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Sorry folks, for dropping out all this time. My wife died and things went tits up from there. I will return!
Say, 30 years ago – certainly when I was studying in the 1970’s – if someone had tried to start a debate with the heading given here, they would either have been dismissed as an ignoramus, or taken outside and given a good hiding by the supporters of Shoenberg or Hindemith et al for daring even to suggest such an absurd idea.
Fortunately times have changed and the parameters for debates like this have opened up enormously. Of course my own views have become inextricably bound up with my forays into Newtonality and Thomes & Phases, which you’ve probably come across on previous threads (links available if requested).
More fascinating than any of this is the implication that if the evolution of the language of musical composition – a process which we mistakenly believe we intimately control – is in fact a predetermined, inevitable sequence of events, then the same principle might apply to other areas of human activity and knowledge. And, if it applies there, then why not to the whole of human evolution? And if there, why not to the whole of existence?
The more I think about atonality, where it came from, how and when it emerged, and these wider implications, the more logical it seems that predeterminism is hard-wired into the process of evolution.
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