"music = speech - text"

version

Who loves ya, baby?
A while back someone asked Sean from Autechre whether he had any theories on what music is and he came out with this:

yeah music = speech - text. at least roughly - i reckon it's a kind of super-developed version of the pitch and intonation parts of speech (the aural bit that doesn't contain textual info)

I've always thought of music as just organised sound, but I think there's something to this given both essentially seem to be deliberate forms of aural communication, one verbal, one non-verbal (excluding lyrics).
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I'm under the impression that the earliest human music (and maybe speech? idk) was meant to imitate natural sounds - animals, wind, water

i.e. as various styles of throat singing

as part of shamanistic practices

not sure if that would support or oppose Autechre dude's thesis
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
there's also the existence of things like whistling languages, talking drums, etc

in general it seems like the aural/textual line is an indefinite (in the sense of blurry) one

granted idk what Autechre guy's full statement was maybe he addressed that or went into more detail
 

muser

Member
I totally hold this view. I think it'd be more accurate to say its just an extension or another form of our language. One great example that backs this up is when we express sorrow, condolences etc western intonation will drop by a minor third. Happy surprises etc have a major third change. Also just thinking now I guess parallels can be drawn to how language generally evolves to be exclusive to particular areas or in-groups with slang etc, an evolutionary thing to keep tribes from being able to snoop on each other and such.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
A few years back I was going out with a girl who was doing a Phd in philosophy and she was specifically looking at theories of art. She did her dissertation on whether art was a language or analogous to a language. I guess she kinda got bogged down in different theories of what language was and what art is and if there are any of each that you can plausibly choose that can then be shown to be similar... but seems that if you can ask that question about art in general then why not music?
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Music is a language which expresses that which cannot be expressed through language.
 

woops

is not like other people
I'm under the impression that the earliest human music (and maybe speech? idk) was meant to imitate natural sounds - animals, wind, water

i.e. as various styles of throat singing

as part of shamanistic practices

not sure if that would support or oppose Autechre dude's thesis
well i've heard similar and you can say speech and music both evolved from such sounds but they eventually both evolved to a textual level. he obviously means instrumental level. so maybe more accurate to say instrumental music=music-speech so not such an insight after all/.
 

woops

is not like other people
well i've heard similar and you can say speech and music both evolved from such sounds but they eventually both evolved to a textual level. he obviously means instrumental level. so maybe more accurate to say instrumental music=music-speech so not such an insight after all/.
it is the time of year for bah. humbug after all
 
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