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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000027.txt from 2001/04

From: Roger Shilcock <roger.shilcock@-----.uk>
Subj: Re: [kl] Meta-music?
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 12:21:54 -0400

But nobody is trying to describe music in terms of its own language -
are they??
For music, "natural" language - of whatever kind - *is* a metalanguage.
Roger S.

In message <6098-3AC76A7C-3145@-----.org writes:
> Our recent discussions about good vs bad music (or performers
> thereof) make a point about the language that we use to discuss music.
>
> We've all heard the paradox: "This sentence is a lie." If this
> sentence _is_ a lie, then the sentence is declaring itself to be true
> and therefore it _isn't_ a lie....
>
> The resolution is that a language cannot logically describe its own
> rules. Statements that describe a language's rules obey a separate
> language of their own (sometimes called a meta-language) even if the
> dictionaries for both languages happen include identical printed or
> acoustic patterns as symbols (words).
>
> We should recognize a similar paradox when we use a musical rule to
> describe music. "Good musical skills" can "sound awful", and vice
> versa and inversely and conversely and so forth. I think that some of
> this paradox has crept into our discussion of Stoltzman's music.
> Having command of the "rules and techniques" may or may not mean that
> you enjoy the content of his music. When you try to transfer from a
> "rule" to the "content" (from meta-language to language), you can end up
> with uncomfortable arguments and/or statements.
>
>
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-------------- W. B. Yeats ("A coat")

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