Thoughts on Music pt. 5 (Ernest Bornemann)

This is the fifth blog in my "Thoughts on Music" series which feature quotes containing interesting thoughts on music that someone has said or written (or both). This time around: Ernest Borneman.

According to Wikipedia: Ernst Wilhelm Julius Bornemann (April 12 1915 – June 4, 1995) was a German crime writer, filmmaker, anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, jazz musician, jazz critic, psychoanalyst, sexologist, and committed socialist. All these diverse interests, he claimed, had a common root in his lifelong insatiable curiosity. From 1982-1986 he was president of the German Society for Social-Scientific Sexuality Research. In 1990 he was awarded the Magnus Hirschfeld Medal for sexual science.

”While the whole European tradition strives for regularity – of pitch, of time, of timbre and of vibration – the African tradition strives for precisely the negation of these elements. In language, the African tradition aims at circumlocution rather than at exact definition. The direct statement is considered crude and unimaginative; the veiling of all contents in ever-changing paraphrases is considered the criterion of intelligence and personality. In music, the same tendency towards obliquity and ellipsis is noticeable; no note is attacked straight; the voice or instrument always approaches it from above or below, plays around the implied pitch without ever remaining on it for any length of time, and departs from it without ever having committed itself to a single meaning. The timbre is veiled and paraphrased by constantly changing vibrato, tremolo, and overtone effects. The timing and accentuation, finally, are not stated, but implied or suggested”.
-Ernest Borneman, The Roots of Jazz, 1959

1 comment:

  1. hmmm interesting

    altíð áhugaverdur lesnaður:)