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#2261388 - 04/14/14 04:07 AM Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth?
FSO Offline
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Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 852
Loc: UK, Brighton
At least, one that isn't born of its definition? For instance, a four-voice fugue has more voices than a three-voice fugue. I'm unsure even if the description of my question is accurate, but it'll have to do smile Um...I can think of a few static facts that aren't universal (mainly to do with emotions, preferences {not flaming, but the fact that I perceive myself as enjoying the work of one composer over another *is* a fact} etc.) and I can think of a few notions that *may* be universal (mainly to do with the mechanics and mathematics of waves and perception of those waves {the higher the sum of the lowest common factors between all of the frequencies of waves [? I may have stated that sillilly and wrong...um...I mean, octaves are always 2...the harmonic series and what-not] and the lower the regularity of the instances of these frequencies the more disorienting the music}), but, um, I'm struggling to come to terms with a universal, static (by which I mean perduring) truth. Obviously, it couldn't lie within which composer or work, performer or instrument is "better" (though I personally believe if every person atomised and defined "better" without compromise, then all those definitions were brought together, a good approximation could be made, whether people would admit it or not wink )...perhaps that some cadence or other will always evoke the same emotions, at least on some level, stuck with me for a while...but all I had to think of was Pavlov's dogs to realise how silly that was (let alone how some people react to "dissonance" {for that matter, can someone explain to me what calling a piece, or chord, dissonant means, please? I mean, things can be more or less dissonant than each other, that much is true, but, um, there's no such thing as absolute dissonance; if two frequencies played for long enough there would be a moment of unison, no matter how discombobulated their wavelengths {in the physical realm, at least. Of course, you could make two theoretical wavelengths never synchronise}...that is to say, dissonance is just a more complex, or simply different, order you haven't understood yet; if one listens to one tonal system, say 12 tones, then another, say 17 tones, there's a period of adjustment...*regardless* of the order in which they are listened)...um...tempo, for a bit, gave me pause for wonder; the faster a piece the more urgent it feels, perhaps, but then this fell to nonsense too when I considered the extreme of that proposal. This may all seem like nonsense, it may even *be* nonsense laugh but...it seems important to me; is there a fundamental, underlying and physical component to music that is objective? Failing that, is there a shared subjective one? There's no doubt in my mind that there are objective transcendental truths about music, but, um, I'm curious about physical ones; ones most people would class as "real". I don't expect anyone to give me a valid one, of course, but I'd be interested to know whether any of you think one *could* exist, whether it's establishable or even recognisable or not, as if one operates under the notion that there *is* some kind of universal truth about music we need never worry about creating one within a work, and if there is *no* universal truth there's no responsibility within the failure of a work; that is to say, the beauty of a subject with no comparison is unknowable, whether someone calls it ugly or true, um...but masonry, no matter how finely crafted, can never be made of anything other than stone and, as such, any allusion it makes to being living is farce and destined to fail...the capacity of one's value is limitless, the rigour is endless of the other, with respect to all musical works throughout time, so...um...it seems important to me to at least consider in *your own* mind whether or not there *could* be a rigid principle which would determine some affects (yes, *affects* laugh ) of what one can only perceive as a personal, and thus individual, experience. A decade ago I started thinking about it assuming that there had to be one; that the definition of music couldn't survive without one, whether it was discovered or not, but I've not come to any firm conclusions...um...nowadays I suppose I lean towards the notion that there *couldn't* be a transient, physical musical fact, but that's only an opinion; I haven't thought of a way to prove it yet. Um...I'd love your opinions on the matter, if you have them and care to share them, and thank you if you read *all* the way down here laugh I hope you're well as you read this. Sooo...yeah, ta smile
Xxx
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Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2261391 - 04/14/14 04:17 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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No grin

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#2261415 - 04/14/14 05:36 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
drumour Offline
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Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 848
Loc: Scotland
A partial answer to one of your questions. In the major/minor tonal system a German 6th sounds and behaves quite differently to the exact same notes as a dominant 7th in a different context. Examining why this is the case gives a deeper understanding of how the tonal system works. It's too consistent and striking an effect to be explained away simply as subjective or conditioned response. The tonal system is dynamic and the relationship of each note to the others has different tensions - notes in some chords want to move in a certain direction and a composer can choose to go along with this or to subvert it.

I think it is in the volume on symphony that Tovey explores this issue.

John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#2261549 - 04/14/14 12:17 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: drumour]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: drumour
A partial answer to one of your questions. In the major/minor tonal system a German 6th sounds and behaves quite differently to the exact same notes as a dominant 7th in a different context. Examining why this is the case gives a deeper understanding of how the tonal system works. It's too consistent and striking an effect to be explained away simply as subjective or conditioned response....

I don't see at all why you would say that. I think it's one of the most major instances where we can almost 'prove' otherwise.

The idea of the notes of the two chords being "exactly the same" is a completely artificial result of well-tempering on the piano, or, more broadly, of keyboards, however they're tuned. Keyboards, in the big picture, are all relatively recent inventions, completely culture-bound and have nothing to do with how music was generally done for the thousands or millions of years before. The notes of those "exact same" chords weren't the same. The way in which they weren't the same was, for the most part, that whichever notes of each chord 'moved' for the next chord would lean in that direction.

In case someone might astutely point out that these kinds of chords might not have existed prior to the existence of keyboards grin (and I'm not sure that they exactly did, but it wouldn't matter because the principles of "same" notes being different did exist)....

The same thing applies nowadays, when the chords are played by non-keyboard instruments -- like, in orchestras, chamber groups, and choirs, probably even if a keyboard is playing along with them although maybe not to as great an extent. This doesn't necessarily apply to all orchestras, choirs etc. -- but I'd bet it applies to almost all high-level ones, and also to many that aren't that high level. It's a natural function of human music-making.

Oooops, I think I just expressed a universal musical truth. grin

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#2261557 - 04/14/14 12:29 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1712
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

...The same thing applies nowadays, when the chords are played by non-keyboard instruments -- like, in orchestras, chamber groups, and choirs, probably even if a keyboard is playing along with them although maybe not to as great an extent. This doesn't necessarily apply to all orchestras, choirs etc. -- but I'd bet it applies to almost all high-level ones, and also to many that aren't that high level. It's a natural function of human music-making...



I wonder if that's true. Certainly it is (or should be) regarding string quartets, orchestras playing pieces scored exclusively for unfretted stringed instruments (e.g., Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings), and unaccompanied choirs.

I don't know enough about "keyed" wind and brass instruments to know whether those instruments are locked into tempered scales once they've been tuned. Maybe one of our wind players on the board can 'splain.

Shouldn't be a problem for the trombones, though. smile
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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

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#2261573 - 04/14/14 01:09 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
phantomFive Offline
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Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1120
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: FSO
At least, one that isn't born of its definition? For instance, a four-voice fugue has more voices than a three-voice fugue.

I think you'd be helped here by distinguishing between 'reality' and "how it's described."

The fugue is what it is, a performance of it is a performance. Whether you decide to describe it as a three part or a four part doesn't matter, as long as the person you are describing it to understands.

