Message - Frozen Music

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Posted by  Paul Malo on February 12, 2002 at 07:11:06:

In Reply to:  Architecture is Music When It Harmonically Flows Together posted by Sir Barry on February 11, 2002 at 20:54:04:

Some architects of the Baroque era literally applied to their designs harmonic ratios learned from musical intervals and harmonic relations between notes to architectural design.

The whole subject of proportional systems is too arcane to go into here--this (as someone recently has noted) is not a scholarly forum. In short, however, there is more than a fuzzy poetic metaphor to the relation of architecture and music. As an architect and musician (composer more than performer) I can attest to that.

Your mention of a climax reminds me of Rachmaninoff's observation that every piece of music required what he called "the moment of truth," or something like that. It's the moment that (if it works) you "get it." It's not usually a "climax" in the dynamic sense of the big bang following an anaticipatory crescendo (or the grand central rotunda in a building, necessarily) but has more to do with the central IDEA for the extended development. This is not the "theme" of the theme-and-variations sort of development, but rather the most intense musical moment within the development that makes the excercise worthwhile. Difficult to convey in words, but you know it when you see (hear) it.

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