I ditched regular college midway through for music school. Loved loved loved loved loved music theory and harmony - the mathematic rationality of it that could also be so beautiful. It's pure math, but it's moving math. So ... this sentence that you wrote matters:
"... And no doubt, that's because music lies outside the sphere of rational thought."
Amongst composers - i.e. those who love music theory which contains the building blocks of all the great works - you will find the most rational minds in the universe (at least when they are at it) - whatever their occasional emotional imbalances were. By most rational I mean ... without error ... at least when composing, because you can't hide an error. A man might be a liberal and a composer, but he what probably doesn't know is he is never a liberal when he is composing, unless he's composing crap.
Music is especially beautiful to me because what you said is true, but totally untrue. Once you understand music theory, harmony, how it all fits together, it is pure pure pure math - and that's why it's so cool. It's the coldest possible thing - numbers - but put together in certain ways, temporarily violating the numbers on purpose for a short time and then coming back to them - that is at the basis of everything beautiful in music. So there is no line between the rational and the beautiful and the order of the universe. I wish people didn't always have to make such a mushy emotional cliche of God all the time - it's not that the beauty in the universe lies IN the order, it's that the order and the beauty are not separated.
I could go off on a major tear about the rationality of music. It's not capable of anything BUT being rational if it is to also be beautiful. And yet, rationality alone - which is necessary - is not sufficient.
HL's expression of wit is similar, and that's probably why he sees Beethoven's greatness not just as a matter of talent - but of character - and also why Beethoven saw composing not as expressing talent but as an act of glorifying God. All these things are the not different from each other!
Trump definitely has this. His isn't wit or music ... it's his own concoction ... but what runs through the 3 of them ... reminds me of something I read that was making the point that 'blessed are the pure of heart' does not mean 'good, moral, righteous' ... it means ... 'singular of heart, singular of purpose' ... a little like a dog just knows it's purpose, is not capable of violating it because he can't imagine anything outside it, or it would just be too uncomfortable to live outside it, without integrity (which probably seems like a funny thing to say about Trump to many - but I think it's the reality - I think Trump is totally true to himself.) It could almost appear as dumb or simple, but it isn't ... it's mark is that it's totally unmarked by confusion, doubt, contradiction. That's also the mark of the truly rational and also the truly beautiful. I'm totally sure it's how Beethoven composed, even in between bouts of that there were bouts of frustration and pain.
I'm totally rambling out a not very good composition ... but it's Friday so what the hell.
Glad you pinged ... thanks for posting ... and happy weekend!
| Love your thinking, tinyowl. And thank you for taking us on an interesting path that's beyond the political fray. You've inspired me to contribute a future article on Mencken's advice on journalism -- where his own true genius lay.
I never thought of musical composition as mathematical, but you must be right. Great intelligence and discipline is called on. nbsp; Imagine the genius required to synchronize all the instruments of an orchestra to create a beautiful symphony. It boggles the mind.
Perhaps there's an analogy here to the creation of fractal art and other mathematically created art. There are many thousands of fractals on Google Images, but a rather low percentage we would consider truly high quality art. The algorithms must meet a mind that's graphically trained.