Music and history in the Gothic and Renaissance
Doyle, James Matthew
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The study of music is generally pursued from one particular point of view; a certain instrument is learned, the technique of composition is studied, or the history of music is surveyed more or less carefully. Specialized studies of this sort cut music off from its natural connection with the spiritual and material world, and leave out the fact that it is only one part of general culture. The state of general culture is, in turn, dependent on the state of social life, on political history, geographic conditions, and the language of the country. Therefore, music has a relationship to all those subjects. It rests on a scientific basis that involves physics and mathematics, and it has ties with literature and the other arts. Poetry, architecture, sculpture, painting, dancing, acting, end the industrial arts have affected music and have in their turn been affected by it. Philosophy, aesthetics, and meditation on the inner aspects of human life also draw music into their compass. But today we generally study it in minute detail; we dissect it, analyze its appearance, but the true object or our study seams to escape us. Such close study keeps us from seeing the larger aspects of our subject. When we see music as a part of a whole, a new picture confronts us. That is, how to discover where music, such a small fragment in the vastness of nature, lies within her (nature's) intense compass.