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Hi Bent and Lee,

Bent wrote:
>
> Lee McGiffen wrote:
> >
> > What distinguishes Western from Eastern music is harmony. The
> > Eastern system does not lend itself to harmony. Because of
> > the dissonance between notes, notes have to be played
> > sequentially, i.e., one flute or one string at a time. With
> > Western music, thanks to the coincidence of numbers,
> > discovered by Pythagoras, different notes can be played
> > together at the same time, causing resonance. The outcome is
> > the major and minor chords and the basic I-IV-V-I chord
> > progression of Western music from Classical to Rock and/or
> > Roll. Pythagoras rocks!
>
> Pythagoras studied music, mathematics, astronomy and geometry
> in Egypt. Think he picked up any ideas there?
>
> Why do you suppose Pythagoras' ideas were adopted so readily
> by Europeans, and not Asians? I mean, his musical discovery
> could just as easily have travelled east as west, but it
> didn't.

My Guess is because China and India already had their own refined musical systems. The earliest written score from China is attributed to Confucious; contemporaneous with Pythagoras.

Pythagoras and Thales both, among the pre-Socratics, traveled to and were thought to be influenced by Egyptian ideas. Even Heraclitus lived not in Greece but Ephesus, his thought may have been prompted by ideas from any number of places.

It's not strictly true that Eastern music has no harmony. It's more precise to say western concepts of harmonic movement - tonic, sub-dominant, dominant Chord progressions and tertiary harmony, ie harmony based on stacked thirds, triad, sixth and ninth chords, etc aren't found. Timbre and phrasing is emphasized, but double and triple stops do occur in China's music and Gamelan is nothing if not shimmering, shifting harmonic suspensions in cross rhythms. Harmony has a different meaning within pentatonic and pelog scales but they all contain fifths or fourths if not both. The very meaning of dissonance in the west is fluid, not that long ago, seventh chords were considered dissonant, today even suspended, diminished and augmented chords are considered perfectly normal, albeit tonally ambiguous.

Briffits

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Music of the Ancient World 699 Briffits 30-May-04 11:35
Re: Music of the Ancient World 224 Bent 30-May-04 17:49
Re: Music of the Ancient World 199 Briffits 30-May-04 21:55
Re: Music of the Ancient World 238 Mark Staab 30-May-04 19:07
Re: Music of the Ancient World 200 Briffits 30-May-04 22:23
Re: Music of the Ancient World 224 Lee McGiffen 31-May-04 06:04
Re: Music of the Ancient World 226 Bent 31-May-04 06:57
Re: Music of the Ancient World 200 Briffits 31-May-04 08:37
Re: Music of the Ancient World 183 fiascohoho 02-Jun-04 10:27
Re: Music of the Ancient World 188 Bent 30-May-04 19:18
Re: Music of the Ancient World 262 Briffits 30-May-04 22:43
Modes 242 Jergat 30-May-04 21:26
Re: Modes 217 Briffits 30-May-04 23:11
Re: Modes 222 Jergat 30-May-04 23:49
Re: Music of the Ancient World 246 Trojan 30-May-04 22:39
Re: Music of the Ancient World 239 Briffits 30-May-04 23:13
Re: Music of the Ancient World 228 Bent 01-Jun-04 19:04
Re: Music of the Ancient World 247 Briffits 01-Jun-04 23:40
Re: Music of the Ancient World 225 Milo 02-Jun-04 01:35
PS 224 Milo 02-Jun-04 02:02
Re: PS 239 Briffits 02-Jun-04 10:20
Re: PS 233 Milo 02-Jun-04 15:06
Re: Music of the Ancient World 217 Bent 02-Jun-04 18:27
Re: Music of the Ancient World 226 Briffits 02-Jun-04 22:12
Re: Music of the Ancient World 219 Milo 02-Jun-04 15:04
Re: Music of the Ancient World 220 Milo 02-Jun-04 15:07
Re: Music of the Ancient World 220 Briffits 02-Jun-04 23:01
Re: Music of the Ancient World 264 Milo 02-Jun-04 23:08
Re: Music of the Ancient World 210 Briffits 03-Jun-04 07:59
Re: Music of the Ancient World 297 Milo 04-Jun-04 16:19


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