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The Objectivist Esthetic View Of Music.

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I just got done with the Romantic Manifesto and I must say that Ayn Rand has really just raised my opinion of her and her philosophy with that work. So eloquently and logically done....pure genious.

But my concern is this...she only spoke of music for a total of 8 or so pages. It's a concern because I'm more interested in music than any of the arts.

She made great points about how the process works, visual art goes: perception, conceptual understanding, appraisal, then emotion...music goes: perception, emotion, appraisal, conceptual understanding. This clears up a lot for me (although you would think that this is self evident and doesn't require someone to point out).

She then highlights Helmholtz and states his view on the physiological portion of music. I really would like more information on these theories because on this portion of subject Ayn Rand's explanation turns into hypothosis. Not that a hypothosis is a bad thing, but I need some more facts to determine if her hypothosis is valid (not that I think it's not, I just want to learn more about the physiological aspects of music).

So where do I begin? Who are trusted authors on the subject?

I found a copy of Helmholtz "On the Sensations of Tone As a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music" but it's like 45 dollars used and I don't have the money right now, nor do I know if he's actually correct.

Anyone have some suggestions on some more research of the subject?

~Michael

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The Ayn Rand Bookstore just stocked this course on melody and composition. I know that's more than you want to spend but it gives you something to shoot for.

Thanks Bowzer!

I think this is on my list for next purchase...payday can't come quick enough.

Any other suggestions (books?)

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I'm just an amateur musician and I'm not well-read at all on the subject but I seem to remember Seashore's book being worthy of a read.

I'm an amateur musician as well and I'm starting to "grow up" in my musical tastes and abilities and I'm trying to find some serious topics to take on.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'm gonna put that on my list as well.

~Michael

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I found a copy of Helmholtz "On the Sensations of Tone As a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music" but it's like 45 dollars used and I don't have the money right now, nor do I know if he's actually correct.

Here is a used paperback copy for $3.50. In case that one does not work out, here is another one for $7.00.

Helmholtz was a brilliant mathematician/physician/physicist who made significant contributions in several areas of science. Though almost a century and one-half old his On the Sensations of Tone remains a classic and is still used in the study of physiological acoustics. Well worth delving into for someone interested in the physiological basis for music. Most of the text is generally accessible, though some of the technical appendices require familiarity with differential equations.

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Here is a used paperback copy for $3.50. In case that one does not work out, here is another one for $7.00.

Helmholtz was a brilliant mathematician/physician/physicist who made significant contributions in several areas of science. Though almost a century and one-half old his On the Sensations of Tone remains a classic and is still used in the study of physiological acoustics. Well worth delving into for someone interested in the physiological basis for music. Most of the text is generally accessible, though some of the technical appendices require familiarity with differential equations.

Thank you once again Mr. Speicher.

Any other suggestions of authors on the subject?

~Michael

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here is an excellent site dealing with a study & analysis of Tonality & Perception:

Tone and Voice: A Derivation of the Rules of Voice-leading from Perceptual Principles

It's stated goal is "A theory is proposed to account for the aesthetic origin of voice-leading practices."

It was originally published in the journal Music Perception

In addition, for those musicians studying composition it is valuable to have & use Fux's book on counterpoint:Study of Counterpoint

As well as Salzer's impressive work based on Schenker's Theory of Tonal Music:

Structural Hearing: Tonal Coherence in Music

Christopher Schlegel

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