[Smt-talk] Symphonia, etc.

Ildar Khannanov solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 7 11:26:44 PDT 2009

Dear David and the List,
sorry to post messages so often: my excuse is that the recent topics are very provocative.
Krasis is the blend. Interestingly, Russian language (which owes much of its grammar and lexic to ancient Greek) has absorbed this aspect in its word for paint: kraska. Apparently, the paint was a mixture of colors and Russian icon creators (Bogomazy) used the word kraska in its original Greek meaning. Then, kraska is not just color, but beautiful color. Why Russians prefer red to all other colors is a different topic. Yet, "red paint" will be krasnaya kraska!  And "beautiful red paint" will be krasivaya krasnaya kraska. Beautiful girl is krasavitsa. Red Square is a misnomer: it is, in fact, Beautiful Square. Orchestral colors--orchestrovye kraski.
What I am trying to say is that blending of sounds, armonia, has always been related to the category of the beautiful. Thus, harmonia has something to do with aisthesis. The words for "shining clothes" in Greek are esthes lampra. 
Form, or forma, has the same kind of connotation. Morphe (one of Plato's favourite terms) has become forma in the barbaric tongue of the Romans, but it retained the aisthetic aspect, as in Nigra sum sed formosa, or in Spanish, hermosa. 
If we take away functional harmony and form, music will be left as an atonal, disfunctional, formless and contentless mass. Socrates could not find many examples of such miserable things, only dirt and old hair.   Hmm, where whould we go from here?
Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory

--- On Sun, 4/5/09, dec2101 at columbia.edu <dec2101 at columbia.edu> wrote:

From: dec2101 at columbia.edu <dec2101 at columbia.edu>
Subject: Symphonia, etc.
To: "Ildar Khannanov" <solfeggio7 at yahoo.com>
Cc: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Date: Sunday, April 5, 2009, 3:16 PM

Dear Ildar (and anyone else interested),

I do indeed understand your point re. interpretation..

"Blend" translates "krasis" (from "kerannumi"); the word is often used to characterize the result of mixing wine with water or honey. It's also used in grammar, to denote contractions like "thanropou" (from "tou anthropou").

The Euclidean _Sectio canonis_ includes the following passage, which although not strictly speaking a definition of "symphonia," is nonetheless clear as to the present point:

"We also recognize that some [combinations of] notes (pthongous) are symphonic (symph?nous), others diaphonic (diaph?nous), the symphonic making a single blend (mian krasin) out of the two, while the diaphonic do not" (_Sectio canonis_, 

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