Lecture 1 - Musical Phonology
Lecture 2 - Musical Syntax
Lecture 3 - Musical Semantics
Lecture 4 - The Delights and Dangers of Ambiguity
Lecture 5 - The Twentieth Century Crisis
Lecture 6 - The Poetry of Earth
那么，是否有严格的音乐符号系统，能把音乐发生中的各种细节也如实展现出来？比如说可以把rubato的细节记录下来，把自由延长或跳奏的具体时值记录下来，把不同音乐家对f、p的响度理解记录下来，乃至把某一种哥德堡变奏曲的录音也记录下来。精密的语言有助于精密的思考，伯恩斯坦在讲座中有言：confirm, clarify, debunk，严谨的音乐符号可以加速实现他的构想。同样，音乐评论里若使用这样一套符号体系，可以提高读者对所评音乐的感知程度——既然只有可感知的才是真实的；而作者也可以直接用笔来写音乐“是什么”，而不必拐弯抹角地告诉大家音乐“像什么”。
(This letter to Leonard Bernstein was written in October, 1973 by a Harvard University sophomore in response to the second of the Norton Lectures. )
The second Norton Lecture left me uneasy about a few of your linguistical/musical analogues. Some clarification, I think, is necessary.
First, you seem to have a strange notion of linguistic embedding. ...The structure which you demonstrated in the Mozart Symphony [no. 40] really has no parallel in human speech since, unfortunately, we can handle only one voice at a time. For those bars to have truly been embedding, the strings would have stopped to let the woodwinds have their say, and then would have completed their material. It is a small point, I know, but I think you probably could find real embedding if you looked for it; and you could then have described the Mozart as a distinctly musical extension of human embedding.
And you also used the word "creativity" without making clear the distinction between linguistic creativity and artistic creativity. This was probably not intentional, but you should be more careful when making these analogies. If I were to recast the "Eroica" [Beethoven's Third Symphony in E-flat Major] in, say, D Major, I would certainly not have been creative in an artistic sense, although I would have been creative "linguistically." I have never heard a D Major "Eroica" before, but I could fabricate one with my own competence and with the score in front of me. To slip this by to an unsuspecting audience is not even quasi-scientific; it could be construed as downright tricky. Keep on your toes, Leonard. That Harvard community with which you dare to go one step further is also keenly aware of the shortcomings of your arguments.
Just one more thing. Your fugue on the Hanon exercises was fun, but as I was sitting there I asked myself why you didn't mention the point in the 3rd movement of Shostakovich's Second Piano Concerto where the pianist actually does play the exercises for several bars. You must know about it; you play the concerto excellently. Even if it was intended as a joke between Dmitri [Shostakovich] and Maksim [Shostakovich's son and for whom the Concerto was written], the important thing to remember is that the aesthetic quality of the music is not lost for a second.
Enough of my ravings. Until Tuesday night.