Re: MD Speaking of musical excellence

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sat Mar 06 2004 - 13:14:58 GMT

  • Next message: MATTHEW PAUL KUNDERT: "Re: MD Quality and In-e-quality"

    Hi Steve,

    > In ZAMM chapter 21 Pirsig says:
    > Art is high-quality endeavor. That is all that really needs to be said. Or,
    > if something more high-sounding is demanded: Art is the Godhead as revealed
    > in the works of man. The relationship established by Phædrus makes it clear
    > that the two enormously different sounding statements are actually
    > identical.

    I agree with Pirsig's view that the purpose of art is to reveal the
    Godhead, accomplished when the work creates a Dynamic experience.

    > Steve:
    > The above supports your view of art being appropriately measured by the
    > degree to which it reflects Spirit.
    > Pirsig also says this in his intro to LC:
    > Art is not just the static achievements of the masters of the past. Art is
    > the creative Dynamic Quality of the artist of the present.
    > Though in ZAMM and later in LC Pirsig says that he never felt the need to
    > add anything to the definition of art as a high quality endeavor, here he
    > seems to be applying his static/dynamic cut to do just that. I think this
    > application of dq/sq does add to the definition of art and brings clarity
    > to understanding what art is. (He also applied this cut in the buying a
    > new record example in Lila.)
    > It may be helpful to understand the difference between saying some
    > classical piece of art is good and saying some piece of modern art is good.
    > In the case of art (or music) that we refer to as a classic, we are
    > probably mostly praising it in terms of static quality. Similarly, when we
    > label a piece of modern art (or music) "good," we probably mean our
    > experience is high quality in the dynamic sense.

    Here we disagree. IMO, the classics can engender the same Dynamic
    experience as modern art. It's the experience, not the category or type of
    the art, that determines a particular artwork's quality.

    > I can agree with you that rock and roll will not likely be listened to in
    > 500 years, while classical music probably will still be listened to.
    > But I also think that such a static quality measure does not explain all
    > there is to understand about art and music.

    Thanks for the Pirsig quotes about art and your interpretation which I
    mostly agree with, especially your statement about static quality measures
    falling short of explaining art. My own feeling is that the only valid
    thing in art cannot be explained at all. It can only be directly
    experienced. You can't say what beauty is, but you know it when you see
    (hear) it.


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