Quotes: Metaphysics of Music – “Hearing is something we have difficulty with”

That’s what I mean, that’s the problem: “We [in the west] ignore the tonalities [in verbal language]. We are more visual”! Thank you, Nelson Harrison, you take the words out of my mouth!

Some other quotes from an interview with Nelson Harrison (Jazz composer and performer, who has toured as a trombonist with the Count Basie Orchestra) on the metaphysics of Music:

  • We in the west have failed to understand that music is a language. […] If we look at certain cultures like the African cultures, their verbal language is musical, it is tonal. So they literally sing their language. That’s why the drum can talk.
  • It’s a mystery to us in the west to not perceive tone in the same way [as in African tonal languages]. We ignore tonalities. We are more visual.
  • Hearing is something we have difficulty with. […] We make sounds irresponsibly.
  • Music is mostly silence. Don’t interrupt the silence, unless you do it with something meaningful.
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