[LAU] re Subconscious Affecting Music

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Sat Sep 4 08:10:00 UTC 2010

On Sat, Sep 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM, Louigi Verona <louigi.verona at gmail.com>wrote:

> There are two voices I hear here vis-a-vis Bach:
>> 1. Art for art's sake -- the romantic idea
> Why I don't like such unstructured discussions is because in the end it is
> all labelled by some generic stereotypes and misunderstood completely. If
> everything what I was telling you believe falls into some romantic idea of
> art for art's sake then obviously I wasted my time.
> L.V.

Sorry if something I said offended you. Actually I was/am really more
interested in the original discussion viz. music can be used to affect
people in ways that they may not be aware of. To which I wanted to add this
that the intrinsic musical content -- such as tunings -- may be more
important (because less noticed) than more extra-musical elements like
lyrics, female-moaning sounds etc.

If someone says tunings are irrelevant I can only conclude he has only ever
heard equal temperament.
Unfortunately this discussion is particularly pointless on email (without an
Still let me try a theoretical summary:

1. Anyone (who is not tone-deaf) can distinguish one note from another say
on the piano ie 100 cents
2. At the other extreme there must be a least count to the sounds that any
human in any way can distinguish -- let us say 1/1000th cent.

These two figures 100 cents, 1/1000th cent set the bounds of the human's
hearing-ability 'least-count'.

Now somewhere in between these two figures we begin to distinguish sounds.
Let us for example say that I can distinguish 15 cents but not 2.  But does
that mean that my (subconscious) reactions say as measured by breathing,
heartrate, skin-conductivity etc are not affected below 15 cents?

This is the open question.

If it is somewhere between 15 cents and 1/1000th cent then that is a
danger-zone wherein machiavellian person can manipulate me in ways that I am
not aware of.

Coming back to Bach: If he was not interested in tunings he would not have
written the Well Tempered clavier.

If he was interested in promoting equal temperament he would have called it
the Equal tempered Clavier
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