Talk:Atonality

From New World Encyclopedia
Unification Aspects:

The Divine Principle asserts in its first chapter, the Principle of Creation, that all laws and principles emanate from God, the first cause. Hence any artwork that embodies these laws (polarity, give and take, balance, harmony, order, etc.) to significant degrees can be said to be Godly. Unificationist theologian, Young Oon Kim asserts, "to the extent that they (laws and principles) more clearly amplify and substantiate God's nature they evoke a response of love and appreciation from man." Hence any assessment of art must take into account the amplification of God's nature, his eternal power and deity.

Tonality in music emerged as a musical syntax predicated on a very definite hierarchy of pitches and harmonic relationships based on principles that engender the divine properties articulated in Divine Principle.

Conversely, atonality, with its tendency to "democratize" pitch relationships here each tone is equal to the other, resulted in an absence of a tonal center or key. Arnold Schoenberg opined that "tonality is not an eternal law of music, but simply a means toward the achievement of musical form." Thus, Schoenberg felt that the times demanded the exploration of other means, and this exploration eventually led to atonal music. Atonality, more often than not, consists of dissonant chordal and melodic sounds and usually only intensified in more pressured dissonance. Some philosophers believed that atonal methods of composition mirrored the stressful political and historical times in the early twentieth century European and American culture where pessimism and cynicism were demonstrated in Schoenberg's school of a revolutionary musical art. Others believed that the "democratization" of tones was reflective of the dissolution of the old social order of Europe and a move toward democracy in the Western world.

Whatever the reason for the interest in atonal composition in the twentieth Century, or regardless whether atonality is a result of total organization (serialism) or chance (aleatoric), the result is an indeterminacy and perceptual opaqueness that often makes communication and aesthetic enjoyment difficult, if not impossible. Hence the assessment of conductor Ernst Ansermet who believed that atonal music was based on a "faulty aesthetic." In spite of its "revolutionary" aspects, atonality's acceptance has been hard won.

Unification philosophy also speaks of a revolution but continues onward toward a transcendence to a spirit world. According to Reverend Sun Myung Moon, "we live in the age of a great providential revolution. All nations and religions must now transcend past ways of living, and understand that, for very practical reasons, it is necessary to live in exact accordance with a new understanding of God's providence".[1] In other words, the revolution is the dissonance while God's providence is the consonance in musical interpretation.

The method of atonality gave subsequent composers a new understanding of the many styles of twentieth century music and has and still is influencing the course of contemporary music and the interplay between consonance and dissonance.

Notes
  1. The Owners of Re-Creation, Seoul, Korea: IIFWP, The World at a Turning Point, August 16, 2003
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