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Harmony and Disharmony

JOURNALIST: Is there also an intellectual concept for har­moni­cally structured music, e.g. as with 12-tone music or serial mu­sic?

PETER HÜBNER: Well, the microcosm of music is an existing reality of nature of enormous complexity. If I only have a small insight, then I will only make a small discovery. And if this insight deepens, then my discovery will expand. Research into the microcosm of music reveals a great number of conformities to natural laws, and from those, we are able to derive laws.

We know today that the conformities to natural laws of complex rhythmical function in the human organism which was found in chronomedicine, can also be derived from the microcosm of music, for both were recognised as identical. Johannes Kepler derived the laws, according to which the heavenly bodies move, from his knowledge of the microcosm of music. And modern nuclear physics, as well as modern astronomy, have discovered facts and realities in the sub-nuclear as well as the galactic sphere that are the same as we can also find in the microcosm of music.

Compared to such investigations and derivations of laws in the microcosm of music, the most comprehensive music theories of the avant-garde become restricted.

But the reason for this, is that in the microcosm of music we draw from that which the Creator has made. The microcosm of music is an area of His creation, and not at all created by human mind or hand. And the laws which move His countless elements, are also the Creator’s laws.

In this respect, the intellectual concept of the microcosm of music can always only be something of a musicological theory shaped by science which may then become the basis for musical crea­tions.

In today’s times, many people are confused by the aspect of perfection. At an automobile fair, many are astonished about the enormous technology of a car manufacturer. But nobody is astonished about the incomparably enormous technology which finds its expression in the fly’s eye whose owner is just at that moment sitting on the exterior mirror, and is seemingly rubbing her hands and/or her tiny forelegs.

In contrast to the unnatural, the natural distinguishes itself by simplicity, by inconspicuousness, by discreetness. The complexity of an elephant’s harmonious movements are hardly noticed by the modern observer. It is the other way round with the com­para­tively primi­tive be­hav­iour as a driver dur­ing the For­mula 1 Race – proba­bly be­cause the drivers there gen­er­ate higher turnovers and/or earn more than an ele­phant.

Modern industrial societies have a price to pay for this sort of blindness towards the natural, which shows in form of diseases, disasters, catastrophes, depressions and many other things, and this blindness does not make an exception for the whole area of music.Beethoven

Atonal music, also my own from earlier times, at first glance, seems to be intelligent, interesting, complicated and exciting to the restricted spirit of our scientific technological age.Einstein

And perfectly naturally structured music seems to the same people to be boring, simple, uninteresting, music to fall asleep by. But this problem is not a problem of music, but a problem of development of the listener and the music creator.Kant

JOURNALIST: Herr Hübner, what is harmony and what is dis­har­mony?

PETER HÜBNER: Musically, disharmony is the deviation from the natural order of the laws of harmony of the microcosm of music.
In contrast, harmony is the order used in the composition of the laws of harmony of the microcosm of music.

Harmony is that which a plain human being feels to be har­mo­ni­ous. It is a mis­take to be­lieve that be­ing able to feel har­mony is a matter of prac­tice. The com­pos­ers of dis­har­mo­ni­ous mu­sic al­ways point to Beethoven or Wagner to say they, too, needed a long time to find rec­og­ni­tion.Beethoven

But this comparison is not correct.

Regarding tonal harmony in their music, they never had difficulties – they couldn’t have – well, that is, disregarding Wagner’s Tristan.

Concerning Beethoven, the experts were locked in dispute with him, because he brought the emotional into music – today usually described as “dynamics”. Bach was still of the opinion that manipulation of volume was only aimed at superficially manipulating feelings, and from a purely musical point of view didn’t mean anything at all – instead even distracted from the purely musical.

Wagner’s disputes with the experts at the time, were about his annoyance that they didn’t know the first thing about music – the same also applied to the interpreters.

But it was never about the aspect of harmony. Harmonical music is a matter which is scientifically objectively verifiable, and what is felt to be harmonious or not is, across the cultures, not a question of taste or of education, but is solely based on the fact that the biological system of human beings is harmonically structured, and that here especially the ear is physiologically aimed at the knowledge and preference of natural, harmonical structures.Dushkin

Here, with regard to the medical effect, the biological systems are equipped with automatic amplifying and muffling mecha­nisms, that is more or less, with sym­pa­thy and an­tipa­thy mecha­nisms.Stravinsky

An analysis of the compositional structure can, of course, also provide information on whether it is harmonious or dis­har­mo­ni­ous mu­sic. Such musi­co­logi­cally har­moni­cal knowl­edge is very im­por­tant if you want to judge the qual­ity of mu­sic. The mi­cro­cosm of mu­sic re­veals to us a world of mu­sic which does not know dis­har­mony.

The nature of a tone is made in such a way that, when it is made as an integrated whole – i.e. when it is a natural unity – it de­vel­ops ac­cord­ing to the laws of har­mony of the mi­cro­cosm of mu­sic.

There are mock tones which are in reality artificially created mixtures of tones which are mixed together from the outside – be it with mechanical or electronic musical instruments. Such “tones” have no natural development according to the laws of harmony of the microcosm of music.

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