus that,
/i.)r hilll at allY rate. the change to the major key continlles the
tragedy than lightl'lIing it,
72 73
MUSIC ANI) TIlE MIN!)
I k-ryck Cooke dcfllH:d l11u:.ic 'the suprelllc expressioll of'
universal emotions. in all c!1tirdy persollal \vay, by the great
composers'.ll However, it is !lot a direct of those
l'lllotions \vithin llllllsclf which 1l1OVCS the listener but rather the
way in which a great composer transforms universal
Il1to art.
So mallY musiCians and critics have wrestled with the problem of
the llleaning of music. that some 11:lve aballdoned allY attempt ;Jt
lillking absolute IlllISIC with human The 'formalists' or
'non-refcrentialists' consider that musIC IS an entirely :ll1tOl1omOllS
art; that works of music bave no mcamng outside themselves; ;l1Id
that the experienn: induced by hearing ;1 \\fork of lllusic is cntirely
consequence of the listener's appreciation of irs structUf<..',
Hanslick attempted to maintain this position. Hc wrote:
so many bouks Oil III uSlcal acsthctlcs. all of vvhich ddined
the nature of music in tefms of the '!'eelintis' It arOllses, and which
ascribed to music a definite expn:ssive capability, had long excited in
lIle both doubt and oppositioll. 'rlle 1l,ltUre uflllllsic is cvell harder to
tix withill philosophical categories than pallltll1g, since ill lllllSIC the
decisive conccpts of'fonn' alld 'nmtenr' are illlPossible of
denec and separatioll, If Dill' wishcs to attrihut" a definite nlIltCnt to
purely instrumcntal music ill voc,lllllusic content derives from the
poem, not from the lllusic - thell OllC Illllst discard thc
of the musical art, in whICh no Oil(: call lkmonsrr:ltl' a 'content'
distillct from the 'form', nor evell deduce it. On the other hand, I
readily agree that it is idle to speak of absolute lack of content in
instrLIIllentallllusi,', which my opponcnts accusc Ille llfhaving (Iolll'
in my treatise. How is onc to distinguish ,cielltitically in musIc
betweell inspired !ClfIll and Clllpty form? I had the former in
III y opponents accused llle of th,' latter. "
By admitting the notion of inspired fl)flll versus cmpty t<mll
Hanslick is, 1 think, partially retreating from the formalist
position. especially with his Lise oftlw \vonl'elllpty' l(form has to
contain something, what it contains must surely have '>(lIlll'
signiticance.
Stravinsky ftllll1d himsclfin rather the saml' position when, in IllS
conversations with Hohert Craft, he was discussing his
74
\()N(;S WITHOUT WUHDS
relllark 'Music IS powerks:-. to l'xprcss anything at all.' Stravinsky
strongly objected to the notion that a picce of 11111Sic is a
tr.l11scendcntal idea expressed in terms of l1lllsic or that tlwrt' was
;lIIY exact correspondence hct\vcl'l1 the composer's teelings and
he set down in notes. Stravinsky did adlllit that ';1 composer's
work is the embodimL'nt of his but emphasized that, for
the important fact about J composition was that it was
sOl1ll'thing Ill' \\! , 'heyolld what can be called the composer's
feclings', He said that 'A Ilew pil'cl' of music is a new reality'; Jnd
'Il1USIC expresses itself', Of the composer he claimed: 'All hl'
Knows or (ares about is the apprehension of the contour of the
form, for the form is evcrythlllg, He can say nothing whatever
mcanings.'
It IS possible to appreciatc StravinsKY's point of view without
agrccment. A great deal of gushing nonsense has been written
about the mcaning of music; but when Stravinsky expresses his
dislike orth\' music of Richard Strauss by calling it 'tre;1Cly' he is not
to its form but to its expression of sentiment. 17
Hindelllith agrees with Stravinsky in so far as he writes:
Music callnot exprcss the composer's feelings. ,Here is what he
docs: he knows by expericnce that certain patterns of tonc-

setting correspond with certain emotional reactions on the listener's
pJrt. Writing the patterns frcquently ;ll1d tinding his obscrvations
confirmed, in anticipatlIlg the listcner's reaction he believes himself
to be in till' saml' l1ll'lltal situation,
Hindemith docs not deny that music induces clllotion 111
audicllce, but he regards the composer as a skilled manipubtor who
'believl's that he feds what he helieves the listener feels', I')
Hc continues:
l\ COlllposer call never be absolutely sure of the elllotionaleftc'ct of
IllS IlltlSlC on the listeller whell Ilsing complex lllJterial, but by
experience ami clcver distributioll of this material. morcover with
fr('quem refercnces to those lllusical progressions that cvoke the
lll1COlllplicarcd fedill(!-images of sadness or gaiety ill an ullJmbigu-
75
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MUSIC AND TIll' MINll


clothe their insIghts ill tecilmcallangllagl'. If they did not, I claim
that mllsic wuuld not continuc to be important to thclJ1, Appn:-
eiating musical form and structure is not;) techllicallll.1ttcr which
()tilly the traJ11ed mllsician IS equipped to It is true that
describing nlUsicJI form in words requires study and that the
l.u do so implies a more complete appreciation of the work involved
-th;lIl that available to the ordinary listcner. But an ulltrained listener
who loves music docs not simply immerse himself ill a sea of
velde, although some nineteenth-century music comes clost' to
that experience. He is also acutely aware of repetition,
e,hange of key, and resolution, to put it at its minimulIl. The
",leasures of the unexpected are not confined to musical theorists,
for example, the listener does not have to be a trained lllUSlCiJIl to
fecognize that Haydn is a master of surprise.
I think we do need a new type of JanguJge to describe music.
A.lthough Tovey was unrivalled In his knowledge of the mUSK of
the classical tradition, his language is old-fashioned and possibly
I\ot technic;}1 enough for today's listeners, wl1Q are often well-
i)'lformed. But it is manifestly aosmd to restrict the way we talk and
write about music to language which deliberately excludes any
reference to what makes a musical work expressive and capable of
I!ausillg arousal. To do so is reminiscent ofstructuralists who write
'the text' as if literature had nothing to do with hUI1lJn
Deings, either as readers or as authors.
The f()rmalist analysts are trying to make the appreciation
lIIusic purely cerebral, whereas music is rooted in bodily rhythms
A.!lel movement. The expressive aspect of music IS difficult to
for the reasons outlined earlier, but that should not prevent
tts from making the attempt. I think it IS possible to dojustice to the
Views of both formalists and expressionists without distorting
either.
When music was still directly tied to words, and to underlining
Dr accompanying public ritual, there could be little argument
kind. I )isplltcs between formalists and expreSSIOnists only begin to
be Important with the rise of ,absolute' music. Music was bound to
tAke on a life of its OWl! when it became el1lJl1cipated from other
-'Orms of expressi 011. The rise of romantic music inevitably follows
sep;Hation of music from verbal and other associations. Music
711
'>ONCS WITHOUT WOIU lS
illcorpllLlled wahin its uwn structure the hUlIlan,
(,lllotion.1! which had pn:viously belonged to the words
ur public occlslons which the musIc accolllpanied ;1I1d cnhann:d.
To IILllllt.lin t!Jat absolute music parted compallY with
CIlI()tioIlS beCillsc It began to eXIst ill Its own right is dearly
llIItl'Il;lblc, The oppo<;itc would be more accurate.
Music is a temporal art. Its patterns exist in time alld require
duratioll for their dl'veloDIllCIlt and completion. Although painting
statel1lents ,lbout relationships
betweell space, objects, and colours, these relatiollshlps are static.
Music more aptly represents humall emotional processes because 1
IlIl1sic, like lite." appears to be in constant motion. The fact that ..v
Illusical movement is more apparent than real will be discllssed
Lan,
It em bc argucd that 'programmc' musIc retains rderences to the
cstcrllal world ,1I1d cannot thercfi:.lrc be the self-contained, isolated,
;!Ild more or less perfect structure which formahsts admire. But ;1
gre,lt deal of 'programmc' llIllsic is sllllply lllUSIC
evellt. story, sOllnd, or picture has bet.'1l the trigger. Beethoven's
Sisth Symphony (Op, Mi in r lIl:lJor) is the obvious example. If
BeethoveIl had not headed his movements with titles, which,
incidentally, he :JclJptcd ti-om the titks givl'n to the movements of
,1lI entirely difte.'rellt symphony by Knecht, we should accept the
'Pastoral' Symphony as a piece of absolute mllSIC, without worry-
ing whether Bcethoven is depicting 'By the brook side' or 'Merry
gathering of country folk'. The same consideration applies to
Mendclssohn\ ovcrtllre 'lilt' Helirides. It is interesting to know that
Mendelssohn Jotted down the malll theme whilst in the Hebndes
(Tovey allegcs, prob'lbly inaccurately, tlLIt he was actually ill
l's cave); but the PICl'<.: stands Oil its own as a magnificent work
oJ"orch",'strallllllsic which necds 110 title. As Jacques Barzun points
arc lIsed 'something alien has
illto the pure stream of sOllnd.'
popular orchestral suite SdlcJ/('/'(I::.adt' is
OVLTtly programmatic. Every hstellcr recognizes that the sinllolls
,,(llo fl)J' \'Iolin wlllch links the lllllVL'll1ents n:prl'Sl'llts the voice of
SChCItCLIZ;Jdl' herself telling the stonl'S of the thousand and OI1C
nights to the Sultan. But how JIlany listellers Gill rccall the tities
7lJ
MUSIC AND THE MIND
illustrateshowtheNarratorgraduallyimproveshisappreciationof
f()rIl1 eachtimea pieceofmusic!lewtohimis repeatl'lL
Theil,to tht'courseofIII y thoughts,ratherthan
ofcards or draughts \vith Alb<:rtine, I would ask her to me ;l
littleIllusic I relllainedin bcd,andshewouldgoandsitdownatIll'
endof theroombeforethepianola, betweenthetwobookcases. She
chosc'pieceswhichwereeitherquiteneworwhichshehadpiayedto
meonly onceor t\vice, for, beginningto know lI1e better, she was
aware that J liked to fix my thoughts only upon what was still
obscure to me, and to be able, in the ofthese
thanks to the increasing but, distorting and alien
ofmy intellect, tolink onewithanotherthe fragmentary and
interrupted lines ofthe structure which at first had almost been
hiddcll ill mist. Sheknew and, Ithink. understood thejoythat my
mind derived, at these first hearings, from this task ofmodellinl!a
stillshapelessnebula.*"
HowrefreshingtoreadthatProustexperiencedjoyill appreciating
structure! Formalists often write about music as ifunderstanding
allintellectual . III fact, theformofamusical
can
balanced of
unexpectedstructuralirregularityordecorativedetailWillCl1 serves
todispelmonotonyandrevealstheindividualhandof aIII aster. If a
listenercomestoknc)\v aworkof musicwell, heis respondingtoit
asa whole. Formandcontentinmusicandbodyandsuu!in human
beingsareequallyindivisibleif eitherarctolive.
CHAPTEI{ V
ESCAPE FROM REALIT'Y?
Musick, the goodthatmortalsknow,
Andall ofhcav'll wehavebelow.
JOSEI'H ADDISON'
A
removed from Ollr
aside particular periods oftime for it; and we often go to special
placeslikeconcerthallsandartgalleriestofindwhatwearclooking
for. In pre-literatecultures, theartsaremorecloselyintegratedwith
ordinarylife. 1n Westernsocieties, theartstend tooccupyaspecial
oftheirown, as ifthey mightbea luxury rather than a vital
hasmadeitpossiblefortheunenlightened
to arguealat musIC anti theotherarts arcsomekindof substitute
t()f, or escape from, 'real' life. It is a
prof(Hlndly disagree; but, since some influential psychoanalysts
haveputf()rward notionsofthis kind, itis worthexaminingtheir
ideas, if onlytorefutethem.
freud himselfwas an extraordinarily well-read individual with
a lively apprl'ciatioll ofliterature. At school, wherehe was top of
for SIX years running, he became famihar with the Latill
Greek classics. He learned Hebrew,
taught
remained
Dostocvsky not far hdlind Shakespeare, and believed The
Brothers Karaml1zol' the greatest novel ever written. freud himself
was recognized as a literary stylist, and was given the Goethe
prtze t()r literature. He was also moved by sculpture, and to a
extent by paintlllg. It true that. in the introduction to
Moses

MUSIC AND THE MINIl
Noise can be threattnillg to llormal people. If someOllC is
hypersensitive to noise, and unable to filter out what is Irrelevant
from all tilt' dint'rent noises which cOllstantly impinge upon him,
he Illay be speClaIly inclincd to deal with it by tryillg to impose
a new order on it. make sense Ollt of it, and thus turn what
was into something manageable. Maconic puts it
sllccinct! y:
Ifthere is allullderlying truth in the exclamatioll 'this nOIse is
Illt' mad', there may be all equivalent truth in its comic
'this I1lLlsic is driving me sane'. The form of words suggests .1
relationship between sensory input and pcrcepnJal
fl'SPOIISl'.
