Закончил Oliver Sacks’ “Musicophilia”. Не совсем то, что я ожидал от книги, но интересно. Хорошие цитаты:

Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional. It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique power to express inner states or feelings. Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.


Such anticipation, such singing along, is possible because one has knowledge, largely implicit, of musical "rules" (how a cadence must resolve, for instance) and a familiarity with particular musical conventions (the form of a sonata, or the repetition of a theme). But anticipation is not possible with music from a very different culture or tradition—or if musical conventions are deliberately shattered. Jonah Lehrer, in his book "Proust Was a Neuroscientist", discusses how Stravinsky did this, famously, with his "Rite of Spring", whose first performance in 1913 caused a riot that required the Paris police to intervene. The audience, which had expected a traditional, classical ballet, was enraged by Stravinsky’s violation of the rules. But with time and repetition, the strange became familiar, and The Rite of Spring is now a beloved concert piece, as "tame" as a Beethoven minuet (though Beethoven, too, was hissed in his time, and some of his music regarded at first as unintelligible, mere noise).


We can listen again and again to a recording of a piece of music, a piece we know well, and yet it can seem as fresh, as new, as the first time we heard it. Zuckerkandl addresses this paradox in "Sound and Symbol":

Time is always new; cannot possibly be anything but new. Heard as a succession of acoustical events, music will soon become boring; heard as the manifestation of time eventuating, it can never bore. The paradox appears at its most acute in the achievement of a performing musician, who attains the heights if he succeeds in performing a work with which he is thoroughly familiar, as if it were the creation of the present moment.

Pablo Casals, the consummate cellist, was also an excellent pianist, and once when he in his nineties, he commented to an interviewer that he had played one of Bach’s "Preludes and Fugues" every morning for the past eighty-five years. Did he not get tired of this? the interviewer asked. Was it not boring? No, replied Casals, each playing for him was a new experience, an act of discovery.

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