Resonant Thoughts: Francois J. Bonnet’s “The Music To Come” (2020)

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Advent of the Musical

“The challenge of any musical creation must be to invent the conditions of possibility for an appearing of the musical, but nothing else, because that is all that lies within its power. You don’t create music; you create environments condusive to the advent of music” (30).

On Music

“Books about music don’t really talk about it. All they do is evoke its emanations, describe its avatars. Music is like the dragons on ancient maps: it remains hidden. Writing on music therefore usually means writing on a sociocultural field specific to a style, a population, an era or a history (this is the terrain of sociology of music, and even music journalism), on the poetics of the musical and the technics of the appearance of the musical (the field of musicology) or a mixture of both, often in the hope of understanding humanity better through its practices, and by observing distinct groups (which forms part of the field of study of ethnomusicology). Some have tried to directly tackle the question of music itself, both philosophers and scientists. But they almost inevitably fall into an ‘onto-logic’ and then seek to essentialise the reality of music. Or else their analyses are based on a preconception of music, i.e. on music understood in its most classical sense, in terms of notes, scales, and instruments. Their conclusions can then only repeat the basic assumptions they started with. Thus, music, taken as an object of study and reflection, is almost always already an a priori representation of music, a predetermined, parceled-out space. Writing on music therefore usually comes down to moving within a space of belief. A whole liturgy has been developed for music but, like God, music itself remains absent” (19). 

– Francois J. Bonnet, The Music To Come (2020)

 

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