Demonstrating a shift from interest in post-Partch structural theories to post-Tenney theories of perception, Eleatic Conceptions of Musical Experience formulates an anti-perceptual stance as a reaction to the obstacle of hearing without knowing, and the impossibility of microtonality as a serious alternative to equal temperament in seeking truth in music.
It instead attempts to argue for, and promote, a conception of musical experience, the totality of the the environment of sound with or without a perceiver, that is akin to Parmenides own argument of existence:
It is the same, and it rests in the self-same place, abiding in itself.
And thus it remaineth constant in its place
Through a finely distilled interpretation of Parmenides argument into the question of acoustic (what is) and aesthetic (what is not) conceptions of musical experience, Eleatic Conceptions of Musical Experience questions the manner in which we perceive, the object that what we perceive, and how the ways in which we perceive alter our experiences of the object as it expresses itself; in the process, the work slowly begins to unravel the distinct dilemma of human perception that Tenney’s work engaged with, as to deny it and all conceptual ideas and theories built upon it, culminating with an about face from the study of musical structures and microtonality to a denial of them as to praise musical experience as ungenerated and indivisible; therefore, without change, without motion, and without time.
Too long for an essay, too short for a book, this work is offered for free, as its conclusions are highly important for a correct interpretation of my own musical language and any other theoretical or analytical work that may come in the future.
Copyright © Sean Tartaglia 2020