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Re: On the Grammar of Music

Martin Hansen wrote:
"How could you then, as described in an earlier mail by you, detect the
wrong note in the Mozart piece?  Doesn't this imply the existence of "rules"
or a "grammar" for music?"

Yes, it shows that a (good) composer uses rules, when he writes. But we were
talking about the possibility of a grammar of chord progression. And in this
context the answer is:

No, I found the error, because the wrong note violated the highly specific
system of melodic symmetry that Mozart had chosen in this particular piece.
The error had nothing to do with chord progression, let alone a possible
grammar of chord progression.

There are plenty of rules in music. I never argued that. It certainly is
very useful to describe and analyze these rules. But one should try to know
what one is talking about. All suggestions on the meaning of chords and
chord progression in music so far have turned out to be on the same level of
reliability as the suggestions on the meaning of planets in astrology.

Martin Hansen wrote:
"Meaning and grammar are not really the same, are they? You can not tell
very much about the words alone, unless you know the (grammatically
correct?) sentence around them."

Right. But you can't have grammatically correct words without meaning. And
then: What is the grammatical quality of A-C-E as opposed to Ab-C-F? There
are no nouns, verbs and adjectives in music. Some people see men, women, and
children into a piece of music. But is it IN the music?


----- Original Message -----
From: Martin Hansen <m.hansen@WIDEX.COM>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 1:55 PM
Subject: Re: On the Grammar of Music