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Music Does Not Exist

undefinedMusic is not an object.  It can be mistaken for a 'thing' especially with our technological gifts. But music is, in essence, gossamer floating on the breeze: a pulse of air lasting just a  moment or two. This book is about something which, the moment it appears, is gone.  Yet, despite this it carries enormous power. To us humans our ability to create sound in a structured way has been a major factor in our development. As music, it transports us to ecstasy and beyond, however it has also made an enormous difference to us in providing us with so much ability to work together in groups.

Music, unlike say painting, produces nothing physical. Of course more recently it has been possible to create MP3s, CDs and other forms of re-playable media, but these aren't originals. Until the arrival of forms of recording the creativity only had existence when it was performed. Dance has a similar heritage. Other forms of Art usually produce some kind of object; a painting, a carving, or a sculpture. In effect, musical creations disappear the moment they are heard.

Musical creations are functions of the mind's ability to make connections between past, present and future in the form of sounds. It kindles memories. We use it to transform our present moment state. It can even give us hope. But what exists is only those vibrations which exist at that moment. In this sense music only exists, if it exists at all, within the mind and nowhere else.

Humans have made sounds for hundreds of thousands of years. As our use of sound has developed humans have learned to make use of sound in incredibly sophisticated ways. The origins of the use of sound within humans we can only guess at, but anthropologists point to this skill as being one of humanity's great survival traits. In some ways we are much better than wolves in being able to act together in packs for the good of the whole group. We as individuals are quite physically weak in comparison with other species but as an 'empathic' pack on planet Earth we are invincible.

The human capacity for conscious existence is intricately interwoven with our remarkable ability to both process and generate sound. Sound transcends its role as a mere sensory input, serving as a fundamental building block of communication, behaviour, and ultimately, the very fabric of our subjective experience. There is a captivating interplay between sound and human consciousness, which shapes our interactions with the world and with each other.

At the most fundamental level, sound alerts us to the world around us, acting as a constant sentinel informing us of potential threats and opportunities. Through the intricate machinery of the auditory system, incoming sound waves are translated into neural signals, ultimately forming conscious perceptions within the fertile fields of the human mind. This gateway function is not merely passive - our attention actively filters and prioritises auditory information, highlighting elements relevant to our current internal state and goals. This dynamic interplay between external stimuli and internal awareness underscores the crucial role of sound in shaping our conscious engagement with the world.

Perhaps the most defining feature of human consciousness is our ability to share our internal states through complex symbolic systems. Language, with its foundation in sound-based units, stands as a prime example. The vocal repertoire, along with intonation and the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry, allows us to express an astonishing range of emotions, thoughts, and intentions. This communication enables us to navigate the intricacies of social interactions, collaborate effectively, and transmit knowledge across generations. Sound, in this sense, becomes a shared canvas upon which we collectively paint the intricate tapestry of human on

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