Music Composers Unite!
"Look up *happiness* in any dictionary. You’ll find all the symptoms but not a mention of its origin. People are unhappy not because they don’t know what happiness means, but because they don’t know its cause."
The conversation isn't about happiness, though, it's about tonal and atonal. Those are well-defined musical terms. Some terms are well-defined. Some are not.
"Lots of dictionaries will tell you that atonality is the absence of consonance and dissonance."
Really? What is an example of that?
"For a composer confronting a sheet of blank manuscript, this definition is useless."
I don't know why a _definition_ should be useful for writing music anyway.
"unless one has first precisely defined what consonance and dissonance are?"
Do you own a music dictionary?
"But they are not conventions; they are *assumptions* which have acted as an impediment to a rational assessment of atonality."
"But can you not see that this sentence only makes sense after you have specified a defined precisely what you mean by *tonal*"
I don't know why you're pretending that "tonal" isn't defined in music dictionaries, texts, etc., but you are.
"You simply cannot bandy them about on the basis that *Well, it doesn’t really matter what they mean*!"
No one said anything like that. You're claiming the terms are not conventionally defined. I'm claiming that you're wrong about that. Open up a music dictionary. If you don't understand the definitions there, we can help explain them to you.
"its one long “D” phase. Totally different concept."
No idea what you're talking about there.
"Where did you get the idea that there is anything subjective about the topics in hand?"
Definitions come from the way that humans use terms. Humans are subjects. In that sense, they are subjective. Also, not everyone defines everything the same way. There are no objective facts about whether something is a correct definition, it's just whether it's a definition that's used by some population or not.
Also, whether something [i]sounds[/i] tonal or atonal is a subjective matter. You can talk about objectively common tendencies there, but you'd still be talking about a subjective phenomenon.
"I certainly consider the definitions I have given objective realities."
There are no objectively correct definitions, period. Just more or less common ones.
""’atonal’ is a subjective designation”. No. It is not:"
Yes, it is. It's about what the pitch relationships sound like to individuals.
"it’s a state in an evolved language which must have an exact definition."
Music isn't like the fields of mathematics or physics. Many of its terms are never going to have the kind of widespread consensus of formulation by practitioners that terms in those fields have. However, even without universal formulations similar to "F=ma", terms like "tonal" and "atonal" have common, conventional definitions that are non-controversial. You simply need to look them up.
"I am using this platform to increase exposure to my theory..."
Sure feels/smells/sounds like you marketing to the rest of us. Some talking points about a music, when you are the proponent of the music, smacks of a Press Release; advertising, marketing...
There's a discussion here, you started it and found some resistance (reasoned and which addresses specific points) and you aren't up to the heat of this kitchen, judging by the reaction.
I heard the thesis in your music you posted that adheres to this verbiage (or not). It isn't new. There isn't something real new to discuss here. So, my first impression of 'some marketing' is what I'm going with. The music speaks for itself (or not).
Composition of music is an art. It's subjective in most cases. It isn't a science. Your thesis is not a thesis in the realm of science.
Nothing personal, you may be a great guy and all, but that's as pretentious as it gets. 'It's not about ego'. well to present a link to a 'dissertion' when you are new to a place, sure has the aroma of an ego seeking a playground. No problem, I'll do it, whatever... but quit kidding us.
Hey Nick... Been busy lately, and started writing a piece weeks ago (which isn't finished; Also I failed in combining the so called thomes: It's a mess!).
However, I wanted to say, that I'm following up on this thread and gotta say, you sure caused yourself a hard task, teaching a chaotic group of semi-pros and amateurs (including myself, a semi-amateur)!
Regards and good luck on further work