When you say, "it's a three part fugue", and someone disagrees and says, "no it's a four part fugue," it doesn't matter who ends up 'winning' the argument, the fugue itself will not have changed.
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2261579 - 04/14/14 01:21 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: ClsscLib]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I don't know enough about "keyed" wind and brass instruments to know whether those instruments are locked into tempered scales once they've been tuned....

Most aren't. I'm not sure if none of them are "locked in" -- for example, I wonder particularly about flute. But I know that most of the others aren't.

Quote:
Shouldn't be a problem for the trombones, though. smile

....and especially not the trombones. ha

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#2261604 - 04/14/14 02:05 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1712
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I don't know enough about "keyed" wind and brass instruments to know whether those instruments are locked into tempered scales once they've been tuned....

Most aren't. I'm not sure if none of them are "locked in" -- for example, I wonder particularly about flute. But I know that most of the others aren't.

Quote:
Shouldn't be a problem for the trombones, though. smile

....and especially not the trombones. ha


Maybe the valve trombones, though...
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2261634 - 04/14/14 03:18 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
prout Offline
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Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 665
The only static, universal observed phenomenon regarding music is likely the harmonic series that occurs in nature and therefore existed before life itself.

Wind blowing through a hole in a rock or over the lip of a cave will produce the harmonic series just as a real trumpet (valveless) or cornet produces the same type of harmonic series.

Animals, including humans, heard this and imitated it -their 'music'.


Edited by prout (04/14/14 03:23 PM)

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#2261642 - 04/14/14 03:40 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2693
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I don't know enough about "keyed" wind and brass instruments to know whether those instruments are locked into tempered scales once they've been tuned....

Most aren't. I'm not sure if none of them are "locked in" -- for example, I wonder particularly about flute. But I know that most of the others aren't.

Flutes can bend notes, so the answer is no.

I liked your first answer to the OP's inquiry better. It's all relative and too much contemplation of such questions detracts from practice time. Is FSO living in Colorado or Washington these days or some other state where certain "medicines" are available by prescription. The question itself reminds me of the 70s.

It's difficult for me to understand writing where it's all one big paragraph and comes complete with Ums.


Edited by Steve Chandler (04/14/14 03:44 PM)

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#2261651 - 04/14/14 04:06 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JohnSprung Online   content
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Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1238
Loc: Reseda, California
Universal musical truth?:

You gotta do it for love, 'cause you'll never get paid what it's really worth. ;-)
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-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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#2261683 - 04/14/14 06:08 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Steve Chandler]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19637
Loc: New York
Steve: C'mon -- completely uncalled for.
I appreciate that you liked what I said, but your post still turns my stomach a little.
FSO: Don't worry about it.
I thought you raised good questions, and as for the rest, well, everybody has their own style. smile


More about how those augmented 6th and diminished 7th chords aren't the same even when they 'are':

Even on keyboards, in skillful hands they aren't the same either. Just as the notes that will be moving for the next chord are made to "lean" on other instruments and in voice, the most masterful pianists do likewise. Obviously it can't be with the pitch, but they do it by the balancing and voicing of the chords and by shaping of the melodies in each voice. Part of the miracle of the highest level of pianism is to create illusions, various kinds of illusions. Maybe the most well-known is the illusion of a crescendo on one note or one chord; this would be another -- the illusion that depending on how you balance or voice the notes of a chord and how you shape the melody of each voice, the pitch of a note might give the impression of being a tiny fraction higher or lower. This is all part of what we often call "color."

To ClasscLib, about valve trombones (which I didn't know existed): Even on those, the pitch can still be 'bent,' just as on other wind instruments. How??

Embouchure.

(Gesundheit)

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#2261701 - 04/14/14 06:53 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Steve: C'mon -- completely uncalled for.
I appreciate that you liked what I said, but your post still turns my stomach a little.
FSO: Don't worry about it.

How is what Steve said "uncalled for"? The "medicine" reference was clearly in jest, and there is nothing wrong with anything else he said.

There is a difference between making observations, such as FSO failing to acknowledge the reader and rambling on with unstructured, unflowing posts, and actually putting someone down. In this case, it doesn't matter if FSO is "offended" by these observations; it is inconsiderate to post in the way that she does, and it's a shame that her writing is so very poor here.

Also, there is absolutely not a "static and universal musical truth".
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261709 - 04/14/14 07:05 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4743
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I thought you raised good questions, and as for the rest, well, everybody has their own style. smile

This is why I've stuck around here so long, and why I can't stick around other sites. There's a variety of personalities here which are great to be around. Other sites are really quite dull by comparison.

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#2261715 - 04/14/14 07:10 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JohnSprung]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Universal musical truth?:

You gotta do it for love, 'cause you'll never get paid what it's really worth. ;-)

I think that's the strongest universal truth we're going to get. laugh
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Polyphonist

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#2261942 - 04/15/14 04:57 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
drumour Offline
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Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 848
Loc: Scotland
Keyboards don't know the difference between dom 7ths and German 6ths. Yet, for all the thousands of times we hear that combination of notes as a dom 7th, in a huge variety of dom 7th contexts, as soon as the context is provided for a German 6th it sounds so different as to be opposite. You'd think the difference would be more pronounced when played by groups of instrumentalists who can fine-tune on the fly - but that is not the case.


John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#2262006 - 04/15/14 08:15 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7753
It seems to me that a static and universal musical truth is that humans across time and culture seem to have this idea that something we call "music" can occur. That strongly suggests to me that we are hard-wired for music, but exactly how that works is mysterious.

The harmonic series as demonstrated by vibrating bodies must be some basic element of it all, in terms of pitch stuff. And we embody and are surrounded by stuff doing the kind of periodic things that seem to form the basis for rhythm in music.

But why do we play with all that, and make music? At the moment I'm typing this, I'm thinking it may be connected with our general bent for abstracting from physical reality, and that seems to be some kind of hardwiring. Tomorrow may bring some other thought...

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#2262021 - 04/15/14 08:54 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: wr]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 665
Originally Posted By: wr
It seems to me that a static and universal musical truth is that humans across time and culture seem to have this idea that something we call "music" can occur. That strongly suggests to me that we are hard-wired for music, but exactly how that works is mysterious.

The harmonic series as demonstrated by vibrating bodies must be some basic element of it all, in terms of pitch stuff. And we embody and are surrounded by stuff doing the kind of periodic things that seem to form the basis for rhythm in music.

But why do we play with all that, and make music? At the moment I'm typing this, I'm thinking it may be connected with our general bent for abstracting from physical reality, and that seems to be some kind of hardwiring. Tomorrow may bring some other thought...



At dusk in view of a setting sun, a solitary lark, sitting high in a dead tree, sings long, highly melismatic lines, never repeating, for about twenty minutes. My wife and I have witnessed this on our land.

On Statia, an island in the Netherlands Antilles, the first evening we were there, we stood ankle deep in the Caribbean Ocean watching the sun set. A herd of cows (the entire island is free range, no fences or herders) joined us in the water to watch as well. We were silent, but they sang (mooed actually).

