Τετάρτη, 16 Νοεμβρίου 2005

monotony

i believe that the true relations of monotony and change may be most simply understood by observing them in music. we may therein notice first, that there is a sublimity and majesty in monotony, which there is not in rapid or frequent variation. this is true throughout all nature. the greatest part of the sublimity of the sea depends on its monotony; so also that of desolate moor and mountain scenery; and especially the sublimity of motion, as in the quiet, unchange fall and rise of an engine beam. so also there is sublimity in darkness which there is not in light.
again, monotony after a certain time, or beyond a certain degree, becomes either uninteresting or intolerable, and the musician is obliged to break it in one of two ways: either while the air or passage is perpetually repeated, its notes are variously enriched and harmonized; or else, after a certain number of repeated passages, an entirely new passage is introduced, which is more or less delightful according to the length of the previous monotony. nature, of course, uses both these kinds of variation perpetually. the sea-waves, resembling each other in general mass, but none like its brother in minor divisions and curves, are a monotony of the first kind; the great plain, broken by an emergent rock or clump of trees, is a monotony of the second.
[on art and life, john ruskin]----papercuts by p.

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