I ha ve noticed that there are considerable diHcrences between
inlhviduals in response to auditory input. Some people cannot bear
trying to conduct a conversation through background music;
others apparently do not notice it, or can cut it out of
perccptual field. Many people seem to have their television sets
switched on all day, irrespective of whether any conversation IS
going Oll in the samc room or not. A few jmllviduals becoT1w
acutely distressed if, whilst listening to a talk on the radio, someone
in the room addresses them with a comment. Such people complain
that they cannot listen to two tlungs at once, and miss the sense of
what both the broadcaster and the interrupter are saying. For a
moment, they are threatened with chaos.
Auditory discrimination depends on being able to filter out
extraneous sOllnds and identify what is significant. A mother will
often respond to the cry of her own infant when no Olle else ill
room has heard it. I remember sitting at breakfast with KOllfJd
Lorenz who suddenly rose from the tablt saying 'I hear the cry of a
a sOllnd which no one else had noticed. Sure l'llough, a
gosling was in trouble and had to be rescued.
Pillchas Noy suggests that the child who is hypersl'l1sitiw to
auditory stimuli lllay find it particularly difficult to eliminate or
more than a few of the incoming sOllnds to which hc is
and must therefore adopt a different str;ltcgy.
The oilly way out of thiS dilemma is :til <.:ffort toward Oril'lH;!ti.lll III
and lllastery ofrhc auditory DCl'CCDtllal t1c1d. The lnt;lIlt \vill h,IVC to
102

1:\(' API. HFAIXlY;
develop an ,lbiJity tll (UlltClltr.ltc his ,lttcl1tloll to directing alld
tW\'llty different. silllultallcously rccurrIng sOllnd stimuli,
All CXtlt'JIll' cxampk of sllch all accomplishment is presented in
the persoll of the prominent conductor of an orchl,'stra, wilt) has the
ofsimultallelllisly lIstening to the urchcstra as Ollt'
and to each of the instruments sl'par:ncly, discinl!llishini!: each
as ifhc concentrated 011 it alonl'."'
author admits tliat this hypotheSIS lacks experimental COIl-
firmation, but it chimes well with the idea that those who are
especially threatened by disorder are those most strongly motivated
to discover order.
We know that sufferers from schizophrenia are hypersensitive ill
that they need protection from rdatives who are intrusive,
smothering, or critical. They fed threatened by such negative
input, and arc more likely to relapse than if they find themselves
surrounded by tolerant acceptance. In Chapter Two, rderence was
made to experiments with dichotic listening, which demonstrated
that. in normal subjects, language was better perceived by the left
hemisphere, music by the nght. Researcb suggests that 111 people
suffering from mental illness, both schizophrenia and the various
forms uf affective disorder, the functions of the two hemispheres
arc not so clearly differelltiated as they an: in normal people. J:>'
Since specialization ofhemispheric function has developed partly
to flCilitate the effiCIent processing of incol1llllg auditory infonna-
tiOll, whether this be speech or music. it is not surprising that some
melltally ill people arc hypersensitive to such information and may
threatened by It. Modern theories of information processing
postulate that, in the nOrl1lJl person, incoming information is
rapidly scanned so that stimuli willch are unwanted, inappropriate.
or irrelevant ,In' excluded from conscioustless. Schizophrenics
sornetimes complaill of heing overwhelmed bv stimuli, as If
tlltering process was absent or inefficient.
A number of writers haw suggested that creative people JfC
hypersensitive in metaphorically lackillg a sufficiently thick protec-
tive skin to shield them from the impact of the external \vorld,
There is a link between lllental illness and creatiVity, ill that the
to think Cfl'atively, to make new links between
103
MUSIC AND TIlE MINI)
more oftell {(Hillel III fJlllilics winch indudl' a member who is
as mcnrally ill. I am llot sllggl'sting that all crcativl'
people ar,' mentally ill. although SOnIe of the greatest have been so,
but onl y that ullconventional thought processes of a similar kind
can be delllonstrated in both the mentally ill and the creative From
has already been noted, it appe:us likely that the mentally ill
and the creative may share a difficulty in ckaling with sensory input
t'i-om the external world, whether this takes the f()rm of speech,
lIo11-verbal sounds, or el11otional pressure. The mentally ill are
overwhelmed by the threat ofconfusion and disorder. The creative
meN the challellge by creating a new order in their works ;lI1d thus
master the threat. Robert Schumanll and I--lugo Wolf are examples
of cOlllposers who suffered from manic-depressive illncss_ Al-
though ultimately ddi:ated by the severity of their mental dis-
turbances, there is no doubt that their creativity was partly a
product of thcir instability. Rachmaninov also experienced severe
depression. This condition can be so extreme that it prevents
productioll altogether, but liability to depression and the threat of its
ITcurrenn' can act as a spur to creativity. Berlioz, whell suffering
tormcllting deprcsstoll and anxiety, told his f;lther that without
music he could not go on living_ 13 Tchaikovsky, who also endured
severe bouts ofdcpression, wrote 'Truly, there would be reason to
go mad if it Wl'rC not f()r 1IIIISie.' His biographer, John Warrack,
thinks tbat he was stating nothing but the sober truth. 24
The crcati vc process depends on both conscious and unconscious
melltal fUllctions. W c are still so influcnccd by Freud that malJY
pcople believe that anything emanating from the ullconsciolls must
cmotionaL irrational, unacceptable, and probably disreputable.
III reality, this is llot the casco Unconscious processes are just as
lllllch concerned with pattern and structure as they ,Ife with
EvelJ more apparcllt tllan rcal.
Dreams certailll y impossibilities, temporal
confusion, ami many features unacceptable to the rational
Il1md. But most are stories. The scanning process
goes on 111 matches reccllt events \-vith Dast evellts JlId lillks
wgcther mcntal COlltCllts which shan: a similar fl.'eling but which
lll;l y not be related in an yother \Va y. Thc drea m attclll pts to 11uke
10.}
ESCAPF FHDM ItEALrIY-
sense out of thlS hotchpotch by trymt!, to impose the order of a
story-Jille.
As I bave argued elsewhere, the human specics IS compelled to
theorize and strive to make sense of both life and the ulliverse.
Because human behaviour is not principally governed by the in-
'instinctive' patterns of response to stimuli which direct the
behaviour of animals lower In the evolutionary order, human
beings arc forced to become inventive. They arc compelled to try to
understand the world and themselves, and, in so domg, can reach
new and better <ldaptations. The processes by which this is achieved
arc both unconscious and conscious. We cannot avoid making
some attcmpt to find cohercnce ill the world and within ourselvcs;
but the origmal1y unconscious impulse which makes us do this is
reinforced, refined, and given rationality by conscious reasoning.
I am sure that one of the reasons why music affects us deeply is its
powcr to structure our auditory expl'rience and thus to make sense
out of it. Although I have been at pains to dispel the psychoanalytic
view that music is an escape from reality or a regression to an
mCll1tile state, there is no doubt that music provides one path of
temporary withdrawal from the hurly-burly of the external world_
This is refreshing, because it permits the same kind of scanning,
sorting, and rearrangement of mental contents which takes place ill
reverie or ill sleep_ There arc many others ways of achieving this,
from going f()!- a solitary walk in the country to practising
trallScendental meditation. When we take part in music, or listen to
an absorbing perfi)fmance, we arc temporarily protected from the
input of other external stimuli. We enter a special, sedudcd world
111 which order prevails and from which the incongruous is
This in itsdf is beneficial. It is not a regressive
manoeuvrc, hut reoder pOll I" //licH:X: slmter; a temporary retreat which
promotes a fe-ordering process within the mind, aud thus aids OHr
to the external world rather than providing an escape
from it.
If music and the other arts WCTe more closely interwovell with
activities, we might not Ileed this temporary r,'treat so
Peopit' of other cultures sometimes cannot understand why
Europeans secm so tense. WhenJung visited Nevv Mexico he talked
with all Indian chief who
10)
l\HJS[( ANI) 1'111' MIN!)
Sec ho\v crud the whitt's louk. Their lips arc thill, thl'lr !lOSt'S
their faces furrowed and distorted by Their eyes have a stanng
l'Xpn.'SSHlll; thcy arc always scckillg sOlllcrhlllg. \Vhat arc they
The ,,,hITes alw,\ys want sOIllt'thIII g; tbey arc .Ilways UllC!S)'
and rcstless, We do not kIlOV,' what they \V;lllt. We do not understand
thclll. W l' thillk that thev arc mad,'"
If there appears to be an escapist elemcnt 111 musical participation, it
is because our culture is so concerned with achievcllll'llt and the
pursuit of conventional success that it makcs ordinary Iik into a
tense and anxious business from which thl' arts arc absent. Music
em and should be a lifi..'-enhancing part ofour day-to-day existellcc.
Music plays ,\ special role m aiding the scanning ;lI1d sorting
process which goes on whcn we are asleep or simply day-dreaming.
Stravinsky rekrs to the pleasure we gain from uIlorganized natural
sOLlllds, which may be considerable, but which lacks the further
dimension provided by IllllSIC
Hut over and above this passivt' we shall dis(ovt'{' music.
Illllsic tbat will make partlcipate activdy in the workm!1; ofa lllllld
that orders, gives Iit'(:, and Cl'e.Hl'S. 0('
Psycho:malysts rdt:r to this participation as 'proJectivc idclltifica-
tion '; the process by which a persoll imagines himself to be inside
SCHIll' object external to himself Imitatioll is not only the sincerest
form of flattery, but a way of learning, By identifying ourselves
with those more gifted, we can actually improve our own
capacities, Tl'achers of music know that 'do it the way I do' is
a more effective way ofte:lchlllg than theon.'tic.li instruction,
Music not only brillgs order to muscubr movelllellt, but also
order v.:itbill the mind, This is wby John Blacking,
writing ill book' A. COllllllollsm\e I 'it'll' of All Mush' ullCkr the
hl'adlllg 'The Power of Music', able to say:
of the SCll,CS alld the l'dUCltioll of the emotions
the ,lrtS are !lot merely dcsirabk 0P(lU!ls. Th,'), ,In: essl'lHiai
both 1')1' b,li:mcni action ,md the dl<"nivl' liSt' of the intl'lkcr.'-
lOt)
1,,(1I1'! HUH"l HU\!.I1
IllstL'.!d ,)( rhrcltl'lll'd all overload of'
IlH.'.IIlS or ntllSIC tn impose our will upon this
11 the irrdevalll. to pav Jttl'llilOl! til what i<;
,1l1d thus to n,'Jte or discover SOJlle order ill tht' world.
I It, with the pk:lsure "Vl' get from thl' explanatory
h ufscil'llcl',
Ikc;lnSl' .1 scielltific thcnry makes thL' w,')rld more comprdH.'l1s-
, W,' (\:d k.ss .It thl' \\:\)r1d's mercy, alld lllore able to control
eVl'llts. ()( courSl" \\iC cannot cOlltrol l'verythillg, Howevl'r
geology, we arc still vulm:rablc
l'S. We III ,I y becollle auditoril y sophisticatl'd, but ;1Il
loud noise will still :darm liS, IluWCVLT, being able to
sense out of the world gives us confidenn'. Music is
;l llumber of diffnl'lH W:1yS. This is Oi1e winch is
)
Music cm enable br;!ln-dalll.lgcd people to accomplish tasb
could not master \VitiJollt ih aid, It elll also llIake litt.'
people wl1() arc emotionally disturbed or melltally ilL
BeC:lllSl' 1l111SIC is !lot so obviously necessary to 1110st OrllS, we tend
to ulldcrcsrilll.llC its significance in the lives of normal people Yct it
is difficult to imagine a world without it, Evell if playing music
wcre f(lrbi,ldl'l1, ;ll1d every device {ilr reproducing music destroyed,
we should still h;\\'l' tulles fUllning ill our heads. still be using music
to order OLlr actlons and lllakl.' structured sense Ollt of the world
:lrollild (I;;.
MU..,I( AN!) TlfE MIND
Wagner's plT!ionality was Ch;lri!imatic, and!io is his music. Both
arc predominalltly I )ionysiall. Apollollian serellity and cOlltrol afe
not wlut one looks t()f III Wagller. Nor arc mallY of the
with structure, form, and !iymmetry, although Wagner's
use ot tllL' leitmotif is characteristic. I du not mean to suggest that
\Vagllcr did Il'ot understand such things. I Ie was 011e of the most
lllllsicians to have ever lived, :lIld could employ any
device which appealed to him,
form. But this is not what he was aiming at.