Why?

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#2262105 - 04/15/14 12:26 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: wr]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Originally Posted By: wr
It seems to me that a static and universal musical truth is that humans across time and culture seem to have this idea that something we call "music" can occur. That strongly suggests to me that we are hard-wired for music, but exactly how that works is mysterious.

We are definitely "hard-wired" for music. Luckily, it's not so mysterious.

Our attraction to music is certainly a product (or byproduct) of our evolution. There are a few competing hypothesis, but IIRC the most plausible is that it's a byproduct of the development of spoken language and/or our auditory processing systems.

It probably won't be too long for this hypothesis to pull in more evidence.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262111 - 04/15/14 12:37 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 665
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: wr
It seems to me that a static and universal musical truth is that humans across time and culture seem to have this idea that something we call "music" can occur. That strongly suggests to me that we are hard-wired for music, but exactly how that works is mysterious.

We are definitely "hard-wired" for music. Luckily, it's not so mysterious.

Our attraction to music is certainly a product (or byproduct) of our evolution. There are a few competing hypothesis, but IIRC the most plausible is that it's a byproduct of the development of spoken language and/or our auditory processing systems.

It probably won't be too long for this hypothesis to pull in more evidence.


Evolution? Absolutely. In the case of non-human animals (maybe them as well), it was/is likely territorial or mate-search related - 'my song is bigger than your song'.

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#2262129 - 04/15/14 01:09 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4743
Loc: USA
That's hardly an explanation.

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#2262136 - 04/15/14 01:15 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Originally Posted By: JoelW
That's hardly an explanation.

It's a start and is currently the best science can offer (which is a better explanation than anything else).

Just because you don't understand the mechanisms of natural and sexual selection doesn't mean it's "hardly an explanation".


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 01:15 PM)
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262137 - 04/15/14 01:17 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4743
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Just because you don't understand the mechanisms of natural and sexual selection...

It isn't wise to make assumptions.

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#2262138 - 04/15/14 01:20 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Originally Posted By: JoelW

It isn't wise to make assumptions.

You clearly have no grasp on selection processes if you're dismissing scientific hypotheses of our appreciation for music based in these principles.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262145 - 04/15/14 01:30 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4743
Loc: USA
Show me the science.

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#2262149 - 04/15/14 01:35 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Show me the science.

There is a whole lot of information available on natural selection and human evolution on the internet. It's very easily accessible; Google is usually a good start.

Aren't you finishing up, or finished with high school? Your science and bio courses should have covered this material (or least an introduction to evolution).
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262151 - 04/15/14 01:36 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
I'm guessing you're going off to university (you may be already). You'll be required to take core-ed classes; plenty of opportunity to learn about evolution there as well.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262154 - 04/15/14 01:41 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4743
Loc: USA
You've yet to do anything except shout "evolution" repeatedly. If you want to be taken seriously with your claim about how music arose, there must be research. It isn't enough to just think of a hypothesis. We test them. This is how we get theories. You should know this.

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#2262155 - 04/15/14 01:43 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Originally Posted By: JoelW
You've yet to do anything except shout "evolution" repeatedly. If you want to be taken seriously with your claim about how music arose, there must be research. It isn't enough to just think of a hypotheses. We test them. This is how we get theories. You should know this.

I did not formulate these theories, obviously. They were formulated by scientists and, as I said, there are currently a few competing hypothesis. Are you Google-handicapped or something? It takes literally seconds to find the latest information about this.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262157 - 04/15/14 01:45 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7467
Loc: New York City
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2262160 - 04/15/14 01:47 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Online   content
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@Poly
The answer to OPs question is "no". Discussing the most plausible theories to the next best question is certainly related.
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#2262161 - 04/15/14 01:52 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
I did not formulate these theories, obviously. They were formulated by scientists and, as I said, there are currently a few competing hypothesis. Are you Google-handicapped or something? It takes literally seconds to find the latest information about this.

There is no such science, if we are talking about true science. There are merely speculative, untestable hypotheses, way too common in evolution theory.

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#2262162 - 04/15/14 01:52 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Oh please let's not have an evolution argument.
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#2262163 - 04/15/14 01:53 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

This made me laugh. grin

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#2262166 - 04/15/14 01:58 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: JoelW

There is no such science, if we are talking about true science. There are merely speculative, untestable hypotheses, way too common in evolution theory.

Well, evolution is a theory in the scientific definition of the word. Evolution is actually an empirically proven fact.

Anyways, there is such science. You just have to not be a science-denier or research-disabled in order to learn it.
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262168 - 04/15/14 02:04 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Dave Horne Offline
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I started to read the initial post but gave up once I saw there were not any new paragraphs.
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#2262173 - 04/15/14 02:25 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
JoelW Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: JoelW

There is no such science, if we are talking about true science. There are merely speculative, untestable hypotheses, way too common in evolution theory.

Well, evolution is a theory in the scientific definition of the word. Evolution is actually an empirically proven fact.

Anyways, there is such science. You just have to not be a science-denier or research-disabled in order to learn it.

Microevolution is the empirically proven fact. It's important to distinguish the components of the evolutionary paradigm when talking about the science of evolutionary theory. On one hand we have the thesis of common ancestry which, as you know, says that all living organisms descended from a single primordial ancestor. The evidence for this is impressive and much more abundant than the evidence for the adequacy of proposed mechanisms. The idea that the entirety of biological complexity can be explained solely by natural selective processes is an extrapolation unsupported by empirical science and highly mathematically implausible.

I'm not saying "god" did it, nor am I a science denier. I'm simply pointing out the giant hole in the adequacy of the theory as a whole.

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#2262176 - 04/15/14 02:29 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
The idea that the entirety of biological complexity can be explained solely by natural selective processes is an extrapolation unsupported by empirical science and highly mathematically implausible.

Wrong again. It is absolutely explained by natural processes (that is the very mechanism of natural selection). The "mathematical implausibility" is a logical fallacy and is not taken seriously in the scientific community.

Originally Posted By: JoelW

nor am I a science denier. I'm simply pointing out the giant hole in the adequacy of the theory as a whole.

In fact, you are a science denier (this should be obvious). There are no "giant holes" in the evolution model. Your high school really should have taught you this material.

Often, people who deny evolution as a fact are simply uneducated about it, and they misunderstand the model and evidence. The only giant holes are in your thinking.
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262178 - 04/15/14 02:31 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Polyphonist Online   content
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This debate is going to lead nowhere good. Let's hope a lock is forthcoming.
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#2262196 - 04/15/14 03:06 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
This debate is going to lead nowhere good. Let's hope a lock is forthcoming.

.....or better yet, telling the combatants to cut it out or start a different thread.


edit (answer to Poly's post below): FSO shouldn't have her thread closed on this account.


Edited by Mark_C (04/15/14 03:17 PM)

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#2262197 - 04/15/14 03:08 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Do we really want ANY thread on this topic? grin
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#2262214 - 04/15/14 03:28 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
prout Offline
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Lock it please.

