CONCRETE AND ABSTRACT DISTINCTIONS IN MUSIC

In music, not least Rock, arguably the contemporary form of music par excellence, percussion (drums) is the most objectively concrete aspect of an ensemble’s collective endeavour, and stands in marked contrast to wind, the most subjectively abstract instruments, like alpha to omega, or noumenal expression to noumenal impression, space and time.

Lower down and in between, as it were, comes the relatively concrete and abstract antithesis of guitars and strings or, for that matter, organs and pianos, as though in an alpha/omega distinction between phenomenal expression and phenomenal impression, volume and mass.

Without going into too much tricky detail (for some instruments can be both expressive and impressive, staccato and legato, like grand pianos), there are expressive/impressive differences within the guitar family of instruments, as between bass and lead, as there are within the strings family between the double bass and ‘cello on the one hand and, rather more impressively, the viola and violin on the other hand.

Organs, too, are divisible, like pianos, in this way, with foot pedals giving more of an expressive, bass-like staccato dimension and, in contrast, wind-stops enabling the organist to explore a pipe-like legato effect analogous to wind, a family itself divisible between brass and woodwind, with the former apt to be more expressive or, at any rate, pseudo-impressive and the latter more consistently impressive, a distinction that also obtains in percussion, as between drums, particularly with the use of drum sticks rather than brushes, and hand percussion, the latter less expressive than pseudo-expressive, and therefore as much the subordinate gender corollary of or accompaniment to wind instruments like the flute (a combination traditionally much in evidence in Indian classical music) … as brass instruments, including the saxophone, tend to accompany, albeit on a subordinate plane (as pseudo-time under space) the expressively percussive dominance of drums, particularly of the heavy driving rhythms so often found in jazz.

Even the human voice is divisible, along alpha/omega, expressive/impressive lines between its female and male forms, with the somatic objectivity of the female voice tending towards either pitch or melody, if not both, and the psychic subjectivity of the male voice, when properly employed as such, tending, by contrast, towards either harmony or rhythm, both of which are less concrete than abstract, if with what could be called a physical/metaphysical distinction between the phenomenal subjectivity, as it were, of vocal harmony and the noumenal subjectivity, higher up, of vocal rhythm, the chant-like nature of which would be rather more metaphysical than physical and correspondingly less molecular than elemental in its particular order of abstraction, in marked contrast to the ‘female’ distinction between the noumenal objectivity, as it were, of vocal pitch, ever metachemical, and the phenomenal objectivity, lower down, of vocal melody, which would correspond  to a chemical status, in overall Elemental terms, that would be a rather more molecular than elemental mode of concretion, reflecting the female predilection for soma (body) as opposed, like male singing (when ‘true’ to itself) for psyche (mind), and thus for that which, in gender terms, can only be secondary in its impressive subjectivity, whether phenomenal or noumenal, corporeal or ethereal, molecular or elemental, to whatever is female, because expressively objective  and having more to do, in contrast, with particles than wavicles, with the individual, so to speak, than the collective, given a vacuous precondition that is in marked contrast to the plenum one would more usually characterize as male.

Thus whether in terms of artificial instrumentation or, indeed, natural (vocal) instrumentation, a distinction exists – and has long existed  –  in music between the concrete and the abstract, soma and psyche, body and mind, particles and wavicles,  the will and spirit of elemental pitch and molecular melody on the one hand (female), and the ego and soul of molecular harmony and elemental rhythm on the other hand (male), the latter of which will tend, as a rule, to stand in a secondary relationship to the former, whether as harmony to melody in the phenomenal (corporeal) or as rhythm to pitch in the noumenal (ethereal); though this will be especially so  in what could be called the deference, subordinate gender-wise,  of pseudo-rhythm to pitch where metachemistry and pseudo-metaphysics is concerned (northwest point of the intercardinal axial compass) and of pseudo-harmony to melody where chemistry and pseudo-physics is concerned (southwest point of the intercardinal axial compass), as between female and pseudo-male alternatives that rather contrast with male pretensions or aspirations to hegemonic dominance over females in metaphysics and physics, whether in terms of a pseudo-melodic deference to harmony in physics over pseudo-chemistry (at the southeast point of the intercardinal axial compass) or of a pseudo-pitchful deference to rhythm in metaphysics over pseudo-metachemistry (at the northeast point of the intercardinal axial compass), the latter pairing arguably the ne plus ultra of musical development and/or evolution, which tends to involve wind and hand percussion or some such synthetically artificial equivalents in our own time, germane to the most religious of contexts at the head of church-hegemonic axial criteria, so to speak, where we find a kind of St George and neutralized Dragon-like contrast (lamb and neutralized lion and/or wolf) between the male triumph of metaphysics, signifying the utmost rhythmic transcendentalism and/or idealism, and the female subjection to metaphysics in the form of pseudo-metachemistry, significant of the utmost pseudo-pitchful pseudo-fundamentalism and/or pseudo-materialism, as though symbolic, in overall gender terms, of pseudo-space under time, as of noumenal pseudo-expression (pseudo-objectivity) under noumenal impression (subjectivity), the structure proper to ‘Kingdom Come’ conceived as signifying the ultimate triumph of religion, as of soul, over what could be called pseudo-science, whose pseudo-will would be forever subordinate in pseudo-bound soma to the free psyche of metaphysical soul, the soul of souls and graceful end of evolution in true being.

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centretruths

I am an Irish-born but English-raised self-taught writer and philosopher who publishers his work in eBook on the net, including with Lulu.com (ePub) and Amazon.com (Kindle), as well as through Centretruths Digital Media (PDF), and many other platforms. Latterly my works are also available in paperback at various Amazon sites, as well as at Barnes and Noble.com and a wide variety of other sellers in several countries.

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