Re: Serial music and transhumanist art forms

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Sat May 07 2005 - 08:35:24 MDT

I find it interesting to consider the parallels between aesthetic
appreciation and moral reasoning, each considered within a context of
greater awareness.

I think of a musical structure not as being governed by 'rules', but
rather as the emergent product of a specific 'grammar' and we have a sound
idea of what the emergence process is in classical music thanks to the
techniques of layer analysis. By 'grammar' I mean something closer to
Kauffman's 'autocatalytic set' - the elements, combinatorialities and
transformations inherent in diatonic, modal or 12-tone systems. In music
(IMHO) aesthetic appreciation derives from one's ability to perceive and
appreciate the interplay between deep and surface level unfoldings (I speak
of unfoldings since we are talking about the evolution of structure in
time). Musical memory is an essential part of this appreciation. The deep
structures are not consciously perceived during listening, but are directly
active subconscious awareness. IMHO one's level of moral reasoning is
directly proportional to one's level (or depth) of awareness of both
structure and function. It is also crucially dependent on the nature of the
grammar employed (this goes back to Plato of course).

Yes, this is very much what I was referring to, and I would add mention of another defining characteristic which is the recognition and appreciation of "pattern integrity" at all levels.

- Jef

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