Meditative Music                               continued 1

The Process of Musical Perception

The purely mu­si­cal com­pre­hen­sion of re­al­ity in­cludes: the outer hear­ing and the in­ner hear­ing which, in turn, in­cludes the (in­ner) per­cep­tion of the mu­si­cal pa­rame­ters – sound, motif, se­quence, and har­mony.
With our in­ner hear­ing, we per­ceive these mu­si­cal pa­rame­ters in re­la­tion to the mu­si­cal tonal space, and in re­la­tion to the motif space, the se­quence space, and the har­mony space, we per­ceive them with our in­tel­lect, our feel­ing and our mind.

The outer per­cep­tion con­cerns our per­cep­tion of tones in the acous­tic space, i.e. the per­cep­tion of the mu­si­cal event that is brought to us lis­ten­ers from out­side.

The struc­tural com­pre­hen­sion of the mu­si­cal tonal space through our in­ner hear­ing is tied to the clar­ity of the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the tone in our mind, and there­fore de­pends pri­mar­ily on our mind’s abil­ity to func­tion.
But it also de­pends on the sen­si­tive per­cep­tion of our in­ner sense of hear­ing – on its alert­ness.

Struc­tur­ally com­pre­hend­ing the motif space in mu­sic de­pends on an even more pre­cise func­tion­ing of the mind, be­cause the lat­ter de­ter­mines the pre­ci­sion of the tonal-struc­tural pic­ture which con­tains the motif images.

Thus, com­pre­hend­ing the mu­si­cal motif space de­pends on the cog­ni­tive abil­ity of our in­tel­lect, be­cause it is the in­tel­lect which, by vir­tue of our analysing mind, detects the un­fold­ing of the mo­tifs in the motif space and by vir­tue of our syn­the­sis­ing feel­ing, re­al­ises thisde­vel­op­ment of mo­tifs to be a continu­ous melody a unity of the motif de­vel­op­ment.

Struc­tur­ally com­pre­hend­ing the mu­si­cal melody space is based on an even more pow­er­ful func­tion­ing of the mind; be­cause, in or­der to com­pre­hend the melody, the tonal struc­ture must be dis­played on the sur­face of our mind even more pre­cisely. The tonal pa­rame­ters, in their re­la­tion to each other, must be per­ceived com­pletely, so that we can com­pre­hend the dif­fer­ent, mani­fold de­vel­op­ments of the mo­tifs ho­lis­ti­cally – in unity whilst si­mul­ta­ne­ously sepa­rate from each other.

Only the dif­fer­en­ti­ated and, at the same time, in­te­grated com­pre­hen­sion of the motif de­vel­op­ments through feel­ing and mind al­lows to grasp the melody, which means: the mu­si­cal com­pre­hen­sion of the pic­ture of an in­di­vid­ual course of life.

If, how­ever, we at­tempt to com­pre­hend sev­eral life paths si­mul­ta­ne­ously, we have to do so from a higher level of knowl­edge; for not only must we see and ex­peri­ence one sin­gle, in­di­vid­ual course of de­vel­op­ment, but many courses si­mul­ta­ne­ously.
And the mys­teri­ous ap­peal of this stage of mu­si­cal knowl­edge lies not so much in merely ob­serv­ing or un­der­stand­ing the char­ac­ters in de­vel­op­ment and the li­ves based on them from the out­side, but par­ticu­larly in per­son­ally ex­peri­enc­ing many dif­fer­ent roads of in­di­vid­ual hu­man per­fec­tion si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

In the mu­si­cal spaces of the se­quences, we can ex­peri­ence liv­ing very dif­fer­ent li­ves si­mul­ta­ne­ously and, thereby, per­son­ally walk­ing very dif­fer­ent life paths si­mul­ta­ne­ously – and in our ex­peri­ence we can move about, be­ing one and the same per­son, in very dif­fer­ent bod­ies and with very dif­fer­ent modes of be­hav­iour.

The world of the har­mony, how­ever, af­fords us the per­sonal ex­peri­ence of an in­fi­nite mul­ti­plic­ity of li­ves which are be­ing lived si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and which move be­fore our men­tal eye and within our en­tire feel­ing like shin­ing stars in free orbits.
And all these in­di­vid­ual stars are we our­selves; each sin­gle orbit is our own, very in­di­vid­ual life path, and this ex­peri­ence, in this high­est stage of our mu­sic lis­ten­ing, of our mu­si­cal knowl­edge of truth, is our very per­sonal truth.

PETER HÜBNER – Listening to Music
“The Process of Musical Perception”

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©   A A R   E D I T I O N   I N T E R N A T I O N A L   2001


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