Charisl1l;ltic individuals, such as Wagner, open the doors ot our
perceptions, transcend Ollr limitatil)l}s, and reveal mysteries un-
to liS. Evel1tllaliy, they oftell disappoint us, because their
narClSSISlll :tIld self-absorption preclude engagement with them as
human beings of the same order as olleself Composers who are as
as Mozart and Haydn are, of course, far superior to til('
ordinary person; but they retain their humanity and we can rclate to
them as human beings. Wagner IS ill a ditTerent category. His
contemporary admirers treated him as a god. The modern listener
and becomes a disciple, or else becomes disillusioned and
escapes. '11ow v./l,ll he understands the soul! He rules over liS
the arts of a demagogue!' Nietzsche's ambivalence toward Wagner
is f;lithfull y reflected in this remark from an imaginary cot1Versatiol1
in 'Daybreak'.
Wagner's music either overvvhelms or repels because his style
reflects his personality. The immense length of his later
illustrates his disregard for the listeller. He docs not wish to
communicate; only to convert, It necd not prevent one
recognizing, and being mtellsel y moved by, his lllusic; but it IS
understandable that some lis tellers resent the tceling of being takell
over rathcr thall charmed or
I think that people who arc repelled by Wagner's music
well come to appreciate its power alld be;llIty if they realized more
what vvas disturbing them. I believe that listeners to Wagner
to allow thcmselves to be temporarily overwhelmed if
arc fully to appreciate tbl' music. But many people arc
'letting to tillS extent, and consequently shy away from the
intense enwtiotlall'xpcnenn: which Wagncr ofkrs liS.
III :lDDlvimr personal consideratiolls to mUSIC, I want to
12.0
Till: "UL!TARY (a.
cmphasiZl' dut the music always COlllCS first. I call th1s chapter
Solitary Listener' because I am interested ill the 1I1crcase l!l purdy
appreciation of lllllsic \\/hi<.:h bas ukell pbCl' ill reCl'llt years,
people who are imen'sted m music listell to music more
uft('1l than was possible bct()re the advent of modern technology;
bur I am lJot arguing that listenillg to music IS, or ever could be, a
for personal relatiollships. SOllie aspects OLl composer's
personality inevitably manifest themselves in his lllusic; but the
object ofiistcllillg is to get to kllo\v thc music, not to get to know
the composer.
Great IllUSlC transcends the intii vidual who created it. My
purpose in comparing getting to know a piece ofmusll' with getting
to know a person was to point out the inadequacy of approaching
Illusic emly as if it were a matbematical construction, not to delly
that music has an impersonal dimension.
The examples of Haydn and WagnCf are deliberately chosen as
extremes. Although music inevitably reflects the personality of the
composer to some degree, Stravinsky was surely right when
referred to a composition as being beyond the composer's feelings.
Listening to music docs bring us into indirect contact with the
composer, but this meeting of minds IS not closely comparable with
cllcountering another human being or listening to a person
speaking. Elements of both arc present; but they do not account for
the most important dlccts of music upon the Iistencr,
As suggested in the last chapter, urban civilization cuts us
from our own inner lives. We have to be watchful, or we shall get
nm over. We are assailed by many varieties o1'11oi5e, most of which
are unpleasant, We cannot escape from other people, from
tdephonc, from having demands made upon liS. We easily lose
tollch with the wellsprings of creative phantasy willch make lift.,
the ordinary man and woman must have been
very different when it was predofHmantly rural and agncultural:
w hell bird-song, rather than the noise machinery, filled the ears;
when the farmer could observe the changillg seasons and enjoy tht:
of the clouds; and when, however exhausting the
solitude allowed the exercise illl;willati\.)!J .
"
Many sophisticated n:quirc illtdkctual concentration
.md detachment which would be contamillated if aesthetic COI1-
121
MUSrc AND Till: MlND
sidcLltions intruded. Conceptual thought requires the separation of
thinking from feeling, of object from subject, of mind from
have already observed the between song and
ofratiol1al thinking
as dlstlllct from emotionall'xprcssion. I-Iuma!l beings require this
di vision if they are to fUllction efficiently as objective thlllkefS; but
also Ileed to bridge the Cartesian gulfbcrwt'el1 mind and body
Jre to live life as creatures enjoying a full complement
human feelings. A great deal of what is generally considered to
'rcal life' woefully one-sided. But listening to or participating III
lllllsic can restore a person to himself, as the epigraph to tbis
suggests. People need to recapture what has been excluded during
working hours: their
Music began as a way of enhancing and co-ordinatillg group
Toda y, it is often a means of recovering personal feelings
which we have become alienated. William Styron's acconnt,
quoted l'adier, of how music sudden] y rea wakened his appreciation
of hIS home and family, applies !lot only to sufferers from
illness, but to each and every individual who, fc)r whatever reason,
IS cut off from the life of the body and from the catJacitv to fe:cI
which ultimately makes life colourful, interesting,
can certainly alter a person's mood, as
recurrent depression have realized. We have noted some
ways in which music has been used therapeutically lt1 the treatment
the physically disabled, the mentally handicapped,
mentall y ill. Its therapeutic effects 011 the ordinary listener require
further research, but there IS no doubt that these effects occur
whether or not the listener is alone. Listening to music by oneself
restores, refn:shes, and heals.
we gct to know a particular piece of music after repeated
it is lI1corporated as a schema. TIl(' music becomes
11) tIll' long-term memory as a whole - both form and content. It is
therefore subject to voluutary recall. If I wallt to recapture the
opening of Beethoven's fIrst Razumovsky Quartet or the third
movcment of Brahms's Fourth Symphony, I can do so without
although I might not bl.' to remember the whole of
cither mOVeTlll'llt accurately. This is eVidence that music can
part ofollr mental fllrnirure. Because of tins, I behevl'
2.2
THF SOUTAHY LlSl LNEH
has a lJusitive fi.1I1ction In orgallizillg ollr IllU5t:ubr
obviousl y, ollr thoughts and the words ill
mUSI,' not
are
g 01 Music ill forms and structures day-tn-day actions
to a much greater extent than most people
This statement is contirmed experImentally by all lIlteresnng
into capacities of ordinary people to create tunes.
confirmed the authors' hypothesis that 'any person.
musician or not is capable of composing music sllch as a
sOllg verse, uSlllg the musical a!ld structures provided
daily Illusical environment (radio, TV, singing, etc.),.
rurthcrmore, the authors found that they had attained a lH.:W ;llld
different understJllding ofthe part played by music in the daily lives
of the people they studied, who varied from peasants to university
III a part of our experilllellt lIot included in this study we dealt ill
greater tid;}l! with inner musical activit y; we foulld that most
prodUl'C music by thcmselves for one or two hours a da y,
v,trying what thcy know or by combinillg the kllowll tunes
to their tastes. In addition, if we abo take into account
ntllsic we just hear each day as background, it becomes t'vidcnt
music is practically a pcrrnallcilt part of lltost people's everyday
melltal activity.
findings confirm the suggestion that music plays a more
ill adaptation to lite than is generally
eM] y exposure to all kinds
part III every child's education. Indeed. ;1 study
aged between two and six who had played in Akx,mder
Orchestra claimed that all the children who h;ld
opportunity were well
of their
school. 2;
It' we do !lot provide adequate opportunities f()r our
and participate in IJ1llsic, \ve are deprIvillg them of
priceless. It is important that such provision shuuld be
,IS !)os,.,ibk. I am ellllrciv in f:lvour of recent methods of tClchi!l!!
"
J 2._1
MUSIC ANI) TIlL MINI)
children toplay strillged instrtllllL'lltS from .Ill earlyage. Nutall
them will tum into violinists, viola pbycrs. 'cellists, or
double-bass pLtyers; hilt who do will the ddi!!ht of
playingchambermusic, thall whICh
LetIl1y owncaseScrVl'as an
my life sincL' early childhood. Altholl I not giftcd as a
performcr,pia yingthepianoand the viobhasbeen veryrewarding
to Illl\ if !lot to I was lucky111 beingsenttoaschool where
musicwastakensl'riollsly. Sill(l'myvoicedeclinedtactfully
than'breaking', Ihadthepleasureofsingingtrcbk, alto, tenor, and
basssucceSSlvelv, bothintheChapelchOlrandin tilt' choralsocicty,
choral works a year. I
great, myL'xistencewasmadetolerable, Playingill all and
in a choir arc exhilarating eXIKrH.'IlCCS; playing III a
quarteris betterstill.
find it has a good
but this is notgenerallyappreciated
My guess is that future
lucky enough to
recciVl' an adeqU;ltt' mlIsleal cdlIeation ill earl y lite are bet ter
integrated in everv \vay when they reach maturity; and
likely to be both happieralld moredli:crive. Iagree
Plato's statement that IlHISlC is ';[ heaven-sent ally in
orderandharmonyallY disharmollYintherevolutions
which I voluntarySll11l1ll011 is not till' onlymusic which I
intcrtLdly, withoutexternalstimulus. \Xlhenevermyattention
IS not tully engaged, music runs ill Illy head'
it is music which r have heard recently,
not. It call heannoying, Idonotunderstand whysotllemllSIC IS so
persistelltthatit is hardtoridollcselfofir. For11 Ie, onesuchpieceIS
a thellle from Berlioz's overture Le.' FrdII (.i-;II (ll'S, the saJlle theme
music to Jc)hn Frecmall'sseriesof
lllterVll'WS OIl Fac(' f[l Fa(l'. EVl'!! writilH!
I
about it is
l'llough tol'llSUrethatit ;Ill hOllrortwo.
rcason lor is unable to Idclltify the
IlHISIC. !Ol1ce spelH a n)JJsl(krabk
ofILl
12.f
liE LlSITNII(
which \V;lS prcocnlpyil1f!; me \vas the S!<.l\V lHtWl'll1Cl1t ofolle of
tlll'lll. It turtll,doutto from his SSthSymphollY, whichr Iud!lot
til[alongtiml'.
music running ill thl' head 1l1lSlllll-
What
IS subjectivl'spL'cub-
lllollcdand perhaps
aIncngaged
tion,butIt is uIllikely
III occupation not rcqll1ring intense concelltration,
the musIC
\vhich comes unbiddell to my mind usuallv has
and
effects ofa Dositivc kind. It
my movemcnts morerhythmic3.l, and reduces
trudge can be transt()rl1led mto cnjoyable
'Noll pill andraI' frolll Thl' Marria,\!t' (1/1 :(l!(II'O. M llsic dra\vn from
memory has many ofthe samecffeers as real musiccoming from
external
ButI donotinstitutetheprocessofreeall. I donotdetermine'
at
shall
that particular moment I lll:cd music, orchoosc
COllle tothesurface. It justhappcns. It is as if a
determinedtoellsnrethatIshouldnotbeboredandthatmy
rnOVCIlH'!}ts should be efficient!y and pblsurably co-ordinated.
thatmusicin thehead is biologicallyadapative.
Musicrunningill thehead mayabohaveotherfunctions, I have
noticed andagain I wouldlike continnationfromothersources
thatwhenIampuzzledbythe(Jetthatolleparticularpieccofl11t1sic
than another has spolltaneously come to Illmd, prolonged
cOllsideration oftl'lJ, though not invariably, rl'vl'a!s the
connection 'vvith other prcoccupations..lung once said that if olle
long ellough about a dream. something
comesof it. Thesameappliesto1l1l1S1C which
tht'hlue. Theassociatioll'> maybetrivial. Ifl
Brahms's It may be
,Ontheotherhand,
yillga tune
Ille to chscnver that I am more
which I have been
thesupposition
is evidence thatIllll'>ic. for manyof
our inner I1H'ntaJ life, and
12)
MUSI( I\NI> THE MIN))
WC'Llll let It h,lve its way, nr Wl' ell) direct It to onr \",,'Ill; We' em
I<H(,<' it into Ill'W paths, Dr we em rehearse I:Illliliar works; we
CUi listen to It, or we (':til rclcg,ltc it to our sllbumscious: bur we c;m
llCVLT hl't rid 01 ie For Olle so endowed or so burdened -- to live
IS to hye 11H1SIC. c,
If music becollles a permanent part of our mental it
Illust exert all inf!ucIlCl: 011 our lives. Educationalists
expect that exposure to gn':.1t literature willmflucllce their
Spanning the celHurics, we may say that rcading MOIlLlIgnl',
Samuel Johnson, and Tolstoy enriches our understanding
. and therefc)ft,: enlarges our capacity to enjoy lift: and
cnhances our adaptation to it. Shakespearc, Keats, and the
great POl'IS reveal the inner nature of the world and sharpen our
sl'llsibilities because their perceptions and their gift for metaphor
make it possible f()[ us to transcend our own limited vision by
sharing theirs. Wc take it f(H granted that encounters with
minds of tbe past through literature arc a vit:l1 part of education
which lllay clUblc people to live lives which arc less trivial, less
circumscribed, and more imbued with meaning.
