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 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 2:31 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music. [Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. Set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, in Serenade to Music.]

I do think that, whenever Shakespeare is quoted, the character name should be included. Otherwise we could all be looking to Iago or Lady Macbeth for guidance.


Fair point. It's Lorenzo, the young man who was in love with Shylock's daughter. I had to look it up myself, since I haven't read Merchant since 1961. The passage is more familiar to me from RVW's gorgeous setting. In the play it is spoken during the Act V rejoicing over the foiling of Shylock's plan. I should have quoted it as verse:

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stategems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.

Bonus question: In what opera did the composer-librettist take words from the same Shakespearean scene for the text of the central love duet?


Othello.

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 2:59 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

[Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. Set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, in Serenade to Music.]


I do think that, whenever Shakespeare is quoted, the character name should be included. Otherwise we could all be looking to Iago or Lady Macbeth for guidance.


Excellent point. big grin

I can't imagine someone growing up without music, as it's the exact opposite of how I grew up: with lots of music. But a family that "prohibits" music seems to me a spiritually unhealthy, oppressive one.

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 5:29 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

[Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. Set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, in Serenade to Music.

I do think that, whenever Shakespeare is quoted, the character name should be included. Otherwise we could all be looking to Iago or Lady Macbeth for guidance.

Excellent point. big grin


That was from something in James Joyce's Ulysses that has always stayed with me. After being scolded by a disliked tutor who quoted Shakespeare at him, Stephen Dedalus whispers "Iago".

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 5:38 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Bonus question: In what opera did the composer-librettist take words from the same Shakespearean scene for the text of the central love duet

Othello.


Verdi's Otello? I don't know. I was referring to "Nuit d'ivresse" in Les Troyens by Berlioz, in which Dido and Aeneas sing of the legendary lovers of the past in words borrowed from The Merchant of Venice. Berlioz was as mad for Shakespeare as for Vergil.

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

I worked with a woman who told me she hated all types of music because she's tone deaf, that she can't recognize melodies so it all sounds like nonsense. Her poor boyfriend loved music and (in her words) once dragged her to a concert, and she was miserable the whole time. I hope he dropped her like a sour note.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 7:50 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Some people just aren't interested in music (maybe a lot more than some), just like a lot of people don't read. And some people who loved music have gone off it over the years. Some years ago I bumped into an old workmate, & back in the days I knew him, late sixties/early seventies, he had a vast record collection, in fact he'd taken over his dads garage, some of the stuff I still like, he'd lent to me. And now...nothing, mind you, he has a large family, he is a father & a grandfather, & all that stuff just got left behind. I'm happily stuck in a music rut. smile

It is a lot different now. Back in the seventies, in the UK there was a big pop music press: Melody Maker, NME, Sounds & probably a few more, plus music mags & pop shows on the telly, & when you had music, you had stuff: records, with great covers, you could admire them & lend & borrow them. And now it's downloads, & I know it's all about the music, but to me, it does seem a bit soulless now.

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 8:51 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)


I do think that, whenever Shakespeare is quoted, the character name should be included. Otherwise we could all be looking to Iago or Lady Macbeth for guidance.

Excellent point. big grin


That was from something in James Joyce's Ulysses that has always stayed with me. After being scolded by a disliked tutor who quoted Shakespeare at him, Stephen Dedalus whispers "Iago".

Yes, who would take advice from a One-eyed Bond villain!

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

It is a lot different now. Back in the seventies, in the UK there was a big pop music press: Melody Maker, NME, Sounds & probably a few more, plus music mags & pop shows on the telly, & when you had music, you had stuff: records, with great covers, you could admire them & lend & borrow them. And now it's downloads, & I know it's all about the music, but to me, it does seem a bit soulless now.

Smash Hits was my music magazine of choice back in the day. I mainly like pop music so it was always the best for it then. It was essential reading every fortnight for me in the early to mid 80s, but it trailed off badly later in the decade much like the music. Hot Press was another I regularly bought though it dealt mainly with Irish bands and artists.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols



 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I remember being flabbergasted as a young man to learn that one of my favorite authors, Vladimir Nabokov, didn't care for music at all.

Seemed inconceivable to me as music has always been such a big part of my life.

But after a while I realized that it made no difference - it wasn't like there was some gap I could perceive in his writing caused by an indifference to music.

It was an early turning point to me, to realize that each of us approaches the world individually, and there is simply no right answer for what culture is important in your life.

“Music, I regret to say, affects me merely as an arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds. Under certain emotional circumstances I can stand the spasms of a rich violin, but the concert piano and all wind instruments bore me in small doses and flay me in larger ones.”

- Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Great question, Onya! I'm surprised no one has weighed in thus far!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 2:49 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)


"I once worked with a woman who told me she hated all types of music due to her tone deafness. She said she can't recognize melodies and it all sounds like nonsense. Her poor boyfriend loved music and (in her words) dragged her to a concert once, and she was miserable the whole time. For his sake, I hope he dropped her like a sour note."

