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Quale and Music

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  • Robert Karl Stonjek
    ... notes previously played. I was so taken by the music I could only identify a fraction of the instruments playing. ... feeling may occur from non-musical
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2002
      > Contrasting these two:
      > 1) I hear a string of notes and only hear a string of notes;
      > 2) I hear music, feel uplifted, but can not identify any of the
      notes previously played. I was so taken by the music I could only
      identify a fraction of the instruments playing.
      > I say that, (and being consistent with the above definitions):
      > that music quale occurs in (2) but not (1);
      > that the experience in (2) is not reducible to notes as the same
      feeling may occur from non-musical sources or from unrelated pieces
      of music;
      > that the music related quale serves to summarise hundreds, possibly
      thousands of notes into a singular feeling (that may have a
      complexity and structure of its own);

      You don't get it, the Oxford definition mentioned the direct
      perceived experiences (which I erased to please Dr. Ramsoy, re
      length) such as coffee grounds or the taste of a pineapple. It
      doesn't have to do with what sort of state you might end up in,
      rapturous memories of Sri Lanka or whatever. The music qualia,
      unless these are to differ from regular qualia (in which case such a
      definition should be left off this board or explicitly stated), are
      what you hear out of the notes, tones, pitch, timbre. You said in
      the post to which I'm responding that music qualia dealt with the
      sense of volume, without depending on qualitative changes in volume,
      which again is quite basic, tending toward the monadic.

      I'm not arguing that a state of singular feeling might not also be a
      quale (that is for another time and place), however the "Audio
      qualia" to which I referred will stand much better with the first
      definition rather than the second. It is the way the word qualia is
      used. BTW, C I Lewis did call loudness a quale, and the writer of
      the second of my links (near the top) also discusses pitch in his
      discussion of qualia, in a manner implying that he took it to be what
      many would call a quale.

      Yes, the qualities of loudness, redness and so on. Music in general has a quality all of its own. But what if a thing has a combination of qualities that induce a unique quale. Do we ignore that? Call it something else?

      Music at the score level has numerous qualitative cues penned in to guide conductors. "This piece should have the feeling of space". What is "spaceness"? In music, it is something real. There are numerous of these qualities a conductor is supposed to know and be able to reproduce. Conductors sometimes change the quale : a piece that had 'innocence' now has 'majesty'.

      How do you listen to a piece of music and hear 'majesty' or 'innocence' or 'redness' and attribute this to the notes? This is particularly so when two conductors take the same score and bring different quale out of the same piece.

      I never said music was reducible to notes, so you continue to
      misquote me no matter how many caveats I made.

      'music qualia' not music per se. I say there is qualia that remains at the music level. It can not be reduced further.

      We can identify molecules as a requirement to life, but life can not be reduced to molecules or even found in molecules. There is energy and other states associated with molecules but they must come together in certain ways before life can occur.

      Music is much the same in this regard, but instead of objective life I am referring to subjective quale - the musicality of music.

      Kind Regards,
      Robert Karl Stonjek.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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