By Downing A. Thomas
The quest for the origins of language was once essentially the most urgent philosophical problems with the eighteenth century. It has escaped realize, even if, that track figured prominently in that seek. This research analyzes reflections on tune and tune conception as they seem in the logical and narrative constitution of texts through, for instance, Rousseau, Diderot, Rameau and Condillac, and considers the ways that tune enables hyperlinks among language and that means, among conceptions of an unique society and an excellent social order.
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Additional resources for Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism)
The idea of the origin was a way of "resolving" the difficulty of universality (of generality) and particularity which became apparent when Europe began to explore and colonize, coming in contact with different practices and beliefs. As Pierre Esteve argued in 1753, the very idea of a universal language was no longer plausible: Since from the specific genius of Peoples are born the various idioms, one can conclude first of all that there will never be a universal idiom. 17 In the place of language as a singular, universal object to be rediscovered or re-created, eighteenth-century "paleoanthropology" sought to describe the structural identity of a single origin in order to explain cultural difference.
51 This musicology, like the philosophy of language at PortRoyal, proposes and seeks to develop a theory of representation within a regulated discourse. Music theory imagines a practice in which the movements of the soul would be represented in the inflections of the human voice; and this representation could be used in a social context for various kinds of persuasion, for making the human mind "more gentle, and more tractable," as Mersenne suggested. ), pt. 4, p . 5. Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, 2:92.
Uniting the perfection of all the arts and sciences, Adam possessed a perfect and complete understanding, and this fullness generates song. Language, music, and knowledge were all unified in a single, divine origin. The original character, lost after the deluge, was considered a direct reflection, an imprint, of the nature of the world and reproduced the 1 2 3 John Wilkens, An Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language (London: John Martin, 1668), 2. Jean Rousseau, Traite de la viole (1687; Amsterdam: Antiqua, 1965), 2.
Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism) by Downing A. Thomas