***

A pity if as you say she hated music -- as opposed to hating the fact that she was tone-deaf. Did she strike you at work as a bitter person or in your words a sour note? I'm thinking maybe she might have had some redeeming qualities since her boyfriend was apparently sticking with her despite their one unfortunate concert experience. Come to think of it, maybe he was lucky that she hadn't (yet) dropped him. Presumably she'd told him about her disability and yet he still insisted on "dragging her" to an event she must have warned him would be a wretched experience for her. What was he thinking? Sounds to me not like "poor boyfriend" but more like "poor girlfriend." Just a thought. Oh well. Wherever they are, I hope they're living happily ever after, with each other or with their new mates.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2021 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Yeah, with me...movies. Plenty of great pop in the early sixties, but no orchestral music in my house (well I think we had an LP of The Planets), & that's where films came in. It was like you couldn't go to the cinema without hearing a great orchestral score, all those epics, & Jason & The Argonauts & The Great Escape & a hundred others, it was a very real way into music other than pop/rock.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2021 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Great question, Onya! I'm surprised no one has weighed in thus far!


There are instances where hearing music has an immediate impact on the listener which would suggest that any threshold may be so low that any amount of music is enough to generate an interest or appreciation (is an interest an appreciation the same thing?)

Perhaps the important thing is to have a broad range of experiences (a little and often) hoping that something sticks.

How many unknown 'talents' do I have but don't know about because I haven't had an experience to ignite that interest or discover that talent?

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2021 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

"I once worked with a woman who told me she hated all types of music due to her tone deafness. She said she can't recognize melodies and it all sounds like nonsense. Her poor boyfriend loved music and (in her words) dragged her to a concert once, and she was miserable the whole time. For his sake, I hope he dropped her like a sour note."

***

A pity if as you say she hated music -- as opposed to hating the fact that she was tone-deaf. Did she strike you at work as a bitter person or in your words a sour note? I'm thinking maybe she might have had some redeeming qualities since her boyfriend was apparently sticking with her despite their one unfortunate concert experience. Come to think of it, maybe he was lucky that she hadn't (yet) dropped him. Presumably she'd told him about her disability and yet he still insisted on "dragging her" to an event she must have warned him would be a wretched experience for her. What was he thinking? Sounds to me not like "poor boyfriend" but more like "poor girlfriend." Just a thought. Oh well. Wherever they are, I hope they're living happily ever after, with each other or with their new mates.



She was a complainer and rather unpleasant toward customers, not to mention she disliked children in general despite being (or perhaps because she was a) former elementary school teacher, but otherwise quite a lovely person.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2021 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Great question, Onya! I'm surprised no one has weighed in thus far!


There are instances where hearing music has an immediate impact on the listener which would suggest that any threshold may be so low that any amount of music is enough to generate an interest or appreciation (is an interest an appreciation the same thing?)


I'm talking about a human brain that heard no music throughout childhood.

There are key thresholds by which things have to occur, or they don't happen. For example, kids can easily learn a second or third language and have zero accent. This becomes more difficult beginning around age 14.

There is also the horrific story about the girl, many decades ago, who had experienced no love, physical contact, language, or stimulation. She was basically fed like an animal in a cage. Scientists wondered if her brain, at around age 12 or 13, would be like a blank slate. It turned out that her brain could never fully develop, because she missed key developmental thresholds that occur before age 12.

I wonder about deaf people who are able to gain hearing as adults. Are they able to nurture an appreciation for music, or did they miss out entirely? I would love to know.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2021 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)


"I once worked with a woman who told me she hated all types of music due to her tone deafness. She said she can't recognize melodies and it all sounds like nonsense. Her poor boyfriend loved music and (in her words) dragged her to a concert once, and she was miserable the whole time. For his sake, I hope he dropped her like a sour note."

***

A pity if as you say she hated music -- as opposed to hating the fact that she was tone-deaf. Did she strike you at work as a bitter person or in your words a sour note? I'm thinking maybe she might have had some redeeming qualities since her boyfriend was apparently sticking with her despite their one unfortunate concert experience. Come to think of it, maybe he was lucky that she hadn't (yet) dropped him. Presumably she'd told him about her disability and yet he still insisted on "dragging her" to an event she must have warned him would be a wretched experience for her. What was he thinking? Sounds to me not like "poor boyfriend" but more like "poor girlfriend." Just a thought. Oh well. Wherever they are, I hope they're living happily ever after, with each other or with their new mates.

***

"She was a complainer and rather unpleasant toward customers, not to mention she disliked children in general despite being (or perhaps because she was a) former elementary school teacher, but otherwise quite a lovely person."

***

I had a hunch that might have been the case when I asked, figuring your remarks might have been affected by her demeanor and behavior on the job, irrelevant to her tone-deafness. Too bad. In light of what you remember of your experience with her, maybe she and her clueless boyfriend deserved each other. I hereby revise my previous benediction: I hope they're both still with each other, rather than making other mates' lives miserable. (Thank God by the time you knew her she was no longer in a position to make a lot of children miserable.)

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 6:14 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Great question, Onya! I'm surprised no one has weighed in thus far!


Is Onya Dah-link talking to herself?

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 6:15 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Great question, Onya! I'm surprised no one has weighed in thus far!


Is Onya Dah-link talking to herself?


It sounds like it. Don't you think that's weird?

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 6:15 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I wonder if there are key developmental thresholds by which you need to experience music in order to gain an appreciation of it.

Great question, Onya! I'm surprised no one has weighed in thus far!


Is Onya Dah-link talking to herself?


It sounds like it. Don't you think that's weird?


Sure do! smile

 
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