Does music exist without a listener? This is kind of a corollary to the tree falling in the woods question- but it definitely deviates. Does the noise exist without someone to hear it? If music is created by a musician, does it really matter if anyone hears it? Does music have more value than random noise- because it was created with a purpose? Does this purpose give it more value than other waves?
Say there is a music band whose members engage in frequent illegal/immoral acts, e.g. drunken driving, drug use, prostitution, rape, assault, etc. I want to buy their latest album, but I know that the money they receive from me will end up fueling their criminal behavior. Knowing this, is it wrong for me to buy the album?
Putting aside the legal aspects and ramifications of illegally downloading music - is doing so morally wrong?
Put another way, do we do something morally wrong when we download or otherwise take music that we did not pay for?
If we acknowledge a private right to property, and that taking someone's property is stealing, then, can we say we steal (in the same sense, which is to say with the same moral implications) when we take the recognized intellectual property of another, specifically some artist's or artists' music?
How would a person who believes that musical works are universals account for instances of musical works which seem to imply that each performance of the same piece is always different, not only in the sense that all performances are different interpretations of the same score, but taking the examples of the arab "maqam", the indian "raga" or western jazz music, in which improvisation and sometimes a radical "mutation" of the work plays an important role, not accidental but essential to the performance of that work?
Is intention enough for one to get an artistic status? Supose, as a composer, I have a piece called "Sonata for non-prepared pianist". I walk into a theater and pick someone from the audience and give to this person, that lacks musical theory knowledge, some verbal instructions like "play anything with anger. Now imagine you're watching the ocean. Now imagine you are in a hurry..." and I sit him in front of the piano. He will just randomly hit keys and produce noise (or music?) accordingly to the "moods" I gave him. So, he is playing piano, he has intention of playing piano, he is producing sound, he is following instructions. Can we consider him, now, the concert pianist? Is he now an artist?
Tiago V., Portugal
Just how 'universal' is music? That seems to be a very broad question, but here's some background to clarify: In the past, there have been many different ways of creating music. The only real standard of pitch is the octave, which is two notes exactly one half or twice the others' frequency. Between that, there have been tons of different ways of dividing the octave (12-tone, just intonation, 19 tone, 31 tone, pitch bending etc.) which obviously resulted in some very different types of music. When I listen to Armenian duduk music, for example, it all sounds very similar to me, a combination of familiar western music scales and modes with slightly bent pitches. I presume that they have many different types of music within their own culture, as we do in the west, and as every culture probably does. So, would our music sound similar to someone unfamiliar with it, as a person from a small Asian or African village that had its own, old and untainted musical tradition. Would they be able to distinguish...
Recently I've had trouble comprehending the idea of a divide between music and noise. I was wondering, are noise and music one and the same? To compose something with the intention that it be noise music seems paradoxical to me, since music and noise seem to be two opposite ends on the line of 'sound'. Yet there exists noise music and even freeform jazz, with completely random notes and seemingly no structure at all. Is this still music? It seems to me that music is a form of art, and art is expression - so there is no reason really why this kind of noise shouldn't be classed as music, since it is the artists intention that it is music, even if its just random noise being recorded.
I'm having real trouble understanding whether this is an actual problem or not. It seems to me there shouldn't exist any kind of boundaries in music (and so no boundaries between music and noise?), yet I am reluctant (for some intuitive reason perhaps?) to acknowledge these noise projects as forms of music.
Thanks for your...