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From the author's INTRODUCTION.
The Chinese have the reputation of being a strange people, with a peculiar language, peculiar institutions, customs, and manners, utterly different from those of our Western countries.
Since Chinese ports were thrown open to foreigners, the influx of visitors of all kinds has continually" increased. Missionaries, diplomats, travelers - some led there by duty, others attracted by the prospect of a new field for studies, and others guided by mere curiosity - have crossed the country in all directions. From these visits has resulted a large number of books - relations of travels, descriptions of country, customs, and manners - books on any subject, all tending to acquaint Western nations with the wonderful Celestial Empire, and, principally, to point out the immense difference existing between Chinese and European ideas.
Amongst the subjects which have been treated with the least success by foreign writers, Chinese Music ranks prominently. If mentioned at all in their books, it is simply to remark that "it is detestable, noisy, monotonous; that it hopelessly outrages our Western notions of music," etc. I do not wish to create any discussions by contradicting these and many other erroneous statements found in descriptions of Chinese Music: it would take too long a time.
In the description I give here I will endeavour to point out the contrasts or similarity between Western and Chinese Music, to present abstruse theories in the least tiresome way, to add details never before published, and to give a short yet concise account of Chinese Music.
I am not pretentious enough to think that my work will be utterly irreproachable. Mistakes are so easily made; and if I have just alluded to the many mistakes which are found in books, it is merely with the intention of showing how careful we must be when writing, and, much more, how indulgent we need be towards the writings of others.
I should deem it unfair not to mention that Mr. Hippisley, one of our Commissioners of Customs, is entitled to my most sincere gratitude for his kindness in reading the manuscript and correcting the many faults which ordinarily slip from one's pen when attempting to write in any but one's own language.
Mathematics And Music
In Western Civilization Mathematics and Music have a long and interesting history in common, with several interactions, traditionally associated with the name of Pythagoras but also with a significant number of other mathematicians, like Leibniz, for instance. Mathematical models can be found for almost all levels of musical activities from composition to sound production by traditional instruments or by digital means. Modern music theory has been incorporating more and more mathematical content during the last decades. This book offers a journey into recent work relating music and mathematics. It contains a large variety of articles, covering the historical aspects, the influence of logic and mathematical thought in composition, perception and understanding of music and the computational aspects of musical sound processing. The authors illustrate the rich and deep interactions that exist between Mathematics and Music.
Music And The Origins Of Language
The search for the origins of language was one of the most pressing philosophical issues of the eighteenth century. What has often escaped notice, however, is the fact that music figures prominently in this search. This study analyses instances of thinking or reasoning about music and music theory as they appear within the logical and narrative structure of contemporary texts, including writings by Rousseau, Diderot, Rameau and Condillac. These can only be properly understood as part of an interdisciplinary project, as situated within a field of larger cultural issues and concerns. The author is interested in the ways in which music functions within this discursive framework to facilitate links between language and meaning, and between conceptions of an original society and an ideal social order.
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