Saturday, October 8, 2011

octavio paz on music

"The paradox of music, a temporal art like poetry, lies in the fact that music's characteristic manner of taking place is recurrence. The kinship between music and poetry is based on their both being temporal arts, arts of succession: time. In each of the two recurrence, the phrase that returns and is repeated, constitutes an essential element; the motifs intertwine and disentwine so as to interwtine once again; they are a path that ceaselessly returns to its point of departure only to depart once more and return again. The difference between the two lies in the code: the musical scale and the word. Poetry is made up of rhythmic phrases (verses) that are not only units of sound but words, clusters of meanings. The code of music--the scale--is abstract: units of sound empty of meaning. Finally, music is architecture made of time. But invisible and impalpable architecture: crystallisation of the instant in forms that we do not see or touch and that, being pure time, elapse."

Paz, Octavio. Essays on Mexican Art. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993. (6-7)

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