Carola: "Useless research"? (You mean, more useless than the Classics? ;D) Go ahead - start that topic in a new thread! - if you don't, I will...
<br /><br />Back on topic:<br /><br />When you are educated in an art (well - in anything really), you are presented with a way of regarding it. Your way of regarding artwork, and thus your reaction to it, is shaped by what you've been taught - even if this happens in a negative sense (i.e. you reacted against what you learned), that education has shaped your outlook in some way.<br /><br />Now, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing... but it can certainly be limiting. I think of my aforementioned friends, who are trained in Western music and find anything that breaks its
rules of What Sounds Good offensive... I think of my own visual arts teachers, trained in the traditionalist "learn to draw first" school who react against my digital art and abstract work. No, you don't need proficiency in the skill of drawing to produce decent visual art - you don't need to learn to represent objects to decide that it doesn't serve your purposes, and to have the "right" to turn to abstraction instead. Why, in some cultures they begin with abstraction in the first place...<br /><br />My point is that people will so easily mistake Artistic Theories for Artistic Truths. But they are just theories
! Each one is a different point of view of the same object, showing some things clearly, some things unclearly, and some things not at all. Thus each theory has its own strengths and fallibilities. To have a true understanding of an art (or indeed, anything), one has to consider many different viewpoints - many different theories.<br /><br />The question of culture comes up in many of my posts for this very reason: comparing different cultures is an easy way to consider different theories, e.g. Western vs. Arabic music theory (though I do not doubt that there may exist different theories within the same culture).<br /><br />As far as such useless examinations of artwork as counting units (words, notes, colours) - yes, I agree with you both on that one!
- I think it pertains to this idea of being stuck in one viewpoint and exhausting it. As well as zooming in, you need to be able to step back and view the landscape from a distance...<br /><br />...and this brings us into Gestalt Theory, the idea that the whole is more than the sum of its parts
. I'm not saying that looking at the parts is worthless, mind you - it can indeed enhance understanding - but I'm saying, to look at them without stepping back to consider the whole picture as well
distorts the truth of the artwork, which includes the synergistic effects of combinations
as well as the actual parts. Perhaps that's what you were getting at, Milito...?<br /><br />And - well - there's my reason for posting this thread, I suppose. I don't believe the claim I know this music
can hold true on the knowledge of just parts of the music, but must include an understanding of the synergistic combined effect of these parts - an understanding which, for the most part, is incommunicable...