The Future of Music by Edward J. Dent and K. A. Wright Obe (Auth.)

By Edward J. Dent and K. A. Wright Obe (Auth.)

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T h e experiment may be tried, and it may well contribute something useful towards the stock of artistic material. W h a t this movement really signifies is nothing more than a subtilization of already recognized 44 THE FUTURE OF MUSIC harmonic values, for from the point of view of acoustics it is impossible to d r a w any clear distinction between w h a t is perceived as a "tone-colour" and what is perceived as a "chord". • 4- ^ XVI Φ •φ φ •φ -φ φ Α T h e mechanical inventions of recent years have provided us with increased facilities for the diffusion of music.

W e acquire the habit of applying our intellectual and reasoning faculties to it. But our aesthetic emotions are not stirred until we are thrown into contact with the irrational. T h e irrational in this case does not imply utter intellectual chaos and anarchy any more than it does in mathematics or metaphysics. T h e mathematician perceives a new truth intuitively by an act of imagination, but it is of no use to him until he can prove it by reason; yet reason is of no use to him unless he has creative imagination as well.

40 THE FUTURE OF MUSIC W e do not enjoy music as an art until we have learned to a p preciate it rationally; but at the same time it cannot give us a real aesthetic emotion unless it confronts us forcibly with a further irrational element. It is this irrational reaction which causes us still to be stirred by the music of the past. W e listen to a quartet of Mozart; we recognize a familiar convention, we are easily set back into a past cultural period in which Mozart's language was the language of the day.

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