Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Freud called music polymorphous perversity. We take pleasure in music because it states a theme, the theme elaborates itself and then resolves, and we are then as pleased as if it were a philosophical revelation - even though the resolution is devoid of verbal content.


  1. OK, but you really must not take music as you take a philosophical revelation. Who does this? You may take music, for example, as you take a shower bath in a hotel you never trespassed before. You take it as a refreshing or boring or disgusting event. And, singing in the shower does not presume being a philosopher.

  2. @MK
    What you describe is only one of many possibilities, I think. Let's call it the plot option. More interesting of music is, that it widens the in statu nascendi dimension of thaught, which is preverbal yet but more specific and defined than dream and free association.

    Music is a cognitive medium. While you exercise what you have described above, you experience also aleatorious analogies like in a flight-simulation which can shift to random-simulation. And there can be a lot of aleatorious analogies. Especially with great composers, with whom one can have the experience that an often heard piece suddenly sounds new and different, also the experience of insightful aleatorious analogies is rich.

    Very fascinating is to listen to medieval japanese music (together with a japanese friend) or good traditional arab music (with an arab friend). You must listen like you listen to your dog, with the dsire to understand what he says. Many meanings of sounds are inborn says your dog.

    I do not think Freud is a very good observer of musical experiences, he is more competent for the visible arts, I suppose.


    What you say is obviously right; nevertheless, every listening habit and every artistic taste is an expression of a cultural background and philosophical attitude. Interesting is, that this expression can be constrasting with the philosophical credo of listeners and interpreters. I love to point on these cognitive schizofrenia, and i think it is wonderful to be militant against sick cultural drifts. Like the three musketeers


  3. Being a semiologic concentrate (like tomatoe puree) music can provide you - just in one composition - an enormous amount of indormation. Which is not only not measurable but even not objectivable, yet verbally expressable... but only with a correspondingly enormous amount of words. The fantastic thing is, that - if you have an ear for these things - it is possible to check whether a text is contradicting or confirming the information vonveyed by a musical creation, and thus music can be a tool and channel of cognition (like a microscope or browser, even of collective unconscious outcomes), which obviously can only work as an internal guide (internal to subjectivity) and is useful only if it helps to fathom objectivable szenarios.