Saturday 29 March 2008

Music and the Body

Vincent D'Indy remarked that there seemed to be a relationship between harmonic progression and the 'movement of the stomach muscles': moving sharper tended to tighten the muscles, moving flatter relaxed them. This direct physical (visceral) link would explain the ability of music to create sensations which are similar to orgasm (Wagner, Belioz). (What does this mean philosophically? more weight to Gibsonian perception, perhaps!) So here is an improvisation which, though not quite orgasmic, moves sharper and sharper (using tritone substitution harmonies, moving up in thirds), to a climactic moment, and then falling down the cycle of 5ths (i.e. flatter). D'Indy seems to have a point, which in music today, we ignore at our peril.

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