Sunday, November 19, 2006


If the unconscious and the subconscious line up, objectively, against their subjective - and male - counterparts, the conscious and the superconscious, as contended in my previous entry, then this may not only be equivalent to fire and water on the female side of life vis-a-vis vegetation (earth) and air on its male side but, in musical terms, to rhythm and harmony vis-a-vis melody and pitch, the former pair equivalent to fire and water, the unconscious and the subconscious, but the latter pair equivalent, by contrast, to vegetation and air, the conscious and the superconscious. Thus not only would rhythm and harmony appertain to the objective, or female, side of life, but they would correspond to will and spirit, power and glory, whereas melody and pitch, their subjective, or male, counterparts, would correspond to ego and soul, as though in association with form and content(ment). And in broad musical terms I can think of no better genre distinctions for each of these contrasting attributes of the musical totality than ballet and opera vis-a-vis the symphony and the concerto, taking the former pair as largely synonymous with rhythm and harmony, power and glory, but the latter pair as largely synonymous with melody and pitch, form and content(ment). Doubtless other musical genres, such as jazz and pop vis-a-vis rock and electronica, could also be cited in this respect, but the fundamental distinction between rhythm and harmony on the one hand, and melody and pitch on the other would seem to confirm a gender dichotomy between the unconscious and the subconscious, fire and water, on the female side of things, and between the conscious and the superconscious, vegetation and air, on its male side. In terms of contrasting axes, however, it could be contended that rhythm and melody would stand hegemonically apart from what may be called antipitch and antiharmony where state-hegemonic/church-subordinate criteria are concerned, rhythm and antipitch lining up as metachemistry over antimetaphysics at the northwest point of the intercardinal axial compass, and melody and antiharmony lining up as physics over antichemistry at its southeast point. By axial contrast, it could be contended that pitch and harmony would stand hegemonically apart from what might be called antirhythm and antimelody where church-hegemonic/state-subordinate criteria were concerned, pitch and antirhythm lining up as metaphysics over antimetachemistry at the northeast point of the intercardinal axial compass, and harmony and antimelody lining up as chemistry over antiphysics at its southwest point. But that is another story, and it suffices here if we limit our criteria to the fundamental distinctions between unconscious rhythm and subconscious harmony where noumenal and phenomenal objectivity are concerned, and between conscious melody and superconscious pitch where phenomenal and noumenal subjectivity are concerned, thereby establishing the likelihood of a noumenal antithesis between unconscious rhythm and superconscious pitch, fire and air, power and content(ment), but of a phenomenal antithesis between subconscious harmony and conscious melody, water and vegetation, glory and form. And if this is not commensurate, in classical terms, with an antithesis between ballet and the concerto on the one hand and opera and the symphony on the other hand, then I should be the first to concede to being the most surprised individual on earth.



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