Francis Wolff: Why Music?
Francis Wolff: Why Music?
Music breaks the link between sounds and things, it is the art of linking sounds to produce what we never experiment in nature: events without living a real situation.

For philosopher Francis Wolff (author of a book on music, Why Music?, Fayard, 2015), music is a representation of a world of pure events, without any actual things. The whole point is whether music is, in the depths of itself, a descriptive art.

For children this is obvious, they want to hear, in the sounds, an imitation of nature sounds. Isn't then the risk for us to miss the essence of music?

There is no impenetrable wall between the world of noise and the world of music, the same sound can be perceived sometimes as a noise, sometimes as music.

If you are in a running train, you hear the sound of the bogies against the rails, tan-tan, tan-tan, and then, after a while, you start hearing sounds mixed with each other. You hear then something musical. It is neither Schumann, nor Motörhead, but the birth of a rhythm, tan-tan tan-tan.

We can all do this thought experiment that allows us to understand what is musical in a series of noises. Music is an abstract art, non-representative, who has the most concrete effects. It makes us move, dance, march, it puts humans in a trance, and yet these are only sounds, but set in order.

The whole problem is there.

Listen to the sounds relating to the F. Wolff book on the author's website
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