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Why Classical Music Still Matters$
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Lawrence Kramer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520250826

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250826.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

The Ghost in the Machine

The Ghost in the Machine

Keyboard Rhapsodies

Chapter:
(p.134) Chapter Five The Ghost in the Machine
Source:
Why Classical Music Still Matters
Author(s):

Lawrence Kramer

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520250826.003.0005

This chapter shows the absurdity of conceiving the mind and the body as utterly separate entities. The design of piano is richly suggestive of this. The piano is the instrument for the expression of feeling, sensibility, mood, the inner life, but it is also a large machine. The expressive side of the instrument is warm, vital, and imbued with spirit. The mechanic side is impersonal, automaton-like, as remote from spirit as the advance of modernity often seemed to be. Like the person, the grand piano houses an interior that one may peer at but not see. It is both a mystery of spirit and a technical puzzle. The frame on which the strings are stretched is called the harp. It connotes the instrument of inspired, age-old song, the vibrating tones of which are produced in close proximity to the body of the player who sings while playing. But the devices that make the sound are called the hammers, connoting technology, industry, machinery, and force the whole apparatus of modern enterprise.

Keywords:   piano, spirit, instrument, apparatus, machine

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