The eff-word again

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Now dance it, darling.

So much for the ineffability of music: from Arthur Philips at The Believer, Dancing about architecture, a wonderful article about music and writing.

It pushes all my buttons at once, since I seem to be headed in the same direction with my dissertation: it’s all very well to say ‘talking about music is like dancing about architecture’, but  the more you consider it, the less attractive it seems: as Nicholas Cook says in Analysing musical multimedia “there’s nothing like the ineffable to provoke talk” (p.267). In a perversely backhanded way, the quip is itself  a verbal musing on the ineffability of music: it’s all right to talk about music as long as you say it’s ineffable. It sounds hip, but it’s very 19th century.

Talking about music has its advantages, its necessities even, and Philips’ article is a very good advert for its delights.

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