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Thursday, December 8, 2011

On the Fence

While it's always been difficult to pinpoint the reasons behind the musical urge (or addiction), there does appear to be a segment of society that thrives on the benefits of organized sound. I guess that musicians and composers are contributing members of a distinctive clan - or share a common mutation of genes that promotes the impulse within our environment.

Taking the long view, I've been impressed with the scientific discoveries that have been made in our life-time: Gernomics, Information Technology, Robotics, AI, Physics, Astronomy, Medicine, Brain-imaging with fMRI, Biotech, Mathematics, etc, etc, etc.

It's a completely different world today than what existed in our childhood. And yet, if you peal away all the superficial aspects of musical expression and look at the fundamentals, Music is basically an age-old art-form more akin to religion or some esoteric philosophy.

If you have to ask "why" or "how" music is so pervasive and influential, you are either asking the wrong question or oblivious to the inherently vaporous patterns of the basic impulse. It's clearly more intuitive than scientific.

But, sometimes when in a state of dubious rationality, I do question the blind faith that is required to accept the fundamental premise of the musical experience. Taken as a whole, the status quo often seems so relative and arbitrary.

Is it possible that our artistic lives are based on a falsehood, that music is nothing more than a residual organ of an obsolete cultural norm? Or, as practicing musicians, are we way ahead of our time and in fact early practitioners of a brand new, yet-to-emerge, science?

At present, I remain on the fence: a Musical Agnostic.

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