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#2262217 - 04/15/14 03:32 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
This debate is going to lead nowhere good. Let's hope a lock is forthcoming.

.....or better yet, telling the combatants to cut it out or start a different thread.


edit (answer to Poly's post below): FSO shouldn't have her thread closed on this account.

True. So I think cut it out is the answer.
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#2262221 - 04/15/14 03:40 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
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Why is it so bad to talk about science? Threads get derailed all the time, but that doesn't mean you have to close it. We've stopped talking about it, and nothing ever got out of hand. Don't close FSO's thread for that.

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#2262224 - 04/15/14 03:56 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why is it so bad to talk about science? Threads get derailed all the time, but that doesn't mean you have to close it. We've stopped talking about it, and nothing ever got out of hand. Don't close FSO's thread for that.


It is fine to talk about science if the concept of a theory is understood. There are no facts in science - and that is a fact! There are only observed realities. A good theory is falsifiable. Ptolemy produced a geocentric astronomical theory that worked well for re-establishing the field boundaries along the Nile after each year's flooding. The theory worked, and it was good, because it was falsifiable. The most recent theories are also falsifiable.

Evolution is a good theory. It is not fact.

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#2262227 - 04/15/14 03:58 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Polyphonist]
Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
This debate is going to lead nowhere good. Let's hope a lock is forthcoming.

.....or better yet, telling the combatants to cut it out or start a different thread.


edit (answer to Poly's post below): FSO shouldn't have her thread closed on this account.

True. So I think cut it out is the answer.

A better answer: Select a different thread.

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#2262242 - 04/15/14 04:34 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: prout]
Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: prout
It is fine to talk about science if the concept of a theory is understood. There are no facts in science - and that is a fact! There are only observed realities. A good theory is falsifiable. Ptolemy produced a geocentric astronomical theory that worked well for re-establishing the field boundaries along the Nile after each year's flooding. The theory worked, and it was good, because it was falsifiable. The most recent theories are also falsifiable.

Evolution is a good theory. It is not fact.

I'm no scientist, but it's my understanding that the word "theory" has an entirely different meaning in scientific parlance. Colloquially we use the word "theory" to describe an educated guess (e.g. "I believe Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the US.") But in science, a theory is not merely a guess, but a structure, a framework, a foundation upon which all cumulative related knowledge rests.

Yes, falsifiability is a part of it, but that's a characteristic of all scientific discovery. This edifice that we call a "theory" can indeed be wiped out in a flash if one of its key tenets can be disproved. Which is the beauty of a scientific theory: It makes no assumptions, it has no bias, and it can and will be dismantled if peer review can discover and verify a flaw in the foundation.

But to say that there are "no facts in science", or that evolution is simply a theory (in the colloquial sense), is incorrect. Evolution has stood the test of time. And while theories may get tweaked and refined from time to time, the basic structure remains intact. Would you say that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is merely a "theory", but not fact? How about Newton's Theory of Gravitation? Care to jump out of a plane without a parachute to see how good Sir Isaac's "guess" was? laugh


Edited by Old Man (04/15/14 04:48 PM)

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#2262246 - 04/15/14 04:47 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
joflah Offline
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What makes music possible are hearing, memory and pattern recognition. All of those must have evolved because of their survival value, but that doesn't mean that music came about as a sort of chest-beating for attracting a mate.

Add in the pleasure of harmony due to the physical nature of sound, and the satisfaction of expectation, or its temporary frustration, and there's a framework for music. Something similar could be said of vision and the visual arts, which depend on capabilities evolved for survival. And cuisine. But art is beyond mere survival.
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#2262254 - 04/15/14 04:59 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Old Man]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: prout
It is fine to talk about science if the concept of a theory is understood. There are no facts in science - and that is a fact! There are only observed realities. A good theory is falsifiable. Ptolemy produced a geocentric astronomical theory that worked well for re-establishing the field boundaries along the Nile after each year's flooding. The theory worked, and it was good, because it was falsifiable. The most recent theories are also falsifiable.

Evolution is a good theory. It is not fact.

I'm no scientist, but it's my understanding that the word "theory" has an entirely different meaning in scientific parlance. Colloquially we use the word "theory" to describe an educated guess (e.g. "I believe Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the US.") But in science, a theory is not merely a guess, but a structure, a framework, a foundation upon which all cumulative related knowledge rests.

Yes, falsifiability is a part of it, but that's a characteristic of all scientific discovery. This edifice that we call a "theory" can indeed be wiped out in a flash if one of its key tenets can be disproved. Which is the beauty of a scientific theory: It makes no assumptions, it has no bias, and it can and will be dismantled if peer review can discover and verify a flaw in the foundation.

But to say that there are "no facts in science", or that evolution is simply a theory (in the colloquial sense), is incorrect. Evolution has stood the test of time. And while theories may get tweaked and refined from time to time, the basic structure remains intact. Would you say that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is merely a "theory", but not fact? How about Newton's Theory of Gravitation? Care to jump out of a plane without a parachute and see how good Sir Isaac's "guess" was? laugh


Actually, having flown aircraft as a commercial pilot for close to 40 years, and having taken recurrent training courses every six months, I can assert that no one actually knows how an airplane flies. They will, however, tell you all the 'facts'. We have a number of competing theories, each of which adequately predicts some aspect of lift vs. drag vs. velocity vs. who knows what. I trust that the aircraft will not fall out of the air each time I ascend, but I am not sure, though I am willing to bet my life on it.

Newton's theory is not fact. It does not adequately predict the orbits of the GPS satellites that I use to navigate. In fact the table of ephemerides (predictions of where the satellites will be at a certain time), are so inaccurate that they must be updated every few weeks.

Einstein's theory regarding gravity better predicts the influence of gravity and has yet to be falsified as has Newton. But it will likely fail at some level not yet within our sensory capability.

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#2262255 - 04/15/14 04:59 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Online   content
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@Old Man
Thank you for doing the heavy lifting for me! Excellent post.

@prout
Evolution is a proven, empirical fact. I think you may not quite have a firm understanding of the these terms and the processes of scientific models, as Old Man elaborated on.

This is a great resource for you to start your "journey": http://www.notjustatheory.com/
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262257 - 04/15/14 05:00 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
@Old Man
Thank you for doing the heavy lifting for me! Excellent post.

@prout
Evolution is a proven, empirical fact. I think you may not quite have a firm understanding of the these terms and the processes of scientific models, as Old Man elaborated on.

This is a great resource for you to start your "journey": http://www.notjustatheory.com/


I believe in evolutionary theory wholeheartedly. It is not fact. Much of what Darwin postulated has been proven false, but his basic predictive tenets have found support in empirical data using both short and very long term data points. It will undergo major changes as it evolves as well. IT IS NOT FACT!


Edited by prout (04/15/14 05:04 PM)

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#2262259 - 04/15/14 05:02 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: prout]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: prout
It is not fact.

See, this reflects that you do not understand exactly what you're saying. It is a fact. Do some research; the link I provided is great for people who don't quite have a grasp on these concepts.
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262262 - 04/15/14 05:05 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: prout
It is not fact.