But Western society is so predominantly verbal that we f:lil to
that music has similar effects. Participating ill l1HlS1C,
whether as performer or listener, brings liS into contact
greatness, and leaves traces of that greatness as permancnt impres-
sions. I share Plato's convIction that musical training is a potellt
instrulllent 'because rhythm and harmony find their way into the
inward pbcl's of the soul', I am subjectively certain that my
illvolvell1ent with Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Sibelius,
Brahms, Bart6k, Stravinsky, Wagner. and many other
COI11POSLTS has not only brought lIle pleasure bur
appreciation of hit:, and I am not alone in feelillg
structure of autobIOgraphies is usually determined
of places, occupations, and events which made.' up thl'
, \vith accounts of the people who h.lVt'
illtlul'lHTd him or her, whether 111 person or through thelf \vritings,
()1)ly in blOgraphics of musicians does one usually rcad or
mllSIC ILlS illflucllced thclll - the first CIlCOUlltcr with Bach, with
MOZ;lrt, wJth Schocnberg. Yet such early experiellces em be nucial
2(l
TIll' SOUTAHY I !STENFR
1ll the emotional development of many people who do not become
protl'ssiollJI lllllsicians: they are often milestones on the journey
tovvard maturity which can be as important ;lS the personal
mflucl1cc of teachers.
127
ell A fiTE R V II
THE INNERM()ST NATURE
OF THE WORLD
Elf from IWlllg ,\ II I lTl' aid to poetry, music is
an llldl'}ll'lIdnlt an; III fin, it is till' most
or ,til thl' .!rIo, ,Illd then'filfc a({ains its
cnds l'Iltirdy frolll its own resources.
AHTllUl\ SCIIOI'FNJI:\UEU'
Schopellhaul'r is lll1tlsual atllongst philosophers not only 111 paymg
;\ great deal of attention to the arts in general, but also ill according
music a special place amongst the arts. This is why it is important to
consider his views on music in some detail. It is worth recalling that
two great composers [(..'corded their mdebtl'dlless to Schopellhaller.
Wagller first ellcolllltered The vVorld'is Will alld J(cPYI'scllfaliotJ at
age of forty-one, and hom thell Oil read alld re-read Schopellhauer
continually. The indexes to thl' two llUSS1Vl' volumes of Cosima
Wagncr's diaries give HJ7 n,ferl'llces to SChopCllhauLT. Mahler,
according to his wife, thought that SChopCllhaulT's account of
music was the most proflHllld ever likely to be writtell. He gave a
compkte edition of SdWpl'llhallt.'r's works to Bruno Walter as a
Christm.ls present.
In order to understand what Schopl'nhalll'r had to say
lllllsic, a partial. and JH'cessarily inadequate outlilll' O(SOIllL' of
Following Kant, Sci1opcnhatlL'r
thought that human beings arc pre-programmed in that they arc
bound to perceivl' in the external world as l'xlsting ill spacL'
:ll1d til1le, alld ,IS being governed by call sal relations. We arc
compelled to experience the world in this way: we ClI1110t ;lvoid
so. But, sinn' these \vays of experiellcing thL' world art'
rooted III the c()nstruction of the human llLTCl'DtlIai ,lpp.lr.ltllS .1l1d
2S
TilE INNEHMUST NATURE nf' Till. WOP.II)
the humall bram, till' W3Y we Objl'Cts and the relations betwecll
them may not correspond to thl' way those obJeers actually arc.
We all know that thc:re arc sounds which our C;lrs cannot hC3f,
and colours which our eyes C3nnot sec, but which can be perceived
by other SPl'CIl'S or by spL'cial instruments. I )ogs can rL'spolld to
tOlll'S of very high freqw:ncy which the human ear cannot
infra-red caml."ras can 'Sl'I:." objects which the human cyl' cannot.
Thc limitations of our perceptual restrict our appercep-
tion of the world; the limitations of our cerebral apparatus restrict
the ways ill which we can think about it. The world may not only
stranger than we think it is, but stranger than we can possibly
1\l1agll1t.'.
But Schopl'nhauCf goes further than this. EV\'!1 if our ingenuity
l'nlarges our perceptual grasp, by inventing special techniqul's
which enable us to incorporate the sounds we cannot hear and the
sights we cannot sec into our incomplete picture ofexternal reality,
we can never transcend the limitations imposed by our concepts of
space, time, and causality. Schopcnhaul'r therefore concluded
we could never perceive objects as Doumena or 'things-in-them
sel , as Kant called thell1. All we can do is register the ways J1l
which they appear to us; that is, tlwir 'represt'ntations' as phenom-
ena in the external world.
But, if this is true, it must follow, as a correlative concept,
'things-in-themselves' exist, and that they have their bung in an
underlying reality to which our categories of space, time and
causality do not apply. For it makes IlO Sl'l1se to say that our
perceptions arc subjf.:ctivc- or partialunlcss there is a reality which is
objective and complete, evell if WI.' have no access tf.) it.
11owevcr, the limier! yll1g reality postulated must be one ill
objects are Hot diftcl"I.'l1tiated: in othl'l' words, a unitv. For
,lbolishing the categones of space, time and causality
makes it impossible to distinguish one object from another. Hence
vision is that ultimate reality is a unity tbt' I11I1/S
ml.'diaeval philosophy, wlm:) is both
Cltegories of space, tim\.' and causality and
(:artesian eli vision 111(0 physical and mental.
Both Kant and SchopcniJaut'r thought that this underlying reality
was inaccessible. Ilow('vn-, ae-cordill!.!: to Schopenhaul'f, onL'
12()
MUSt(' ANI) lilF MiND
ofexpcril.'llcl'bringsliS closertotheullderlyingnOlllllellonthallany
other. Hesuggcstnl that we have a direct knowledge from
ourownbodies WlllCh is unliketheperceptionwehaveofanythillg
else, (,)f course,ourbodies, likeotherobjectsillthe
areperceivedbyothers, andem bepartly byourselvesin
thesame way as weperceiv('otherobjects, all thelimitations
thisimplies. A lIlanellllookathisO\VI1 handexactlyas
looks at anyone else's right hand, But, in addition, Schopen-
claims that we have this private,
our own physical being and its movements. The
Britishphilosopher, David Pears, vvrites,
knowil'dge
AtthebasisofSchopl'llhallCf'ssystem thneis a t1lt'sis ill speculative
we do have;J resource \\'l1ich allows us to discern elK'
nature ofthe reality behind thl: phl'llOJllellal world; we have Ollr
t'xpcril:llcl' ofUtir O\Vll ;If';l'IlCY According to Schopcnhaucr, when
weact, ourkllowkdgeofourownagencyisllcitherscientiticnorthl'
resultofanyother kindofdiscursiveoperationofthl: intdlect, It is
mtUltivc illside knowledge ofour own strivings, and he
bdie\'cd that it gives us our only dinwst' ofthe true nature of
In Schopl'nhauer'sscheIBeof things, thisinnerknowledgeIS the
Ilearest\ve gettoperceptionofthcWill, thedrivingforceorenergy
underlyingeverythingof whichindividualsarcbutmanifestations.
for, inhisVICW, bodilymovementsan:thephc'nomenalexpression
of that Irrational, inexplicable, underlying striving toward
existellcewhichhecalledtheWill, butwhichhemightequallywell
havc called Energy or force. Nictzsche's Will to Power is a
ofSchopl'nhallcr's notion, It is importantto realizc
SdlOpcnhauer's Will (and Nlc[zscl!e's) include the impersonal as
to cosmic energy,
t()!,(T tkit Illoves the planets or forms the star:-, ,IS well as to the
enngy wlllch activates human beings.
referred to Will as 'endless striving', alld also as
propcr',4 Schopl'llh;lUl'I regarded thc Will with deep
whilst Nictzschetook,Illcurral vic\v oftheWill to Povver,
SdlOpenh:lUel' hi
Inaninterestillgpassagl" SchopcllhaucrSLltl'S IfWL'
pathof obJectivekllowkdgL"
130
TilE iNNFHMUST NAIlJlU ,)I' THt: WOI<.lIJ
wesh.dlnevergetbeyondthe
We,hall therefore relll;lilJ at(he outsldeof
,lbkto pelH:trate lIltu thL'lr IIl1ler naturc, alld
arcin thel11sl'ivl:s, l!l l)therwords, wh;1t theyIllay bebythclllsl'iVCS,
Sot:lI'! agrel'with Kant. Butnow,asthecounterpoisetn
havc that other truth that we .1ft' !lot mcrely till'
bur that we illl),scil'CS arc,11so amongthosc realitiesOfentities
we rl.'quire to kIlOW, that IIII' (lUrie/Frs III'I' tiIl' thill,Q-il1-iI5e!l. Conse-
J wayFolli wi/hill stands0PCIl totiS tothatrcal innernature
llfthingstowhichwecannotpCllt'tfatc,trolllll'itlu1rlL Itis, sotospGlk,
,1 slIbtt'rranean pas,age, a secret alliance, which, as if by treachery,
all atoncein the fortress that conld notbe takL'l1 bv atrack
ti'OI11 Vv'irhout.'
It is filr to say that Schopl'nhauef qualifies this statelllent by
;lftirmmg that even this inner knowledge and JPproach to 'the
thing-Ill-itself' is lIecessarily incomplete. Schopenhaul'r is not
saying that the spl'cial knowledge which comes to us from
;nvarl'nessofourbodiesfrol11 insideis directknowledgeof theWill
itself; forall knowledgemustitself existill thephenomenalworld,
Thevery conceptofknowlcdgcrequiresadichotomybetweenthe
thingwhichisknownandtheknower;andstichdichotomies,as we
seen, cannot eXist in the underlying unity, in which all
oppositl'Shavedisappeared.
Butheisdaimmgthatthisspecial, insideknowledgeof theinner
strivings which manifest themselves in our physical movements,
together with our vaguer intuitions of the unconscious drives
whichmotivateliS, giveuspoilltersorhintsabolltthenaturl'of t11l'
ying reality to \vhich we have no direct access, This is
pointat \vhichthepl1t'1l oIII ell onisclosesttothenOUIlll'1101l,
III his exposition Schopcnh,H1er's doctrine, Patrick C
writes:
Wh,lf Iam;lwarcorinself-consciousnessIS not, itis true,
'l'paLltC !i'Ulll \\'h.1[ I am orwhCIl I look Jt IIIYbody and
observeIts ll1()\'l'IllL'llb. ifbythisit i,impliedtll;!t (havl'todowith
tWO diftlTcllt ,'!luriesorWith twodinl'fl'lltscb The
PPlIlt is, howl'vcr, th,l( whell I;1l11 cOllsciolls tlf IIIyselfas will I,1111
Dut t'llIlSCIUUS oflllV!>l'lf,IS ,1/1 "Mea: I am ulllv t'llllsciUllS 01
131
MUSIC ANI) Till' MINI)
underthe Litter.ISpcd whell I
.It the time,IS a
, for III Y 1.\ the
()fIllY wIlL
Forexample,ISC(', butIllyeyecanllot itself. unlessIJill
ill a lIlirror. This is Will ill actiOIl. SChopCllhaul'r dut 'the
action orthe body is llothing but the act of will objectified, ..
Every trut', gClluine. immediate act ofthe will is also at OIHT and
directlya manifest.letof thebOIl"
\X/e are Ilot llSll;Jl\v (()f/S(/(l/tS
as
movements
stances whcll we pLm somcaction
\vearelearuingtondea tJlcycleor
ordinary way, we just move III accordance with some pnor
intentionwhichmayormaynotbeconsciouslyperceived,andthen
evaluatethemovewehaveexecutedaccordingtoits results. Ifthis
was !lot the case, we might find ourselves ill rather the same
o:mipedewhofi.llllld himsclfimmobilizcdbecause
as
body's operation, we arc regarding it in me same way mat we
regard other ohje'Cts. However, it is certainly true that my own
bodyoccupiesaspl'cialnichcIII lI1y experienceurtheworld,evenif
I amolllyintermittentlyawareofitsoperatiolls.
Schopenhaucrthoughtthat men'sactions Wereell-lessgoverned
premeditationandddihcrJtenlanninrr thanthey bclievl'd. Vcry
thatwt: arctrequentlyUlldware ofollrtrue mutives.
becomecOllscioll,S of whatweWefe a1l11l11g at (orwhattheWill was
:limingat) after we h;lVC actedalld Ilotl'd the of ouractiOlls,
.lung, who read SchopcnhauCf ill adolesn'llct'and whoadmitted
bl'illg decply IlIflucnccd by him, his ;lutobiography by
of
III
all
13.!
lIlE INNFHM\)ST NATUHI: OF THE Wonl J)
world ofphenomena, but whICh i" ,llltl'cedent to all phenomena.
