[Smt-talk] Gravity (Was: Car names)

Christopher Bonds chbonds1 at willy.wsc.edu
Sun Jul 29 18:23:47 PDT 2012

A quick comment. Seems like success in relating any kind of musical 
event to gravity depends on the answers to a couple of questions. First, 
whether descending intervals, stepwise lines, root progressions, etc., 
generally always create a sense of closure or at least a lessening of 
tension; and if so, are these style and culture independent? Second, if 
so, could there be other explanations for this phenomenon? Third, if 
some sort of relationship could be established between the physical law 
and gravity, what effect, if any, will Einstein's general theory of 
relativity have on musical perception, now or in some future time? 
Finally, is the concept of "up and down" in music universal and innate, 
or is it something we have learned by association?

(For the record, my personal thinking is that the musical brain has 
learned to associate higher and lower pitches with up and down in space. 
Maybe because low sounds are associated with heavier objects, which seem 
to be tending downward more seriously than lighter objects (although 
they accelerate at the same rate when falling.))

Christopher Bonds
Wayne State College (retired)

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