See, this reflects that you do not understand exactly what you're saying. It is a fact. Do some research; the link I provided is great for people who don't quite have a grasp on these concepts.


You obviously believe that Newton's theory of gravitation is fact.

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#2262266 - 04/15/14 05:07 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
prout Offline
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Boy, talk about stealing a thread! Sorry everybody. I'll try to stop when the 'scienticians' take five.

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#2262267 - 04/15/14 05:10 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: prout]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: prout

You obviously believe that Newton's theory of gravitation is fact.

Yet another failure of logic. Newton's theory explains the fact of gravity.

You really seem to be having trouble here. Maybe living 40+ years with an incorrect understanding have made you unamenable to objective reality.


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 05:10 PM)
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262268 - 04/15/14 05:13 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: prout

You obviously believe that Newton's theory of gravitation is fact.

Yet another failure of logic. Newton's theory explains the fact of gravity.

You really seem to be having trouble here. Maybe living 40+ years with an incorrect understanding have made you unamenable to objective reality.


Have you read Einstein?

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#2262269 - 04/15/14 05:17 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: prout]
Atrys Online   content
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Registered: 10/31/13
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Originally Posted By: prout

Have you read Einstein?

This is a complete non sequitur.

Your understanding of what theories, models, and facts are is plainly incorrect. Any good scientist (or person with an understanding of these things) will tell this to you. Hard to blame you though, 40+ years of long-term potentiation of false ideas can be hard to rewire, despite factual evidence to the contrary.
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262272 - 04/15/14 05:25 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: prout

Have you read Einstein?

This is a complete non sequitur.

Your understanding of what theories, models, and facts are is plainly incorrect. Any good scientist (or person with an understanding of these things) will tell this to you. Hard to blame you though, 40+ years of long-term potentiation of false ideas can be hard to rewire, despite factual evidence to the contrary.


Well, so far you have not provided a single observed reality to buttress your argument. Newton observed gravity. Einstein was able to provide an equivalent to gravity (Principle of Equivalence) implying that free-fall and inertial motion are equivalent. We feel what we call 'gravity' as a consequence of not being able to follow the geodesics of spacetime.

Which is fact?

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#2262273 - 04/15/14 05:34 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: prout]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: prout

Which is fact?

That literally has nothing to do with any of this. You can answer your own question very easily if you just took the time to actually understand what a fact is and what a scientific theory is.

Evolution is an observable, testable phenomenon. It is a fact that evolution is real. The Theory of Evolution explains this fact.

What are your scientific, or otherwise STEM, qualifications? What is your scientific education? Do you realize what you're asserting is not reflective of what the scientific community operates on?

What about this is so hard for you to understand? I'm for the discourse, but you're not acknowledging these points.


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 05:34 PM)
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262276 - 04/15/14 05:39 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
ClsscLib Offline

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#2262277 - 04/15/14 05:39 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: prout]
Old Man Offline
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Registered: 04/04/12
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Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: prout
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: prout
It is fine to talk about science if the concept of a theory is understood. There are no facts in science - and that is a fact! There are only observed realities. A good theory is falsifiable. Ptolemy produced a geocentric astronomical theory that worked well for re-establishing the field boundaries along the Nile after each year's flooding. The theory worked, and it was good, because it was falsifiable. The most recent theories are also falsifiable.

Evolution is a good theory. It is not fact.

I'm no scientist, but it's my understanding that the word "theory" has an entirely different meaning in scientific parlance. Colloquially we use the word "theory" to describe an educated guess (e.g. "I believe Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the US.") But in science, a theory is not merely a guess, but a structure, a framework, a foundation upon which all cumulative related knowledge rests.

Yes, falsifiability is a part of it, but that's a characteristic of all scientific discovery. This edifice that we call a "theory" can indeed be wiped out in a flash if one of its key tenets can be disproved. Which is the beauty of a scientific theory: It makes no assumptions, it has no bias, and it can and will be dismantled if peer review can discover and verify a flaw in the foundation.

But to say that there are "no facts in science", or that evolution is simply a theory (in the colloquial sense), is incorrect. Evolution has stood the test of time. And while theories may get tweaked and refined from time to time, the basic structure remains intact. Would you say that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is merely a "theory", but not fact? How about Newton's Theory of Gravitation? Care to jump out of a plane without a parachute and see how good Sir Isaac's "guess" was? laugh


Actually, having flown aircraft as a commercial pilot for close to 40 years, and having taken recurrent training courses every six months, I can assert that no one actually knows how an airplane flies. They will, however, tell you all the 'facts'. We have a number of competing theories, each of which adequately predicts some aspect of lift vs. drag vs. velocity vs. who knows what. I trust that the aircraft will not fall out of the air each time I ascend, but I am not sure, though I am willing to bet my life on it.

Newton's theory is not fact. It does not adequately predict the orbits of the GPS satellites that I use to navigate. In fact the table of ephemerides (predictions of where the satellites will be at a certain time), are so inaccurate that they must be updated every few weeks.

Einstein's theory regarding gravity better predicts the influence of gravity and has yet to be falsified as has Newton. But it will likely fail at some level not yet within our sensory capability.

ha Boy, leave it to me to pick a commercial pilot to try out my jumping-from-plane analogy! laugh

You're obviously much closer to the realm of science than I am, so I defer to your expertise. I resign. You and Atrys may carry on.

(And FSO, if you're still around, you may wish to herd these cats yourself, and reclaim your thread! grin)

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#2262279 - 04/15/14 05:42 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Online   content
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Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
Ugh. People always have to complain when civil discourse happens. There is no name-calling here and it's quite civil. Discourse like this is healthy, as people like @prout need to know that their understanding is severely incorrect. It also gets the readers thinking about these issues and reflecting on where they stand.


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 05:43 PM)
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262281 - 04/15/14 05:46 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Old Man]
Damon Online   happy
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Registered: 09/22/06
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Originally Posted By: Old Man
"I believe Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the US."


If she is, I will consider it definitive proof that there is no God. smile
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#2262284 - 04/15/14 05:53 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
JoelW Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/12
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Newton said that the planets were attracted to the sun by an inverse square force. He proved that if you make this assumption, the planets will orbit the sun in conic sections. Then he proved the converse, that if planets orbit in conic sections, they must be attracted to a central source by an inverse square force. There is nothing like this in Darwinian theory. Nothing that shows that the mechanism of random variation and natural selection is solely responsible for the entirety of the complexity of life. From the point of view of the serious sciences, without this kind of a demonstration, you have no idea whether or not the mechanism is adequate for its intended purposes.

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#2262287 - 04/15/14 05:55 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Damon]
Old Man Offline
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Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Old Man
"I believe Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the US."


If she is, I will consider it definitive proof that there is no God. smile

ha Sorry, Damon. Just one of those "educated guesses". No certainty. But she has little competition now that CC has burned his bridge, so to speak.

