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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What Leibniz Did Not Imply

When Leibniz wrote that music is the pleasure the mind derives from counting without being aware of the act of counting, he foreshadowed the continuous development of music up to the summit of Beethoven's late string quartets. However, he would sorely disapprove of any aesthetics that would try to impose counting or any of its mathematical extensions as the essence of what he called the pleasure of the mind. This is what Beethoven himself so publicly parodied in that vulgar mechanician Maelzel. This is what Furtwaengler execrated in the conducting of Tuscanini. And it is where Goethe went off the rails in his theory of color.Likewise in Felix Klein's dubious study of curvature and statuary.

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