As activity in the practice and the concept to think the coordination there is nothing to surpass the music. Taking advantage of the change of meaning of the words, an ars , and not just an art. And, therefore, should be -besides all the other reasons – of particular interest to a sociologist.
The music is confronted with the topic of coordination in at least two modes. One is the reference to the combination of sounds: How do you get different sounds to sound together? Traditionally the idea was that the set would drive, but one could say that that course has been discussed in the musical practice for quite a good time. The second is the reference to the constitution of the unit on a temporary basis: How to ensure that sounds are scattered throughout the time they sit as a whole? In the end, music is an activity that is inherently temporary. In both cases, the relationship between diversity and the ensemble is something that should be addressed. And the various forms and modes of music making can be understood as different answers to practical and theoretical to these questions.
Let us think of the old polyphony. The way in which it treats the first issue is known: The problem is how to gather in a harmonious manner different lines that are independent of each other. What of independence has to be understood correctly: refers to the note value of each line at each time depends on itself, follows its own melody without consideration to the other. And it is in the attempt to achieve harmony of these separate lines, that is the game of the composer. Now, you can characterize it as dependent in another way: they Tend to be imitations. Although, in fact, it was not always so, some of the earliest attempts medieval polyphony mixed up two lines that melodically are independent (I follow here the magnificent History of Western Music in Taruskin), but the subsequent development led rather to a solution contrapuntal, and to the glories of renaissance polyphony.
Thought of in terms of coordination, what we have, then, is an exploration of the various ways (and let us remember how interesting: a line can touch the motif with notes longer or shorter, to invest the occasion, touching, upside down etc) that can express an idea or thought. If each who express a common culture (a reason) polyphony is the way in which it is shown.
On the other hand, the polyphony does not face largely in part to the way that solves the first issue – the second. The thematic unity becomes something trivial that sounds feel a set. At the same time, that unit has no reality of its own -as in some of the canons from Bach’s Musical Offering– can continue to infinity. The discourse is not closed internally.
Another mode of dealing with the issue of coordination is the classicism, and in particular we will focus on the modality is more paradigmatic: The address of the string quartet. There was expressed in simple principles of coordination of the system. Here the lines are not independent, in the sense that they were in the polyphony -the value in a time of one of them depends on the value of the other: The accompaniment follows the values that suit according to the main voice. But, at the same time, they gain in individuality, each voice says different things, has different reasons. The as bring together these various reasons, pass it between the instruments, to change them from an accompaniment to a main voice, put them to converse among them, is the problem that the composer displays in his work.
The problem of coordination, which here is shown to us in the combination of sounds is one radically different to that of the polyphony: it Is one of interaction. How to combine different motives, as to make them circular. The model of the conversation for the string quartet, which was part of his self-understanding in the EIGHTEENTH century, is not a metaphor but -in fact – the very stuff of the subject. If the unity of the polyphony was a unit pre-given (the reason it only shows clear and to the start and then they will express their various forms of display), the unit of classicism is a unit in construction: The parties must listen to each other (which is why they are not independent harmonically) and your listening results (and therefore the reasons circulate between them).
At the same time in the classicism of the unit of time is transformed into a shaft crucial. The sonata form (exposition-development-recapitulation) is a form that tells a story that is closed in itself, and there forms clearly a unit.
Now, form a temporary drive clear of this way -with a story that closes in on itself – is not the only way of dealing with the problem of the unit of time. It can also be seen in things that are very decoupled. And in this sense, the question of how to combine the dissociated and different is one of the questions permanent of the music.
To get out of the framework of the music, ‘learned’. The Bohemian Rhapsody is clearly a song in sections very distinct, composed of heterogeneous materials which remain as such, and yet are not clearly constitutes a unit? The same can be said, to return to the field of what is ‘learned’ in the miracle that is the Magic Flute: the combination of styles, each clearly distinguished (think in the end, the difference is the music of the scenes of Papageno in connection with Tamino/Pamina), and however, where the unit of the set can also be apprehend. In a more contemporary and thinking in the case of the quartet: The string quartets of Elliott Carter are expressly made a meditation in four voices can be combined while remaining distinct in their individuality. To give a final example: The last movement of the 9th Symphony is extremely diverse, but that through it all it is is singing the joy is something that no one can stop listening.
By the way, we have left many things out (and the form of themes and variations is not a reflection of centuries on the theme of unity and diversity?), but with what we have been up to now will be sufficient. Human beings have not generated anything more profound or anything more accurate to think about and practice the coordination and how it is possible for that little miracle that is life in common, the music.