Also, the existence of god is unfalsifiable, so no proof is possible, either "for" or "against". smile

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#2262289 - 04/15/14 05:56 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Online   content
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Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 905
@JoelW
That's just not how science works...not even close.

Since you think you've figured it all out, go ahead and approach the university nearest to you. You will not be taken seriously as a person who has a gross misunderstanding of the scientific method.

Here is another start for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_fact_and_theory
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262290 - 04/15/14 05:59 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Old Man]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Old Man

Also, the existence of god is unfalsifiable, so no proof is possible, either "for" or "against". smile

This is incorrect. Victor Stenger has a book entitled "God: The Failed Hypothesis" in which he disproves our imaginary sky-friend. We can, actually, falsify the hypothesis of a God.

Now we're getting off-topic wink
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#2262292 - 04/15/14 06:02 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: wr
It seems to me that a static and universal musical truth is that humans across time and culture seem to have this idea that something we call "music" can occur. That strongly suggests to me that we are hard-wired for music, but exactly how that works is mysterious.

We are definitely "hard-wired" for music. Luckily, it's not so mysterious.

Our attraction to music is certainly a product (or byproduct) of our evolution. There are a few competing hypothesis, but IIRC the most plausible is that it's a byproduct of the development of spoken language and/or our auditory processing systems.

It probably won't be too long for this hypothesis to pull in more evidence.


<yawn>

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#2262294 - 04/15/14 06:05 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
JoelW Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
That's just not how science works...not even close.

Is that right? Last time I checked, experimentation was a part of science.

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#2262295 - 04/15/14 06:07 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Last time I checked, experimentation was a part of science.

It certainly is, but to make assertions, you first have to actually understand what is meant by fact and theory and law. You aren't grasping these topics correctly which is probably why you think you've found something that the entirety of the scientific community hasn't.


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 06:07 PM)
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
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#2262297 - 04/15/14 06:13 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
antony Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Newton said that the planets were attracted to the sun by an inverse square force. He proved that if you make this assumption, the planets will orbit the sun in conic sections. Then he proved the converse, that if planets orbit in conic sections, they must be attracted to a central source by an inverse square force. There is nothing like this in Darwinian theory. Nothing that shows that the mechanism of random variation and natural selection is solely responsible for the entirety of the complexity of life. From the point of view of the serious sciences, without this kind of a demonstration, you have no idea whether or not the mechanism is adequate for its intended purposes.

You may be the only one that claims "the mechanism" of natural selection and gene mutation is inadequate to fully explain life's complexity. I was not aware that this was even an issue on the table. Natural selection and mutation IS the explanation for the complexity of life. The onus would have to be on you to show how and where, and in what instance, it's lacking.


Edited by antony (04/15/14 06:14 PM)

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#2262300 - 04/15/14 06:24 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
TheFool Offline
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Philip Ball's The Music Instinct has some very interesting points about the evolutionary basis for music.

As does Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia.

