Process of Musical Perception
purely musical comprehension of reality includes: the outer hearing
and the inner hearing which, in turn, includes the (inner) perception
of the musical parameters sound, motif, sequence, and harmony.
With our inner hearing, we perceive these musical parameters in relation
to the musical tonal space, and in relation to the motif space, the
sequence space, and the harmony space, we perceive them with our intellect,
our feeling and our mind.
The outer perception concerns our perception of tones in the acoustic
space, i.e. the perception of the musical event that is brought to us
listeners from outside.
The structural comprehension of the musical tonal space through our
inner hearing is tied to the clarity of the representation of the tone
in our mind, and therefore depends primarily on our mind’s ability to
But it also depends on the sensitive perception of our inner sense of
hearing on its alertness.
Structurally comprehending the motif space in music depends on an even
more precise functioning of the mind, because the latter determines
the precision of the tonal-structural picture which contains the motif
Thus, comprehending the musical motif space depends on the cognitive
ability of our intellect, because it is the intellect which, by virtue
of our analysing mind, detects the unfolding of the motifs in the motif
space and by virtue of our synthesising feeling, realises thisdevelopment
of motifs to be a continuous melody a unity of the motif development.
Structurally comprehending the musical melody space is based on an even
more powerful functioning of the mind; because, in order to comprehend
the melody, the tonal structure must be displayed on the surface of
our mind even more precisely. The tonal parameters, in their relation
to each other, must be perceived completely, so that we can comprehend
the different, manifold developments of the motifs holistically
in unity whilst simultaneously separate from each other.
Only the differentiated and, at the same time, integrated comprehension
of the motif developments through feeling and mind allows to grasp the
melody, which means: the musical comprehension of the picture of an
individual course of life.
If, however, we attempt to comprehend several life paths simultaneously,
we have to do so from a higher level of knowledge; for not only must
we see and experience one single, individual course of development,
but many courses simultaneously.
And the mysterious appeal of this stage of musical knowledge lies not
so much in merely observing or understanding the characters in development
and the lives based on them from the outside, but particularly in personally
experiencing many different roads of individual human perfection simultaneously.
In the musical spaces of the sequences, we can experience living very
different lives simultaneously and, thereby, personally walking very
different life paths simultaneously and in our experience we
can move about, being one and the same person, in very different bodies
and with very different modes of behaviour.
The world of the harmony, however, affords us the personal experience
of an infinite multiplicity of lives which are being lived simultaneously,
and which move before our mental eye and within our entire feeling like
shining stars in free orbits.
And all these individual stars are we ourselves; each single orbit is
our own, very individual life path, and this experience, in this highest
stage of our music listening, of our musical knowledge of truth, is
our very personal truth.
HÜBNER Listening to Music
The Process of Musical Perception
A A R E D I T I O N I N T E R N
A T I O N A L 2001