Monday, October 09, 2006

finding one

A real musician could explain this better (and I encourage you to do so), but here is my attempt. In most western music, there is often a beginning and ending chord centered on the dominant note in the piece's scale sometimes identified in American teaching methods as "one."

The notes may go up through the seven notes of the scale transcending even to the next set of notes or octave, or go below to a lower set of notes or octave. But for our western ears, we expect to start and conclude our music with a return to the home base of the one note of the scale -- which can be in any octave. To not return to one is to leave us in mid-air, expecting some conclusion, awaiting a resolution, a landing. Later composers challenged this logic, played with its tensions, but for much of western music, this is what we know -- it appears -- intuitively.

If only life had the logic of musical notes, the reasonableness of tolerating ups and downs and counter themes and runs, sparse or baroque, before returning to a conclusion that we expected from the very beginning, even if we had forgotten it momentarily, the intuitive responses in what one does next.

Perhaps our one note is our mortality, but recognition of that doesn't bring much satisfaction.

The days of fall are quite beautiful right now, the cutting off of chloroform's green in the leaves is allowing fall colors to emerge. A cool, brisk air should make anyone smile. Is it in weather, in the ritual and pattern of season, that we find satisfaction despite evidence that the world is fairly messed up, unlinked as it is to the blue sky, red and yellow leaves, and cooler air?

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