Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Assorted Links: Biology of Music and Black Metal University Course

1) The Biology of Music: Why do we like what we like?
"Rock is especially popular because it emphasizes the musical intervals whose frequency relationships are those we hear in the human speech."
More here.

2) This was a most interesting article to me. A Germanist at Emory teaches a course on black metal. A bit says: "Mr. Butler, an assistant professor of German studies at Emory University, talked about black-metal music — in its second-wave, largely Norwegian form — as a cryptic expression of Roman Catholicism. He started with the 16th-century Council of Trent and the early modern church. He quoted lyrics from the face-painted, early-1990s Norwegian black-metal bands Gorgoroth and Immortal; he framed black metal as respecting some of rock’s orthodoxies, as opposed to the heresies of disco and punk; and he spoke of black metal’s preoccupation with “the abiding and transcendent: stone, mountain, moon.”

And here:

"“The black metal event is a confession without need of absolution, without need of redemption,” he said. It is, he added, “a cleaning up of the mess of others.” He invoked the old English tradition of sin eating by means of burial cakes, in which a loaf of bread was put on a funeral bier or a corpse, and a paid member of the community would eat the bread, representing sin, to absolve and comfort the deceased.

“Black metal has become the sin eater,” he intoned. “It is engaged in transgressive behavior to be rid of it.” "

I highly recommend you read this in its entirety. Read more here.




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1 comment:

Nicki said...

I've meaning to ask you if you've ever developed a course that married medieval concepts and themes to modern ideas.
Interesting article. I also enjoy reading boingboing, btw. thx.