Music and Holism: An Experimental Phenomenon

As soon as you consider the consequences of a Holistic World, the possibilities as compared with the usual strictly Pluralist standpoint actually explode dramatically into a host of new possibilities – not only into myriads of previously unconsidered alternatives, but also into the effects of sliding amounts of different components in all compound entities and processes, but crucially, in addition, into also including both rich joint interference patterns, and, in gradually varying mixes of different components, even how they produced consequent combined, mutually affecting, and sometimes, significantly, wholly unpredictable results.

Mere quantity changes are expanded into changing qualities, and even the emergent production of the wholly new. The traditional pluralist approach cannot deal with such in any meaningful way: we just have to accept them and find pragmatic ways of including them.

Only the holistic approach admits there is more than mere complication in the emergence of the new, and it isn’t a purely continuous process: sometimes it requires a major dissolution to even make possible a new direction of developments. And as, distinct from the old conceptions causality can act in both directions = from the old to the new, and from the new to the old. What is actually possible leaves the usual assumed combinations of fixed entities and eternal Laws well behind, on the foreshores of the Pluralist World: the majority of the vast oceans of the Holist World remain to be explored!

After centuries of pluralistic structures in Music, particularly in the West, the forms began to “break the rules”, though in a remarkable way still using instruments actually constructed to deliver the old pluralist scales. Yet, certain stringed instruments, without-frets, did allow portamento – sliding between “legal notes”. And, an increasing awareness of Oriental music, (particularly that of India) revealed a much richer sonic world, with instruments expressly designed to make portamento an integral part of the artistic expression.

But in the 1960s the musical experimenters using tape loops and early electronic musical instruments, such as those used by Terry Riley with his “In C”, also extended the variations to a much wider set of changes, initially at least, NOT totally under the control of the players.

Like the fractal mathematicians watching their constructions, produced by algorithms on computers, generated ever more unpredictable forms, so the musicians did likewise with combined cyclic sounds and very slowly indeed reflected another aspect of Reality.

And, in Physics, the French physicist Yves Couder, focused primarily upon the properties of liquid media, devised analogistic experiments at the macro level, using a liquid substrate, and absolutely nothing else, to produce persisting entities called Walkers, which began to reveal qualities analogous to those occurring at the Sub Atomic level, including quantized orbits.

The Holist approach is much closer to natural Reality than Plurality, especially when phenomena occur in a Universal effectible and affecting Substrate. And, by far the most controllable discipline involving its propagation and receipt via a medium is MUSIC.

And, it has the property of being directly receivable by the senses of human beings, especially those with a musical bent. This enables not only the discovery of the wholly new, but when the very instruments of production are directly under the investigators hands, variations can be made to listen to examples explored with immediate and direct feedback.

SOURCE: Music and Holism (2018) “A Gateway to the full Richness of Reality?”


Maestra Celeste S. Sanchez, MT
Ms. Maricel G. Morales, Viva Artist
Prof. Shedy Dee C. Mallari, RPm, LPT
Ms. Karen M. Atendido, Seiko Artist
Ms. Maria Blessilda M. Bascon, RN, LPT
Maestro Conrado Manuel N. Del Rosario
Dr. Peter Charles Kutschera, PhD, LMSW
Dr. Homer J. Yabut, PhD, RPsy
Prof. Alain Bernard A. Andal, MA, LPT, RPm, RGC
Pastor Robert Albios
Atty. Francisco S. Yabut
Instructor John Vernon Nuguid
Instructor Manuel S. Cordero
Instructor Dareen L. Bonzon
Prof. Jose Maria G. Pelayo III, MASD, MP-MT

Music Psychology Research (2010), Angeles City, Philippines, aims to update empirical data that is essential for music psychology research. This group of academic researchers is committed to ensure a creative and dynamic approach that utilizes music in any form of program development and psychotherapy. The Advisory Board Members are academic professionals contributing their specific expertise in Psychology, Neuroscience and Music.

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