On the more intense end, if you have access to an academic library then check out Deliége and Sloboda's cognitive studies + the critical writings surrounding them. They are the people everyone quotes, which means they MUST be right. :P
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#2262309 - 04/15/14 06:44 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
FSO Offline
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Thank you for the replies, each and every one holds its own value and, certainly, at least one consideration has come to my attention that hadn't before. Um...a problem with a lot of the very good suggestions (such as the harmonic series proposals) is that they're not static; if one can find in music just *one* instance in which some rule or other about music doesn't apply, well, um...then the rule is flexible. That is to say, some music has no alteration of pitch, and others could simply take the harmonic series out of the question and play with what's left (though, arguably, any single number may begin a harmonic series so too could this be argued for many endless sets)...um...a problem I have with considering things from a human perspective is that it *isn't* "universal", let alone static (before and after humanity, the same truths would be rendered redundant {if A were A, A would be A}), though I'm willing to reduce to a shared humanistic experience. There *are* people, however, who dislike music and avoid it quite fervently. Herein lies my problem with humanity; the psyche can play silly buggers with *any* proposition...I mean, um, some people when told "don't do X" will not do X, some will do and some will *solely* because they were told not to. As such, it can be *very* difficult to try and find some unifying cause for actions; I class the identifying of music as an action. Actions require capacity (one cannot see without optic fibres), capacity doesn't *determine* an action but rather allows it. I mean, um, one may have legs but not always walk. Walking, however, still exists whether or not anyone is doing it (considering a stream of events rather than a segmented view {as would seem appropriate, given the notion that a German sixth is different to a dominant seventh based on context wink } as a suitable model); as such I'd determine that music exists regardless of whether someone is hearing it *or* playing it. That is to say, music may be expressed and recognised, found, but not created. The problem with *this*, however, is that it arguably determines *every* single auditory event as music, whether or not it's regarded as such. If this is the case, then there cannot be a truth about music which isn't simply "it's an auditory expression". Silence, too, is obviously an auditory expression. Um...so music therefore would require some static, universal truth to be *recognised* as music. Possibly wink wr states that: "...a static and universal musical truth is that humans across time and culture seem to have this idea that something we call "music" can occur.". Unfortunately, I haven't met every human so I can't confirm this, but it seems a reasonable proposition. Um...it's in this recognising of music, as opposed to music itself, that strikes me as a plausible source of hope. Again, I'll delegate the thoughts to those of humans alone as I recognise most people don't consider "animals", let alone plants, let alone the sea as an entity or a single grain of sand on the beach, or a lepton or a field, as having sufficient capacity for autonomy (and I would expand any reasonable suggestion to include these). The problem is: would Neolithic man immediately recognise Xenakis's Persepolis as music? Would the random person on the street nowadays? This is wherein I struggle to find a *universal* truth about music...I mean, um, I suppose it's like a universal truth about language; some may hear a foreign language and recognise it as having meaning only because they understand that it comes from a human voicebox; people generally hear piano and know that it's music...but not *always*. *Sigh*. See, I'm not willing to accept any answer that doesn't apply *100%* of the time. The problem with having multiple theories, when they're mutually exclusive, is that you're *reducing* the chance of any one theory being correct. Statistically speaking, the more answers you give, the less certain you are about any one answer. I mean, um, there's a box with a light and a button on opposing sides. When you press the button, the light turns on. How does it do this? An average and rationally minded person would say it's *probably* that there's a battery connected to a wire that connects to the button (press-to-make), which connects to the bulb and back to the battery. Um...a more flexibly minded person may argue that there could be a second circuit inside; the button switches off the light *inside* the box, that lowers the resistance of an LDR on the second circuit, allowing the external light to come on. *Another* person may suggest that the light is remotely operated by someone who observes your own actions, or, um, they might be entirely unrelated and the button may do nothing; the light may be on an irregularly phased timer, or remotely activated by someone who is *not* aware of your pressing the button, or it may just be that random bursts of electricity are happening to form in accordance with quantum theory, or some other reason (tiny gnomes, thus-far eluding discovery, with a sense of humour). Um...my point here is that until you prove why something is the way it is, you can't rule anything out. However, using *deductive* logic one can never go wrong. One will invariably also say a lot less wink Science is...fine. It's a way of getting by but one must always accept the uncertainty principle that goes along with it. This is an uncertainty that mathematics avoids. The problem mathematics has is that people can struggle to see how it applies and it is in the application *of* it that makes people become distrustful (the erroneous: you can use statistics to prove anything)...um...it is an abstract but perfect system that correlates things with no degree of error, but does not in its own right exist (there is no such thing as "5" in the physical world, but "5" *does* exist as an adjective {5 plants})...so then, what is music? I don't think a scientific approach is truly an appropriate one; the way we define music is not to do with sound at all, though obviously sound comes into it, and this is a flaw of science. Um...I'm not a science denier, I am not a follower of any established doctrine or sect. I started my education in mathematics and science. I followed on to philosophy. Um...there is so much *more* to the universe than any one of those sectors incorporates and to ignore any sector based on a preference for your own specialty is not only quite naive, but akin to the fallacies of patriotism (believing your country is the best for no other reason than you were born into it). Um...personally I believe that there are multiple realities that are *simultaneously* true. *Everything* has at least one flaw and *everything* has at least one benefit. For instance, I stipulated what the benefit would be if there was a universal musical truth, and what the benefit would be if there weren't. Frequently I've found people to be averse to explanations that lie outside of their personal beliefs as they strike as nonsensical or threatening. I mean, um, we all have our own beliefs about the universe. What we can all do is question our own beliefs without a need for being right (even the great and thorough Heidegger revised some of his most complex ideas); I stated that I don't expect to find an answer, but it's in the path to finding that answer that we may discover not only things about ourselves but perhaps about other people too. Conviction in the notion that our beliefs are subject to revision is the only logical course of action, in my opinion. With respect to this question, I feel there are many who wouldn't care for the significance of the answer; it won't affect anything. I mean, whether or not life has a meaning won't affect anything *about* life, but it *does* matter transcendentally. Um...it's fine to practice piano without wondering when it is you have made music, or whether truly any combination of notes is valid, or whether one tonal system is deserving of more credit than another, for there is no universally accepted answer. I mean, um, many people will answer any question quicker than they have thought about it. This particular question is not that complicated, but it's complicated enough that most people wouldn't immediately understand it. I hope that doesn't come off as arrogant laugh But it's true; just as most people will not understand Frost's The Road Not Taken immediately. Reflection is required to truly express what it is you understand *of* the question...*sigh* back to the point laugh Um...there exists in music something that is not in music's physical properties; just as there is something in a drawing that is not in the physical properties of graphite. The intent and expression, absorption and interpretation of the graphite is what makes a drawing a drawing, it is just these things that make sound music; *all* of this is simply to say the physical properties of music are not at question here smile Potential music exists in *every* sound event, these events are unfortunately not at question in any way because it would be easy to determine an undercurrent of what makes music exist, some underpinning physical musicality...but as we need to consider a more complex answer, it seems unlikely to me that any one person would be able to arrive at an answer in a few sentences in anything less than a few days. Um...I find it interesting that many people stated, whether outright or in terms of preference, "no" without stating what music is. As for hijacking of threads: I'm personally ambivalent to such happening...um...I recognise how easy it is for those who exist in one reality to be blunt with those who exist in another; this was intended as a philosophical question. Some people are not...minded in such a way. Personally I think that's lovely ^_^ but it's up to the discretion of the person commenting as to whether they're addressing the intended question. Um...as I stated, the only rational course of action is to always question your own conclusions, premises, beliefs and convictions and so I'll always welcome an external point of view to better consider my question; inspiration comes best from else. The only thing I *can* determine thus far is that music exists and it exists in our ability to perceive it and in its ability to be expressed, not in the fashion *of* that expression. In that way, it is the same as any other art form...*sigh*...anyone fancy eliminating either the perceptive element or the expressive element with a reasoned logic? It'd really help out... frown laugh Thank you to *all* the replies...yes, really all of them laugh I feel presently more comfortable in my previous assertions; at least in that I haven't missed anything blatantly obvious wink As for proofs and disproofs of God...I won't comment. I mean, I will a bit, obviously laugh but I shan't offer anything conclusive. I'd have thought any conclusive *proof* would be very well known, though, one way or the other. I personally believe God is a logical necessity as a collective; It may not be a single entity, but as an abstract concept it's flawless wink Oliver Sacks is an enjoyable read, but far from academia, really. Um...he wrote a few interesting things about brain worms (I think he called them?), but he either hasn't the capacity to go further or has to bow to the pressures of pubic accessibility. Quotes are indicative, I find, of running out of things to say, or at least not being secure enough in the force of your conviction that you feel the need to stand behind someone else. Oscar Wilde probably said something about it...
Xxx
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#2262310 - 04/15/14 06:47 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Online   content
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Holy crap wow ha
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
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#2262322 - 04/15/14 07:26 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Polyphonist]
bennevis Online   content
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What did we do in the era before Google, Wikipedia and the internet?

We looked things up in the library (in Encyclopedia Britannica, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, maybe even Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, Newton's Principia Mathematica and Gray's Atlas of Anatomy wink et al), and read up the subjects thoroughly.

Now, some people just fish half-baked bits out from various webpages and use them to rub other's noses in them in internet forums to show how clever they are ...........at Googling grin.

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#2262324 - 04/15/14 07:30 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: bennevis]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: bennevis

Now, some people just fish half-baked bits out from various webpages and use them to rub other's noses in them in internet forums to show how clever they are ...........at Googling grin.

Agreed; it's a shame that some people just skim texts without bothering to understand the material properly. This is why formal education is so important.
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262328 - 04/15/14 07:39 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
ClsscLib Offline

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FSO, study up about paragraph breaks.

I'm begging you.
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#2262341 - 04/15/14 08:21 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
IstvánE Offline
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Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 82
1 2 3

Some articles from a quick skim on JSTOR. There's loads of this stuff, and it is actually quite interesting whether it offends you or not. If you can't access them, you can atleast look at the abstracts. Pretty cool.

So, Atrys, it is over, right? You won? Well none of this is actually science, in fact, all of these are published in humanities journals. Because it is not hard science. Have you read a science paper? Here's what one looks like: Really Cool New Biophysics Work Coming From MIT. Science is not a belief, or a dogma, it is not even an idea. Science is a process.

Notice in that paper, that there is clear denotation and clear language. You'll find that. There won't be any fancy diction like you find in those JSTOR papers; it is utterly clear denotation of a specific process. They have denoted the processes with models that are held constant throughout science, and with numbers to signify these constants. (For instance, the standard mass of science, the kilogram, is arbitrary to the universe, however this arbitrary mass is valid because it is held constant in every scientific study for the past 300 years).

Now this does not mean hard science must have numbers. It just needs clear and specific denotation. This can be with words, terminology, and even large scale ideas. Numbers are just a clear and easy way of denoting a model. When you read a paper in microbiology, you'll hardly see any numbers. This does not invalidate the science; I turn to Joel on this with his charge on evolution's validity. There are extremely mathematically rigorous models which tackle evolution (primarily focusing on the rates of change of populations, rates of growth, etc.). Though, like I said, the numbers aren't important, only a clear denotation is: in science some phenomenon in the universe (in nature) is labeled specifically and given a term. The denotation of what a lipid bilayer is in a cell, or the evolution of mitochonrdia is science that is just as valid as the mathemtical model for the universal gravitational constant of 6.67384×10^-11 m^3kg^-1s^-2.