Oil a rose trt:e I1ldy beslightlydifferent; buteach is an
nukesrosetrel'Sgrow,flourish,
term,
.lung's term,
think ofany
was only om' timclalllental Stnvlllg: me stflvmg after on(' sown
being.
In his vislOnary ScptCI/1 SeYII10llfS ad lV/orr/lOS, written in [<)16,
tbrough a period ofpersonal turmoil, .lung
reality as the plcrmtl<l, a term
It has no qualltJes. 111 tilepll't'Oma, Were arc no
like good ;md ('vii, time and space, or
theseoppositesarccreatedbyhumanthought.
lung also believed that wehave partial, occasional access to this
underlying reality outside space and time; but his subterranean
passage \vas not by way ofbodily action but through 'synchro-
: that is, meaningful coincidence 111 time which is outside
of snare and
same time as all
commellts:
Wl' must assume that there was a lowering of the threshold of
consciousness \\/hich gavehim access to 'absoluteknowledge.'Thl'
tire in Stockholm, was, in a sense, burning in him too. For the
unconsciollspsychespaceandtimcsccmto berddtive;thatis tosay,
kllowkdl!:e finds itselfin a space-timecontinuulll Il1 which space is
spacc, nortim(,lime.
Thosewhoare inclinedtodismisssuchIdeasasIlonsense IlUY
that David Peat's book SYlldmJllicity persuad.es thcm otherwise.
PC,1( understands modern physics, and is prepared to ddt'lld the
idea that there IS all underlying order ill the 11I1lVCrSe ill which
alldthedivisionbetweenmindalldmatterdollotapply.'"
different in
lleither it It
J33
MUSIC AND TilE MIND
docs not put forward theoriesorinform lIS about the worll1; !lor,
except III fare Il1stances like Ddius's 01/ IIc,lfill,\! the r:irsf CIIC/.:;l(J
III Sorill1
1
or Haydn's The Crl'lltioll, it represent the soullds
Schopcnhaucr explicitly rl:iecrs imitative music as
mauthentic, including Haydn's Tit" Smsolls, Fhl' Cfnlfi'Hi,
ba,ttk pieccs, because such music is no longer fulfilling its
truefunction ofexpressing theinnerlIatureofthe Will itsdf,!
Schopenhauer considered that the other arts Wl'rl' not merely
Imitations ofexternal reality; or, that if particular works ofart
wefe so, they \vcre also being false to thcif high calling. In his
VIew, the function ofthe arts is not todcpict particular instances
of reality, but to represent the ulliversals which lie behind tbe
particular. For example, a painting portrays a particular woman
and child as a representation ofthe Madonna and Christ; but, in
to qualify as high art, the must convey sotnething
essence ofInatcrnal love itself. Innumerable paintings of
Madonna and Child exist, but only the greatest artists create
an image which transcends the personal, and which seems to
portray the 'divine' element in maternal tenderness. What a great
painting IS concerned with is an archetype: an Idea which can
only be m:mitcsted in a particular, but which itself transcends
particulars.
'rhe word Idea in the last sentence IS given a
because Schopenhauer took over Plato's theory that Ideas, as
ideal examples of, say, Justice, Goodness, Love, and
existed as definable entities in some realm ofgeneralitIes winch
could only be entered when men detached themselves from nlI1-
sidningparticulars1Il the mundanehcrc-and-now.
And thefc is an absolute all absolute good, and of
other things ro \vhich the tCfm thne IS all abso-
lute; for the)' may be brought under a which is c:tlbl
theessenceof 12
thought tlut to understand what it is to nt' a good man,
onemust havean appreciation ofGoodncss as an absolute. In like
if Olle wished to know whether a particular actiol! or
decision was just, one mnst have knowledge ofJustice as ;III
134
Till INNEHM(}ST NATUIU or T!lF WO!UIl
said of
Ideas, 'These are
I
thert' arc present III every psycht' t(JrlllS \VillCh ,lfe ullconsciolls but
nonetheless aettVt' - IiviIlg dispositions, ilk:!;; in the Platllnics('nse,
thatpretormand""",;""...Ik;"H""I)(-" nllrthOlwhtsandf("din>!s and
actioIlS,14
tbat was
.lungcameto
on.111 ,IS yet unknownsubstratepossessingmaterialandat
the same tillle psychic qualities. In view ofthe trend ofmodern
theoretical physics, this:155111110tion should fewer resistances
than befofe,"
Although, at first glance, one might equate an Idea with a
concept, Schopenhauer repudiated thIS. In his view, concepts, the
tools of thought and of human communication, are cerebral
constructs, whereas the eternal Ideas arc antecedt'nt to hurnan
thinking, The Idea manifests itselfin variolls forms. Theconcept
may bnng togl,thc::r a variety ofsllch manifestations under one
heading; but it is not anteccdellt to thought but a product
thought.
The It/Cd is thl' unity that ius into plurality virtue ofthe
formofourintuitiveapprehension,The
onthe other
i; tile unityOllCt' moreproducedoutof
of n:aS{)ll; th('lattercan
bymeansofabsrractJull tl1rotl!!;ll our
bedescribedas /Ill ita" /)(1,,1 fCIII, and the f()rIlH'r as lI/lila, (lllll' rt'IIL II,
Concepts, 111 :-'cllOpel11Ullel" s VICW, arc cssellually ab:-.tract
cerebratIons, whicharesomewhat lifdl'ss. Artists who plall every
detail ofa work before embarking 011 it arc using conceptual
thoughtonly; and hcnce producedull. boringworks becausc tlwy
luveClIt thclllselvesofffro 111 thedeepersourcesofJllspiratiol1- the
1:1 :;
MUSIC AN!) TilE MINIl
Ideas. SdWPl'lliulIl'r thought that it was thl' functioll of .lrt to
Idcas. An, hL' wrote:
rcp{'ats the ctlTILd Idc:1S
the l'ssclltial :lnd of the world.
According to the material in vl/hieh it repeats, it is sculpture,
pa jnting, poetry, Of IlIllsic. Its Oil Iy source IS kllowledge of the Idl"lS;
Its sole aim is COlllllllllllC,ltioll of this 1,,,,, .. ,1.,,1.. .. '7
To appreciate art, thL' observer mllst adopt a special attitudL' of
mind; the same attitude required by Plato, of detachment from
pl'rsonal concerns, so that the work of art can be appreciated in
cOlltemplative t:lshion uncontaminated by personal lleeds or
PI'l'OCCli pations.
ror example, a mall cUllook at J bt'alltiful panning ofa nude like
the /(o/;;chy VCIItI.i ill two ways. He can see her as an object of desire,
perhaps experience some degree ofsexual arousaL Or he can see
as an ;uchetype of Woman, the essence of the fi:minine. The
laun way of looking, in which personal mterests and aims are
temporarily discarded, is, according to Schopenhauer, the ollly
way to appreciate art, and the only way, thl'rdc)re, of obtaining a
glimpse of the inner nature ofthe world, Schopenhauer calls this the
'aesthetic way ofknowillg'. It is an exercise in emparl/y, Worringer
expresses it thus: 'We :lrt' delivered from our individual being as
long as we arc mto an external object, an extern;ll
wah Olli' inner urge to l'xpericllCc,' I x
When we employ the ;H.'sthetic way of knowing, we an:
tl.'mporanly rClllovcd frolll the tyranny of hopcs and fears. of
desire. of personal striving. Ami we arc also the
scielltific way of knowlIlg, wlIlch enquIres into the nature of tht'
as existillg in the external world, and il1to its relations with
Dther objects. '1 'hus. in the case ofthc i<okcily I '('litIS, we might want
III know whelJ VcLizqul'z pailw:d the picture; ho\v he obtall1cd
effeds; v:ho was his Illodd: who commissiollcd it, and so OIl. ThIS
is a perfectly legitimate way of approaching the p:1111ting; but
l'l1IploYlllg it must necessarily prevent Ollr appreciatioll of its inller
;ll1d slgnitlclIlcc during the time we an: PU!'SllJllg ollr
As noted earlier, the contrast betweell aesthetic and
13f1
III F INN NATUH E t n; Till'. W{ )HL[)
SCiL'lltific kno\vll1g, bcrWCl'l1 empathy :md abstraction, is a partiCll-
apt dichotomy when we consider thl' :lppreoatinl1 of lllusic,
Olle which has gIVen rise to controversy. It is a pity that
Schopcnhaucr referred to \vh:lt we now call clllpathy as the
way of knowing, I(J[ abstraction is equally 'aesthetic';
pnhaps more so, since it is mOTe cOl1cemed with appreciation of
proportion and structure.
Art was important to the peSSImistic Schopenhaucr because rhl.'
,lesthctic mode of knowing, the pure contemplation of beauty, the
tranquil appreClation of the Ideas, enabled the individual to escape,
for the time belllg, from the never-ending misery of unsatisfled
deSlfl' illto a Nirvana of spiritual peacl'.
There always lit's so Ilcar to liS a realm in which we have escaped
entirely from all our affliction; but who has the strl'ngth to remain in
it for l<mg' As soon as any rdation to our will. to our persoll, even of
t hose objects of pure contcill platiOIl, agaill enters cOllsciousness, the
magic is at all emL We fall back into kllowledge governed by the
prilHjpk of sufticiellt reason; we now no know the Idea but
the illdivldual thing, the link of a chain to whirh we also lX'long, and
to all our woe. Ii)
we arc agam
Whatever we may think of Schopenhauer's philosophical
explanation, we Gill apprcClate as accuratc and illuminating this
description of aesthetic expericnce temporarily 'taking ourselves
out of ourselves' before we return to the everyday world of getting
spending. But SdHJpenhauer's portrayal of the ,u:sthetic mode
of kllOWil1g does not include arousal. Reading account leaves
Olll' with the impression that being taken out ofol1l'self, forgetting
as an individual, as he puts it, invariably leads to a
state from which all is absent. In bet, he
describes the aesthetic attitude as an objective frame of mind, as if
stepping into another world, 'where everything that moves our
will, and thus violently agitates us, 110 longer exists',
But music call cause intense l'Xcitl'mel1t. For l'xampk, bearing
Finak of Beethoven's Razumovsky Quarter in C: major,
()p. W, NO.3, is an exhilarating expericllce which is as far
removed from the PC,1(T ofNirv:ma as olle can
137
MUSIL ANn Ill!' MINI)
is listenlll!;!: to ILtydn's '()xli.Hd' , or to Moz.Ht's
overture to F/'e T Vv'O, the rclation
was discllssed, Physiological .l
!lot al\vays m;tIlltl'st itself 111 exhilaration,
that most obviously incompatible with the
We .Irl' abo dl'q)l y moved, and thcrcf()rc PIlYSlOlog lCllI y
by rra!;!:cdy, Arousal also enters into our appreciation of
;lrts, although less obviollsly, I ,1111 sure
had a wide knowlcdgl' and appnxiation of the arts, was oftcll
moved by them; but he (lid not make it ckar that belllg
dccply moved was compatible \vith the aesthetic way ofklH)\ving,
Schopcnhaucr's :lesrht,tic mode of knowing is a Illental set ill
which Dersonai desires and strivings arc abolished because the
1Il the contemplation of beauty. FrL'ud's
the satis[lctioll of personal desires through
regression to a condition resemblillg
III L'J1 , the ideal is a tenslOnless state rather
one ot arousal or excitement. Emotions are not pleasures to
sought, but intruders to be banished,
A prottHllld pessimism underlies these' The wish to abolish
willing and striving, to avoid arousal, to purgt.: of deslrl" is
lite-denying rathL'r than IIfe-cnhancing, Most beings
that arousal, in on(' form or another, IS W makes life worth
livillg, We crave cxcitement, ill
The Nirvana sought by Schopellhaucr
in Swinburne's 'The C Proserpine', where 'even
'scariest n vcr winds sa ie to sea'. It is not surpnsinA that
poswLltcd a toward return to
If we ,lrl' to uk\.' it .IS ,I truth tll,lt kno\vs no
, dies fur ;mer/lIl! rl';!StlIlS -- hecome'S
we sh;\11 he compelled to sav that
back w;lrds, th,n '1II<lIIIIIl,He lil'llI,I; (ll/O', ..
