15.2.11

Love this from Erika Baker

...the collective testimony of people who all experience the "purely subjective" and grapple to put it into words

.... something real can be found in [the] subjective.

... a professor of music ... knows all the theory better than I ever will but ... has never listened to a single note, never actually heard a piece being played. Who speaks of “linguistic work having already been done” as if that said anything meaningful about the tunes being played.

And in some respects, I'm full of admiration, because I certainly would not have spent years of my life trying to understand the theory of something that isn't actually real to me.

It's not surprising that when the written notes and the theories surrounding the written notes disappear there is nothing left ....

But for those of us who are still in the concert hall, the written notes are entirely incidental to what we're hearing. And when we leave the concert hall and try to describe what we've heard, we find that our language just doesn't do the trick. I mean - how would you describe the second movement of Mozart's clarinet concerto in words? Those who heard it, will understand parts of the clumsy description we might try to make and the clumsy description, the faulty written notes ...

But how do you speak to someone who can only see written notes and who believes the concert to be "purely subjective"?

So your question about why we keep using ancient concepts and ancient language is quite simple: because it works. Because to those who’ve been at the concert, those words and those concepts are what helps them to stay in touch with the music. Because the biblical text we refer to happens to have been written so long ago that its language is, naturally, archaic, and because we discover that while we might read the “Street Bible” or any other of the modern permutations that abound, we find that we’re quite content with the ancient images.

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