---


So, I'll say that you are fine to base your argument on these studies. You will just be an idiot of you call them anything scientific.


Edited by gizzards (04/15/14 08:26 PM)

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#2262350 - 04/15/14 08:41 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: IstvánE]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: gizzards
You will just be an idiot of you call them anything scientific.

First, you're on about a non-issue that is not relevant. Second, scientific hypotheses must start somewhere. The hypothesis asserted (one of which I touched on earlier) are indeed scientific in nature and are great catalysts for the community to begin speculation on.

*yawn*


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 08:41 PM)
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262356 - 04/15/14 08:49 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Old Man

Also, the existence of god is unfalsifiable, so no proof is possible, either "for" or "against". smile

This is incorrect. Victor Stenger has a book entitled "God: The Failed Hypothesis" in which he disproves our imaginary sky-friend. We can, actually, falsify the hypothesis of a God.

Now we're getting off-topic wink

The burden of proof is on those who affirm a particular hypothesis (e.g. god exists, unicorns exist (sorry, FSO), leprechauns exist). There is no burden on the opposing side to prove the negative, so it would seem to me that anyone who attempts to do so is being sucked into unnecessary combat with the "affirmative" side, and IMO this can come to no good end.

But after seeing one my favorite authors (Christopher Hitchens) endorse the book, you've piqued my curiosity, so thanks for the reference.

And I agree that we are most certainly off-topic, so let us cease and desist. thumb

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#2262357 - 04/15/14 08:51 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
IstvánE Offline
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Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: gizzards
You will just be an idiot of you call them anything scientific.

First, you're on about a non-issue that is not relevant. Second, scientific hypotheses must start somewhere. The hypothesis asserted (one of which I touched on earlier) are indeed scientific in nature and are great catalysts for the community to begin speculation on.

*yawn*


Righto mate. However, that is a straw man argument you retort with! We are not arguing about what is scientific in nature, (which by the way, is not a thing; it's either science or it is not). We are not even arguing about scientific catalysts! I was proving that your use of sources (which, humourously enough, you never actually sourced) are invalid as scientific texts. I did not even refute your primary argument. I simply would like to point out your horrible abuse of the word "science"! Horrible!

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#2262358 - 04/15/14 08:52 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Furthermore, you are into the realm of religious debate, which along with political debate is almost certainly banned here (I've never seen a site where it wasn't).
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#2262361 - 04/15/14 08:54 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Old Man]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Old Man

There is no burden on the opposing side to prove the negative, so it would seem to me that anyone who attempts to do so is being sucked into unnecessary combat with the "affirmative" side

Yes, the burden of proof is on whoever is trying to disprove the null hypothesis, so technically one doesn't really need the book (or proof of the null hypothesis) in order to arrive at the same conclusion laugh

Originally Posted By: Old Man

But after seeing one my favorite authors (Christopher Hitchens) endorse the book, you've piqued my curiosity, so thanks for the reference.

Hitchens was indeed a brilliant man with much to say and the words to say it. Certainly missed.
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R. W. Emerson

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#2262362 - 04/15/14 08:57 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: IstvánE]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: gizzards

Righto mate. However, that is a straw man argument you retort with! We are not arguing about what is scientific in nature, (which by the way, is not a thing; it's either science or it is not). We are not even arguing about scientific catalysts! I was proving that your use of sources (which, humourously enough, you never actually sourced) are invalid as scientific texts. I did not even refute your primary argument. I simply would like to point out your horrible abuse of the word "science"! Horrible!

It's difficult to take you seriously when almost every one of your sentences is a fallacy itself.

The asserted hypotheses are absolutely scientific in nature. To think otherwise is plainly unscientific.

*yawn again*

You have the weakest, most unfounded argument of them all; but I'm still for the discourse so long as you can correct your logic and definitions wink
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262368 - 04/15/14 09:19 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Atrys]
IstvánE Offline
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Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: gizzards

Righto mate. However, that is a straw man argument you retort with! We are not arguing about what is scientific in nature, (which by the way, is not a thing; it's either science or it is not). We are not even arguing about scientific catalysts! I was proving that your use of sources (which, humourously enough, you never actually sourced) are invalid as scientific texts. I did not even refute your primary argument. I simply would like to point out your horrible abuse of the word "science"! Horrible!

It's difficult to take you seriously when almost every one of your sentences is a fallacy itself.

The asserted hypotheses are absolutely scientific in nature. To think otherwise is plainly unscientific.

*yawn again*

You have the weakest, most unfounded argument of them all; but I'm still for the discourse so long as you can correct your logic and definitions wink


I am absolutely clear on my argument. Science is a clear cut process with specific denotations/models (mathematical and terminological). The studies you (did not) sourced are not scientific. They do not follow this process of denotation and modeling. You also cannot be scientific in nature, and for one thing, you have not even defined that is in the first palce, and two, either the process of science has been executed or it has not been. There is no amiguity in science, which is what makes it so beautiful!

I am also extremely dumbfounded to say the least about your excessive use of non sequiturs! For instance, you disconnect your statements from any more reasoning. For example, in the phrase, "To think otherwise is plainly unscientific", you need to follow the assertion with reasoning as to why it is true. Otherwise, that is only an opinion - which is fine, it is not argumental, however!

I am finished (I have an orgo chem exam I must study for). Please, please do not abuse the word science.


Edited by gizzards (04/15/14 09:23 PM)

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#2262371 - 04/15/14 09:28 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: IstvánE]
Atrys Online   content
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Originally Posted By: gizzards
The studies you (did not) sourced are not scientific. They do not follow this process of denotation and modeling. You also cannot be scientific in nature

All of these statements are false.

If you cannot see how the hypotheses are scientific in nature, you must have not read the material. You actually don't even need to read any papers; one only has to acknowledge the mechanisms that create the argument.

I'm not in the business of "proving" what I said here because I am not the one that formulated the hypotheses (though I do acknowledge, like any thinking person, their plausibility). They are scientific hypotheses (precursors perhaps) put forward by scientists. The hypotheses are competing, but the evolutionary byproduct flavor seems to be winning the race.


Edited by Atrys (04/15/14 09:31 PM)
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"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2262385 - 04/15/14 10:06 PM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: JoelW]
phantomFive Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

This made me laugh. grin

+1
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#2262428 - 04/16/14 12:42 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: FSO]
Roland The Beagle Offline
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And this is why we will always need philosophers to set people straight. In other words, the guys who are smarter than everyone, including scientists. That's me, of course. :]
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#2262562 - 04/16/14 11:16 AM Re: Is There a Static and Universal Musical Truth? [Re: Mark_C]
Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
No grin

A wise man, indeed. grin

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