Freud
papers, I Ltd he lived to ,Ippreciatl' rrl'lld's
sure tb,lt he would Il.!vl' l'mbr,lCl'd it with thl'
13 X
l"'vl(),,1 Nt\ IlilU (lIIIII W()IU I)
',I!lle' l'll! hUc,L!\lll widl \\illCh Ill:
or
\\,IS 'tilt' bliSS of
\l',,'ll,q, Tris/'1II III/d
dCI 11 Illl "t LIlL'
'lilly lind its
t'ul til llll'lll
tIlL' Ch;lr.lcttTS 01
\Votall and
IL'llUIlCl.l1 illl) of till' will,
*
) to believe that jove tinds its fi.dtllllll'lIt m more
l'hil.lrl'll ,rr;lIldchildrell, ,mel Iatcr dt'sCl'lldams, But
of the im of
that their oWll of
matter:"
,It UIl,'C till' ultimate
ll( hulll.l illS Il I. I k hl'iIc\'l's ollly ill hilllsdf: IllS own
lli H \'\.'1'",' I'h,l t ',Ii.
c,\.t1tl<'li<l!1, r\ Y....lrllttlg so hern' em be appeased
,0 the t"llllihll('IIIU(loVl' is dl';lth, 2,'
lInws
hi.., !ill"
the
Ji
,IS It
dr;\llu ;lrL'
nr
11LlIliI(:::'b ';l!lll th,' p,lrticllLtr
\'0
dr;lllLltlst
!hl' W
;IS ;tll
lll.llnl"l,.,tlll the
ill t l.T) ih'dill'\,
i,k,\,,; ;11',' [he
tiJe' \IdL It)
( !'LI['
J II E t,' ill,' f.
il'll
*j ,jl!l :tldt,hl.",\l [u \1\ \' \\ ,Uf,j, L I-PI" (hi, Ilh ,\,.'l \',ith)n
,)
MUSIC ;\Nll TilL MIN!)
of art art' SlICit) is the :Illll of all the other
arts (and is possibk \vith ;1
I knee all (,fthem till' will only
of thL' Ideas 0 \
III view, music is differellt from all the Otl1lT :nts
it speaks to us direct: it bVll;lSSCS the Ideas.
ThL'ret<:m.' lllusic' is by IlO means like the other arts, lLll11c1y ,I copy of
tlw Ideas, bur a UlJ1Y tll rhe !l'iII ir,t>{f: the objectivity of which arc the
Ide,ls. For thiS rcaSUll, the effen of musIc is so very much more
and pCllctr,lting thall is that of the other arts, t(lf these
others ollly of thl' shado\v, but mosic of the eSSl'IltT."!
Because music Heither represents the phenomenal world, nor
it, it bypasscs both the pictorial and
at a picture, the tan of the picture's existence
as a tallp:wle oi)Ject 111 the external world acts as an intermediary
bl't\vectl oursdvl's aBd the underlying Idea which the artist is
('xprl'ssinp:. When we read a poem, the vvords 111 which the poem is
written act similarly, Since the pallltcr must, by definition, exprcss
what he has to l'xprcss in a picture, and the poct must express what
he has to express ill words, it may seem stupid to writl' of pictures
and words as intcnncdiarics, Bur, if we consider that paintinp:s arc
represelltations of something which the painter \vishcs to convey to
us, and if we also accept that Lmp:uagl' is intrinsically metaphorical,
\ve em appreciate that the medium is not identical with the
lllcssage, and may, ill Sl)JllC sellse. distort it, or prcsent it
incompletely. ThIS, ofcollrse, is wby artists arc llever
they have produCt'd, but arc compelled to p:o on striving to
\Va y of cxnrcssilw whatever it is that
\va n t to conVl')' .
Music, according to SChOpl'llhalll'r. is understood imllll'di:ltely
withollt :lIly lIl'cd to give allY accollnt it or form any
conceptioll of it. Hl'l1cc, he is excluding \X/oTTlIlp:cr\ 'abstraction':
the objcctive mode of perception by Wll1Ch w(' J the structure
and coherellce of;\ musical vvurk. Wh,lt nlllS1C l'Xprl'Sses is the illlltT
spirit.
qo
Ill!' INN FHMOS I NATUIU. lll' TilE WUIU!)
This dose n:btloll ch;lt music has to the' trill' llature uLdl tlllllgS call
,lIso cxpl.lin the Lid til,l(, when music suiubk to any actllll1,
event, or cllvirOlllllcnt is played, it to disclose to us Its most
sccret IlH:;llllllg, ,lilt! appears to be the most accurate and lhstind
cOllllllellLlry 011 it we could JlIst ,\" well call the
world embodied music as embodied wIll; this is the reasoll why
JllUSIC makes every pKtllfe, illdel.:d every SCl'lll' frOlll real lik and
from thc world, at OllCC appear in t'llh:lIlccd
uf coursc, ;111 the grcater, the more :llulogous its melodv is to the
inllcr spirit of the givcn pilellOlllCIlOfL 2,
Bllsoni had dosdy
views about IllUS1C exprcssing the
JllllCr sq:;nificancc
humalJ fcelings.
The greater part of modern theatre music $utTns from the mistake of
to rcpeat the SCClll'S passlIlg on the stage. instead of fulfilling
ltS proper missiull of interpretillg the soul-states of thc persons
represented. When the scene pn.'scilts the illusion of a tlHllHkrstorm.
this is exhaustively apprehcnded tbe eye. Nevertheless, nearly all
composers strive to depict the storm in WIll'S - which is not only a
nccdless and feebler repetition, but likewisc a failure to their
true ttlilction, The person on the stage is either psychically in-
flucllced the thunderstorm, or his mood, heing absorbed ill a train
of thought of stronger influellce, remains unaffected. The storm is
visible .llld alldibk withollt aid from music; it is the ill visible and
the sDiritll;t1 processes of the personages portrayed, which
2.('
ScbopellhautT claims that music expresscs the \Xlill direct as it
itself Jll the clllotional life of man; that it closdy
to the fluctuations ill cmotional state which we all
\.' xperll'ncL'.
Now till' nature of man consists ill the bct that IllS will ,;trivL's, 1S
satisfied, strives ,lllC\\!, Sll Oll ;llld 011; in fact his happiness am!
cOllSist in the trallsition from desire to satisf;lrtlon,
;lllc! from this to ,1 fresh desirc, such trallsitioll
For the Ilt)!l-;lppCar,IllCl' of satlstactloll is
for a new desire lS languor, hornlnm. Thus,
to this, the ll,ltun' of llldndy is a eOllst-mt dign'ssH.n
ql
:\Ili.... I (';\ I) I'I II' \11 I I
,ilhld"\'Lltl"ll (rOlll tlil' kt'\'ll"lt'l!l t1ltllh,!lld ,I IHlI Ulll\ Inthl'
illll.'i'v;d,< till' third,lilt! dOlllilliil)l, htl[ [{lV'.'l'l\ [,'ll(', ttl
the' dlc,S():I,lIlt 'l'\'(,I](I:, ,11ld til rill' C\tr"Illl'1I1Il'!'\' ,Ib: \'['! til'T"
iollu\\'s ,I tJll.d It'WIll ttl till'
t'xpn'S'l'S thl'
hut ,d", Ih
Iq,,,,llll ,) 11.I1't1Hllll()lIS llltcl'\',d, ,lild
srill tllore
ufdesire and
portrays, cven
bl'lil'ftil,t
llddallyoIll' W,lllt to
SChOPClllUlltT
tu cOlln:rn
example. \vith rlw heauties
ScllOPl'11!l;llllT' s
,'()!ISlstsni
flllltU;!rilIllS
lllUSIC which predominantlyportray,> peaceamI stillness,
It therel()rc SI.'CUh stlrprismg
Hossilli, whost'mllsicis so
dcscrilwd it as voluble, heile, and :1
dl'seriptiollS :l!'l' to I{OSSllll,
It IS true that 1I1USIC IS
lively t ha11 IK\It'l' fuL
IlltlSIC C\PITSSl'S unly the' quilltt'sscn<t' \)1' 11k alld Its
events,nevertill''':tilUllSdvl'S, :lIldthen:i()!','riwirtllI'kll'IKt" doIlot
illtlllClll'l' it. It lsjllsttimilldil'idu:dity thitt
to 11ll1SIl'. with the most precise' tlut gilTS it
th,lthigh v:l!Ul':lS rhepall:lCC:1 oLdlourS\llTO\\,S, Iflllusic
(rit'stustick touclusrlytothe words, :md to tllould ihdl
to('veil ts, it is l'!1lkavunrillgtospeak :1 bnglugelIutit,OWlI,
hilS kcptso Ii<-'l' (ru!ll this misclkelIS R()<,Sllli: hellc,' his Illusi ..
sodistillctly:!lld purdvth,\( it rCljuin's11" \\llnbat
all. ,mel r!Jnci(lrt' prudllCl's HS full dkt't nl'lI Ilh"il I'l'!ldncd
l!lstllllllCIHS .dulll' ,'s
Since 1\0-;,1111 \\.!S prcdolll
,I (e>mpu;,l'I' o(Upl'l.l, ill
Innds ,mel Illtlsi(' ;F\,
'1lILHll'!" clH)il"
s,:ems, at hrst sight, llH':\pliclhly c('celltric. Hut ill' i'l'h,:\','d tiLll,
dtbollgh the1Il1isico(,lIlUf'Cl':t \vascomposed\\'itll rl'kn'lll'\'il'rl1<.'
Jr:lIl1;l, it W,hsoconcerned ",ithrhe ill/II'!si,rn! ,1II' (>llll,' h
I
Nil, IlIHI,()! 1!!L WOHII)
pOnLtycL1 th,lt It burl' little dlf,'ct rcLitiul1 to rhose l'vellts as
partindar illSLlllCl'S, 1Ie out that thl' S,!llll' lllllSic
:lccompanyillg the passiolls ofAI!al1lelllllOIl and Achilles ur tht'
dissl'llsiollsof an ordillary hIllily,
Till' IIHISlC ofan operJl, presclltl'd ill rhl' score has.l
separate, and as it wefeabsrral't l'XIstCllCC
which the illOdl'tltS :lnd charactns oftbe picce arc
""hieh foll,)\vs its own unchangeable rules; it em tlll'rctC)fe be
evell withoutthetexLo<}
Schopenhauef anticipates the kind ofcriticisms \vhich
beel! made I kryck Cooke's Tht' LIIl,I!II'l.i!' AlI1Si(, some
which we ha ve already encollntered, Music underlines alld
theemotionswhichdramaarousesin thespectator;but
andarousespecificemotionsintheabsellce
presellted 011 stageorin real ltf(:ceremonials- is
rather limited, For example, mllsic alone canllot specifically
Jealousy; although the musicused to 11l1derlllle a dramatic
sceneofJealousy Imght deserve to bedescribed as bothpassionate
andagitated,
'fhere IS a flscinating discllssion ofthese problems in Edward
Cone's book Tht' COIllPOS{'Y'S Voite. points out that we arc
oilly aware ofthe prosodic clemellts ofour OWIl
tltterancl'S, We em raise our voices without knowing th:u \-\le arc
doingso;wecanspl'akilltoileswhichdisplayan lIndcrlyinggloom
theleastawarCIll'SSofoursdf:"revclatioll, Bvaddinumusic
meal1ll1g
illslghtof the
So wh,'11. as in song, a tllusKallil1c lS L'(lmbinl'd with :1 [('xt, It is
!laturalfor liS toacceptthemllsica, toasubconsciuuslevel
<llld lyinguntln- wh;ltl'VCrthoughts:ltldclllotiollsan'
by thewords.
glven alJovl' dl'lllOllstratl',
Illusic ofan oper:! was, or could be, entire!y
LB
MUSIC ANI) TilL MINI)
indepClHkllt ot'thc tcxt; whnl'as Conc is cmphasizing the close link
bctwcen the t\\'o. BUl the philosopher and the I1lllsicologist join
h:ll1ds in thinking that music IS concerned with the innn life rather
than with external reality.
It is worth relllarking that Schopenll.luer W:1S writing ,lhout the
Western tonal system based upon the major triad as if it was the
only lllusical systelll. He even refers to music as 'an exccedingly
universal Ianguage',]1 which, as already notcd, it certainly is not.
Schopenhauer could not, of course, anticipate the atonality of
Schocnberg or the twelvc-tonc system. But he docs not consider
music based primarily 011 rhythmic variatioll rather than upon
melody; or music using a pentatonic scale; or music using intervals
smaller than the semitone. On the other hand, Schopenhaucr's
account of melody does formulate one feature of musical experi-
ence which sOl1le later authorities say is common to all varieties of
music that musical compositions are structured by setting a norm,
then by deviating from that norm, and finally by returning to it.
This closely resembles thc theory of music 3dvanced by Leonard
B. Meyer which was disclissed earlier.
Schopenhauer also anticipates the theories of Susanne K. Langer,
although he is given only passing mention ill her books j>/Zilosophy
ill ,1 NeH' Kcy, and Fcc/illX and Form. SchopenhauCf specifically
stated that music does not express particular emotions directly.
But we IIlllst JJever forget when referring to all these analogies I have
brought t()rward, that IIlUSIC has no direct relation to them, but only
an illdirect olle; for it never expresses the phenomenoll, but only the
inner nature, the Ill-itself, of evcry phenomenon, the will itself.
