September 12 Readings/Class Notes - History
Sound and Tone
What Scruton identifies as the crucial difference between a “sound” and a “tone”:
– Difference is that a sound, such as the sound of a car crash, is directly
caused by and associated with the car crash. A tone can be experienced as
a metaphor, describing how the world is from a creative, imaginative point
– Tones is a “musical field of force.” It arises when we hear a sound as music.
Not only a sound is heard, but there is a force behind it. Idea, not material.
Scruton’s distinction between “sound” and “tone” vs. Wright’s
– Wright - “When a sound comes in regular vibrations, it produces a musical
– believes that the difference between sound and tone is simply that a tone
occurs when the vibrations of sound occur in regular time. A sound happens
when vibrations are irregular.
– Scruton - “A tone is a sound which exists within a musical 'field of force.'
– “When we hear music, we do not hear sound only; we hear something in the
sound, something which moves with a force of its own. This intentional
object of the musical perception is what I refer to by the word 'tone.'
– Believes that tone occurs in arises when we hear something in sound as
music. Tone is not material, rather, it is idea. Tone comes from sound, and
you have to be a rational being and an imagination to hear it – tones are a
secondary equality. Tone communicates something
– Tone is sound with intention, not just organized sound. An attempt at
Relationship between pitches defines the context of our music listening. Pitches
become meaningful through imagination.
Relationship between frequency and pitches
- pitches are what people have come up on the scale with on frequency – pitches
are a secondary quality. Change in frequency may or may not be noticeable.
- For every time frequency doubles, you go up an octave.
How are these pitches ordered in Western Art music?
1. The continuum of frequencies