Therd()fe music docs not express this or that particular and definite
plcasun', this or that affliction, pain, sorrow, horror, gaiety,
ll1errimlnt. or peace of tllind, hut joy, paill, sorruw, horror, gaiety,
ll1errimellt, peace of tllind rh<'lllscil'Ci, to a lTrtalll l'xtellt ill the
abstract, thlir l'ssl'lltial nature, \vithollt any accessories and so also
without the motives for them. Nevertheless. wt' undnstalld thcm
perfectly ill this extracted ljuilltl'SSl'IlU:. ;2
Illstead of ljuoting thiS passage frum Schopcllhaun, Langer
quotes from Wagner, who wrote what follows years before he
l'!lCOllntnl'd III vit.'w of the close similarity of the
144
Till' INNLHM()ST f>JATUIU, ()( Till WOIU.Il
two pass:Jgcs, it is !lot surpriSing that Wagller btn becal1le all
cnthusiastic adhnent of SchopellhaulT's philosophy. W,lgnLT
J tYi rms:
Wh:lt Illusic expresses, is cternal, intlliite a!ld ide:tl; it docs !lot
express the passion, lovc, or longll1g of such-and-such an individu,tl
Oil ;,uell-and-such :In o(cbion, but passion, lo\'l' ur IOllglllg in itself,
,lIld this it presents in th:lt unlimited variny ofllllltivations, which is
the exclusivc and particular characteristic of 11iUSIC, tlHcign and
inexpressible to ,my other LlI1guage.
L1
This passage states, in different words, what Schopellhaucr wlote
in the extract given immediately above. Langer hnsdf commellts
on what Wagner has to say.
Dcspite the romantic phraseology, this passage statcs quite clearly
that music is not self-expression, bUtj(JYlllllilltioll IIlld rcpn'SCIlI,jfiO/I of
e1l1otions, moods, melltal tensions and resolutions - a 'logical
picture' of sentient, responsive life, a source of insight, not a plea tl)r
sympathy. 14
What is not clear from Schopenhauer's account is how music
differs froIll, say, poetry, in furnishing a more direct expression of
the illnermost nature of man. For are not the tones which music
employs comparable with the words which poetry employs? And is
it not true that both poetry alld music arc fl'presentations of the
inner life, not the inner life itself?
Schopenhauer chimed that music more directly expresses the
inner life than the other arts because it does not make Llse of the
Ideas. Music goes deeper than pictures, dceper than words. But
music employs tones; and toncs, as indicated ill thc first chapter, are
seldom {()Und ill nature. Western music, wi th which Schopenhauer
was concerned, consists of tones arranged in a variety of melodic,
rhythmic, and harmonic patterns. These patterns may luve little
cOllnection with the external world; but, because their construction
requires considerable artifice, music can hardly be regarded as the
immediate objectification and copy of the illner Iik or Will which
SChopcllhaucr claimed it to be. Music, by employing sounds which
145
MUSH ANlll HE MINI)
;Hl' not t(HllJd in nature, :md which are arranged III
compll'x ways, Jllay nTtailllv bt' expressing the illller lik III
11ll't:lphorical t;lshioll; but its composition requires as mllch (011-
u.:ptual thought as
Schopt:nhauer did nut reall y takt: this Il1to aCCtHlIlt, as eVll1t:llced
by his \vritillg
Thl: invention of melody, the disclusure in it orall the dcqwst senets
nrbuman wlll111g and feeling, is the \vork of genius, whose cft'l'ct IS
more apparent here thall ;ll1yvvherc elsc, is far removed trom all
reflectioll and conscious ll1tt'llti,lIl, and might b,' called all
tion. llert', as everywhere ill art, the concept is ullproductive. The
composer n:veals the innermost nature of thc world, :lml cxpresses
the wisdom in a language that his rcasowllg taculty does
Ilot understand. 1)
No one can deny that melodies can be the result of inspiration; but
lllaIlY reqUJre much revisIOn and amendment, as Beethoven's
repeatedly demollstratc. It is also trllc, as we kno\\!
from accounts by poets of their own creative processt"s, thLlt S0111e
IiIlL'S of poetry come unlmidt"11 to the poet's mind. and are,
therefore, equally 't:Jr removed from all reflection and consciolls
intention'. Schopenhaun's attempt to put music III a special
category for the reasons which he advanccs is unconvillcing.
I Iowever, thae art' other observations which support his intuitioll.
Michael Tippt'tt, the composer, echoes some of what
Schopenhauer writes ;lbout mllsic portraying the inner flow oflife,
bur adds a commcnt which goes some way to l'xpbining why we
Vlant to rL'produce and this flow, which is exactly what
Schopl'llhauer fiils to do. Tippett writes:
llIusic III the hands of tlw gre,lt masters truly :llld
el1lboLi!l', the utherwise unperccived, unsavourt:d Inller flow ufhk
In listcning to s\lch lIlUSIC we <!fl' .1S though entire agaill. despite all
t.he in'il'Cllritv. in(ohcrcllcc. inconmktL'llCSS and relativity ll! Ollr
w the power of
dow; ,I slIbmis,iull which LIS a special pleasure ,lIld
cnrIches liS. The pk,lsllrc alld the l'nrIchlllent :Jrisc from the
Llet that the How IS not llll'l'c1y thc now Ilf tilt musH' ltsdf, but J
,lllt im,tgc (It' till' inller How or' hfe Artitill' nf all kinds is
LiJl
TilE INNERMOST NATUHE UF THE WORLD
neccssary to till' l1lu"icsl compOSition in order that it sh;\11 beCOll1l'
,uch ,1Il illl.lgc YL't whcll the pcrfi:ct pcrfurm;lncc allli occasioll
allow us a truly Immediate apprehensioll of the innG flow 'behind'
the lllllsic, the artifice is mOlllentarily of IlO CDlISt:qucl1ce; Wl' arc flO
awarcoflc'"
context, the most important sentence from this
the second one. Tippett is suggesting that listenillg to
music lllakes us aware of important aspects of ourselves which we
may not ordinarily p<:rceivc; and that, by putting LIS into touch
these aspects, music makes us whole again. This function of music
\Vas disclissed in Chapter Five.
Malcolm Budd, in his compelling assault on Schopenhaut'r,
lklllolishes practically everything which the philosopher has to say
about music. He ends his chapter on Schopenhauer by writing
SchopenhaulT is tht' IlHlslCian's philosopher. But Schopcnhaucr's
of mllsic is not a fitting monulllent to tht' art . .l7
I agrec with some of the criticisms which Budd makes of
Schopcnhauer's philosophy; indeed, after writing this chapter, I
IlHlIld that I had echoed mallY ofthe same criticisms from a diffcn:nt
of view. And, although I accept and owe a good deal to sOl1Je
lckas, I part company withJung at precisely those points at
he is closest to Schopenhauef. That is, I find it hard to believe
III the pll'ro/lhl, or to accept tht' notion that archetypes, or Phtonic
Ideas, exist as definable items in a kind oflimbo beyond time aud
space. If there is an underlying reality consisting of thillgs-in-
themselves, I am lllclinl'd to bdieve that we have no access to it.
pnl1lordial images which constitute
are powerfully compelling because they
aspects ofexperiellce which arc COlllmon to
observer who detects the Idea of Love as being
lJ1 Rembrandt's The Jcwlsh Bride is acknowkdgmg
in demollstrating the deepest essential features of
human experience. A wedding portrait
Mr ,md Mrs Jones, however skilfully posed and lit, is ullhkcly to
exhibit thl' essentials oflove because it cannot be as sdective as call ;t
,1 great master. It is generally acknuwledged [hat tlll'
147
MUSIC AN!) TllE MIND
grcatestworksurartill;111)' Ilcldarcgreatbecausetheyarcnmn.'flll'd
with ullivLTs,lis. It doesnotfollo\\! that theseuniversalshavesome
killdofghostlyexistl'l1Ct.'olltsidespaceandtime. Thisis notto
thatthercarcCOilceptsand ideas which cannotbe'placed'in space.
Numbnsarerealbut!lottangible;therdationbetweell \vhirh
constitutes existsbutcannotbeportrayed.
Schopenhaun's distinctioll
is V...;]101Iy convincing; the sense of
dilfen:ncc he seeks to explain by 111l'anS IS
would agree there are musical
scnn and lifeless because. of the
ingenuity of their construction, they do llO[ touch the
Although !l1Jny would not agree with him, COlISt:lIlt Lambert
thisofsomeofStra vinsky'sneo-classicalworks. Heiseven
Illon.' critical ofHimkmirh, whose l1lusic seems to Lambert to
rcHect nothingbutstcrile, workman-likeproficiency.JK
But we can surdy agree with Schopcnhaucr 111 that
. .
some ,\lorks ofart arc cCfebr;li, lJolIlH, and mSplratlOn,
without accL'pting his philosophical The
artistsarcable to plumb andbringto
ofthose common to all man-
and even
greatest sometlllles is dearly superficial.
SdlOpcllhaucrofcourse realizes It is his interpretation ofthe
differencewhichalienateshis
Nevertheless, I \vould be inclined to salvage more what
SchopenhauC'r writesaholltmusicthan Malcolm Buddis prepared
to do. SdlOpenhauC'r postulates two in
some kind oflimited, subterranean access to the trut nature of
. ollebL'ing ourexperienceof Ollrownphysicalbeingand its
IllOVl'l1lellts, tbeotherbeing by way ofmusic. Although I do !lot
agrcethat gives privileged partialaccess or proximityto the
kind of tmderlvil1!!. realitv which Schopenhauer ;bSllll1L'S, I am
subjective physical awarenessas
concerned with t:.xpcricncc in depth. I earlier
observ.ltioll that 'Many. If not aU, of lllusic's
processes em be fl)lJlld in the constitution l}fthe human
of illteractiollof bodiesinsociety '3"
14
X
Till INNIHMl)\1 N/\lllHL lH Till. Wll/nll
S IllCJ tiI:u Ollrn:pcriL'llcc\)fOlllO\VI1 bodiesgives
liS d p')itHer to ,m underlying n'ahty which we emollly
()[1uiIJ throughlllUSICissurel\,connected\vithhisviL'\\'
mUSICIS
Ull till' othl'r;lrts illthatitis 'il (tlp)' l:t't/iC 1I 1i/!
ill the y. and closely (Olllll'ctl'd
lllovcmellt.
ill theconCt'r\hall mayhavetoinhibit
10Vl'llll'llt. tlWllSrhopcll h,mer' sviewt hatbothUtirexperience
thc' bod,' ,111d our l'xpcnencl' of music possess a depth. an
11111
cannotbeobtainedin
ways
andpersuasive.
\'iJl' It;!Vl' ,dl'l'.ldy discllsscd the emergence of'absolute' mllSIC,
tlllCOlllll'Cfnl with wordsorcollective('en.'mollies.
about Ros:-,ini show that, ;lltlwugh he appreciated
Undl()11 ormusic in cnhallcingthesignificanceof \vords, hL' rated
Wets il(l( ,lssociated with \vordsstillmore
,I moredircct. profoundandimmcdiateetTecton us
thall the other,Ins, as Schopclliulierclaims, wecan fiunisha more
cOllvillcingexplanation f()r \,'hythisshouldbesothanhedoes, We
music is a nOll-verbal art whichis directly linked with
measured
somepeoplefind that
picture,
Sll!lSet;
e.xperIence urgetoward
1l10tlOll, increase 1ll muscle tone, and the
respunses to rhythm
Pictures make
Olll' Wallt to dallel'.
.l
l'speciaJi y
(0
the body, because
listcning to music puts
!II ways unmatched
Neither
(\\'1'1
IlH1Sll'

the rclation
music with phVSICd 11lOVC'l11elit, although he pnccivcd nom as
i11ul'l' directly CllllllL'ctcd wirhthe
IHlllLlll ;lcti\'itics. Ii" hL' had made
dIed !llS 1)l"';SlIllistir
lhl' oflifi:.
ql)
ANI) I MINI)
h:.lS lll.hk pl';lce with (;ud, he II.IS s;!lnliccd Ill', \)\\'11 ",til. l!t.
submIttedhilllsdftotill'willof(;nd,'
.lungsf)L'ciahzed in thl' treatlllent of pCI)pk t()I' whom
had hel'ollle as ill his OWIl l';ISC, he
be.dingas
Nietzschetoorctainl'd,I religiousattitude. ill spitl'of hIsl'l]ectloll
of (:ImstiJllityand his procbmationofthedeath of(;od, Accod-
ingtoWalterK
Nietzsehe . ;\
loss
(,
claimed:
Nictzschl'wasno;!thcist, buthis CudW:1S dc,lLl Thetragnlyof
?:"fafllllsfl.! is thar, beCHlSl'hisCoddicd, Nietzschehilllsclfbccallll'a
god; ;lIId this happened because he was IlO ,ltheist. Ik \V,IS uftOll
a naturetotolL'ratetheurbanIll'llrnsis ufathl'isIlL-
i
allli
delusionsarca
general paresis, and (lils to llltO account in his
fll]orative mind,
III
religious
of aestheticsto
Nil'tzsche
ego; perllaps Oil all lJ111l'r
unconsciollsly. Nil,tzschcwasnot
III a 'ul pass;"gl'!II Ht'l!(Jlld (;(lOt/ tlll,1
totheartist'sneed d'
calls
oi>etiit'I1((, ill (Jill' dirn'tio!l: frolll (lut ofthat thn,' :<1\\,,['1'
l'lIlcrgl's ,llld bas emcrged ill thl' long rUll SUlllldullg tbt:
,,;lkc ofWhl!.h I[is w'lrtll\vhdc to Ii\'(: ()Il ("lrril, (orn;;llllpk \"irlllc.
art, lllllSil, dallce, I'C,I;'Oll, spiritu;1iitv sOllllthing tr
rdilll'd, Ilud,1Ild di\'lllc,'
Iq
AJLJSTII'I<:ATI()N UF
eA r
shared this notioll ofobediencc, which he described in
religious terms, hut for h1l1l it was to an inner VOIce which
emanatedfrom theullconscious, Alluding to dreams, heoncesaid
tome:'Everynightonehasthe oftheEucharist.'Heactually
referred to religions as psychotherapeutic systems, For
religious expcricl1o: was somethingsui .I!weris; somcthing
from theexperiencesprovidedbythearts,Jung'sconcep-
tion of obedl\:nce and transfiguration IS much narrower than
Nietzsche's. lack of appreciation is a
One of the few
_ , to
appreciate music. Theonly reference to lTIusic inJung's autobio-
IS to the singingofa kettle. he wrote, 'wasjustlike
polyphonic music, which in reality Icannotabide',') Had he been
, a poet, a painter, or even a better writer, I think his
whichcontainsso muchof interestandvalue, would
have been more securely based and would also have won wider
acceptance. Burh<.' couldnotrelinquishtheideathatitwaspossible
tohavesomekindofespecial,directlinetoGod.Godneverdiedfor
Jungas Hedid for Nietzsche. Asa consequence,Jung(liledtosee
that his advocacy obedience to the wisdom ofthe unconscious
was only one instance the much wider 'obedience' which
Nietzscheperceived.
III contrast, Nietzsche, likeSchopenhauer, consideredtheartsto
besupremelyimportantandmusicparticularlyso. ForIU111, it was
not merely a transient pleasure but one ofthe things which made
possible, Nietzsche's words quoted above clearly dernons-
realization that, f()r many people, theconcerthall and the
artgalleryhavereplacedthechurchas placeswherethe'divine'can
encountered, Nietzsche, despite his ambivalent attitude to
hence to Phu) the bttt'r's conviction that
IllllSIC exert powerful effects on human beings, both good
In attribming such slgllificance to mllsic, Nietzsche was
closerto ;mciel1tGreeksthan tomostmodemthinkers,
Music importanttoNietzschequiteearlyinhIS life. Ol1e
ofhis school friends vI/as a buy called Gustav Krug, \\lh05e father
and had been an :l"'!I1:1intancc of
Krug was a centre of
155
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MUSIC ANI) Tllf' MIN!)
teach To represellt terrible and
thingsIS initsclf.lIl111stillctforpOWl'r;lndllugniticl'JlCt:
111 an he docs not fear thelll There IS no such thing as
art- Artaffirms . Foraphilosophertosay, 'thegood
alld the beautiful arc Oill" IS infamy: ifheg()('s on to add, 'also the
trtle,,Olleoughttothrashhim, Truthis
Wt' possess,lrt lest weI!crish oftlu' tmth. 'J
Nictzsclw's vicw oflifc, ill spiteofhis awareness ofits hOfwrs, is
esscntially affirmative; whereas Schopenhauer sees 110 hope but
denialanddetachmcnt. As WaltcrKaufmannputsit:
Nietzsche envisages 'the sublime as the artistic conquest of the
horrible'; and he celebrates the Greek 'who has looked with bold
eyesilltothedreadfuldestructiveturmoilofso-called
as well as into the to
orto'a Buddhist ,reaffirmslIft' with
thecreationofworksofart.u
Sothe([cationof traged y is bothan:sponsctothehorrorsoflife
Jndawayof masteringthem. Fromtragedy,itis possibletolearnto
appreciate life as sublime in spite ofthe suffering which living
Nietzsche makes llS understand why it is thatcven tragic
theslow movement ofthe' Eroica'
111ere
ill whichwearesaying'Yl'S' tolifeasitactuallyIS: tragic,
ecstatic, painful, andjoyful. The essential theme ofThe Birth
T/'agcdy is Nietzsche'sperceptionthatart makessenseof theworld
andjustifiesexistence.
Nietzsche realized- no one more vividly- that theonly life wt'
knowis constitutedbyoppmites. Pleasureisinconceivablewithout
withoutdarkncss;lovt: withouthate; goodwithoutevil.
In
111
become
includes tragedy; wLy it must embrace trage(ly as
triumph; v,'by thedcnialof suffering is thellCg,ltioll oflifi:itself.

/\ IU<.,1 II !('/\IIUN Of IXIS II'NCI
t1ut tTl';H1Vt' prOll';,;, was
more ,';,pcci,dlv, by ill-hL'alth, v"hl'thn
!l1l'lltal. tit: wlluld h,l\,C apprcciati.:d 1ll00lem views which 11I1k
h,lbillty to IlLlllic-deprl'ssive illness with crcativity t, Nietzsche
:1S;1 chalkllgc\vhichoughtto a person's
by overcomillgadversity thata hllll1:1l1 being can
hlS true potl'llti,tl. Ikilleputsthesl' wordsinto the l110mh
lastsLll1Za
Diseasew;\:-, dll' mostbasic
(}f Illy cr,:,It!\'l'ul'i-!,e and"tiTS:;:
Creating, Icould
Creating, Iagalllgrewsound.'-I
those varietIes of philosophy which
solutions to the prohkms of
Tht'llunmsciousdisguiseof phYSlOloglclllll'edsIIllderthecloaksof
theubjl'niv('.ilka!,purdy goesto
often I havt' ,I"kl'd III ysclfv>,heth,'r, takinga largevinv,
11:1S \1\)( hCl'n merely all interpretation ofthe hody alld a misrlllticr-
',otiy. t,
indigestion, insomma and
hun
up
pmtc'ssorship :It the Ul11vcrslty ot Base! at till' age ofthirty-four
bC'l';lllSC ot'ill-health. III spite' ofthIS, he wrote to (;L'org Brandl'S
'Myilllll'sS ILlS becll mygrcatestboon:1t unblocked1I1l'. it gavellll
the COULlg\.' to be lllYSl'If.'II, Illness also had the c(lcct ofparti:dl')
Nict7schc called IllS TilliS Spo].>,
I y)
I\NI) 'IIII' M[NI)
Ni("t:lschc's (',meLTll to l1lCrgc A Dioll),si.m
SChopt'llhaucr's obsl'rvJtioll that
In tht' course of litt: head and he;lrt grow mort' ami more :qun;
more :lIld lllOrt their
I
Nietzsche\ inslstcllce Oil t'xpenI'IlCl' ,IS
eXistence is ttcpendl'llt on
tive: more cspcClally, 011 linking mind
wrlttl'n my works with my whole
Will to I>Oll'fI', Nlctzsche claims that art has a direct dtl'ct Oll bodily
experience, alld that this is why it is life-affirming, even when its
subject-matter IS tragic.
In The Gal' S(/(,II((" Nietzsche wrote
Alld so I myself: What is it that Illy whole body really expects of
music? I believe, its O\VIl ('{/SC: as if :Ill allimal fUl1niom should he
cas y, bold, c<Llbcrall t. self-assured rh ychms; as ifiron,
kadt'n lit\., should be gilded by gout! golden and ll'ndcr harmonics.
mdallchol y wants to rest in the hiding places and abvssl'S of
that is why I need music. .,'
Glvell tillS vi('w of art, It is !lot slirpnsillg that Nietzsche repudiated
Christi:mity. Nothlllg could be furtiH.'r from hi" VISi011 than the
Chnstiall picture of a he.! Vt'll in
vvith harp and song. alld from
bCClll'ntircly
s I:" ib
insistence 011 the orsoul over
label sexuality as nilL I Ie 1)l'hevL'd Sllpl'rlOr
to cOlllroL III aster. 'Ill<ltt' their instillctll,d dnves:
did not think to ab,lj ish thl'lll or reg.! rd
like freud, thollght that it W,15 to dClly
that repression of the kads to crime ,111<1
III Thlls Spoke /.,lI'a(/1IIsl"'l, Nietzsche has;1 St'ltiOll
lksplsn:-.
if,..?,
.A JUSTlrH :ATION Of EX1STFNCI'
'I :un body and SOIlI' so till' dllid. And why should one not
like childn:n)
But [he awakened, the cnlightelled man says: 1 am body entirely,
and nothing besIde; Jnd sonl IS Ollly a word for in the
body.
The body is .1 great mtelligence, a multipliCIty with olle Sl'llSe, J
w;u and J peace, a hnd and a herdsman.
Your little intelligellce, my hrOlhn, \",hich you 011 'spirit', is abo
an Instrument of your hody, a little instrument and toy of your great
intelligence.
Ynu sa y T and you arc proud of this word. But greJtt:r thall this
YOlL will not believe in it - is yom body and its great
illtl'iligellce, which dol'S not say T hut performs T. 04
Nietzsche would have agreed with John Blacking's observation
music's essential proccsses arc found in the constitution of
body and in patterns of interaction of bodies in society.
N letz5chc's description of the effects of music in The Will to POlVer
ccilo<.:s Blacking's account of the commu11ally litt'-cnhancing effect
Venda national dance.
All art exercises the power of suggestion over the muscles and
s(,1lses, \vhich in the artistic arc originally active: it
31ways speaks only to artists - it speaks to thIS kind of;l subtle
l1exibility of the body .. All 3rt works tonicallv. increases
inflames dc,irc (i.e., the of
enhancement of lifi: enhances man's pOWl'f of COml1H1I11catlOl1, as
well as his powt:r of understanding. Empathy with the souls of
others IS originally nothing mural. but .l physiological
(() suggestion. . Compared with music all cOllllllunicatio1l by
words is shallldcs'i; words dtlute and brutalize: words
words make the 1IllCUmmOll common.
In The Hirth Tral!cdy, N inzsche l'lllphasized the illabili ty of the
pOl't to express the mllcr spirit of mllsic, and, at the same time,
attributed to music a special significallce rather simibr to that givell
It
reJlder tlll' COSlllH,' symbolism o[
music. s(;lnd" ill sVlllbolIc r,'l.ltiol1 ttl the
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lVII..) /\1'" IffI It I'IIII! \j l (
nor w'ithout means of order1llg and
exprl..'SSlllg Nil..,tzsche's l'IlH1j1.lsis upon the DiollYS-
Ian elemcntsin Illllsic nced to
Imposeon1eruponIllS musical
matterthatN thoughtthatWagner's
robbed mUSlC of'its wmld-transfigurmg, afttfllutive
Whatdocsmatteris that Nietzschebelievedthatthemusicofother
composerscouldhave \vorld-transfiguring,afttrlllativccharacter.
Itseemstomethatwhatis unusualandparticularlyworthnoting
in Nietzsche's thol1!!:ht music first, that he rccognized
onetolifebutcould
a meansbywhich thc passions'enjoythemselves '; notas escapist,
or other-worldly; but as an art which, by life as it is,
transcendsitsessentialrragedy,
Second, he recognizcd that lllUSIC was physically and emotion-
ally based: it was rooted in the body, and Dionysian, however
this essay.
Dionysianfutureofmusic',n
Third, he understood that lllllSic linked the two principles of
ApolloandDiollysusin thesamewayas tragedy. ChristianityIud
attempted to b'lJlish I)ionysus from art; but, 111 music, Dionysus
bebornagainill
ofthl>Ik'xtgenerationget\vhatIgetout
of all utterly lIew ndtllrl' There arc times
whell everything thatis left overand CJnllot be gLlsrK'd ill t.nmsof
musical relatiolJs;\ctll,l11y fills Illewithdisgustandhorror
3
.'
perceptionofmusic,lS so that itCIIJ
ins
I()()
< , J \..' " ! 1 \ I" );. t" ! i '" "I
right that they should be concerned with raising standards uf
literacy, with increasingexpertisL' in both SClL'nces ;llld crafts, with
mcnand\\'Olllell withtheskills tocarll,I lIving
increaslIlgly dominated by technology But ,1 'hight'!
not make life itselfworth lIving. Thearts