Monadology and Music

Publication Year:
Usage 261
Downloads 261
Social Media 2
Tweets 2
Repository URL:
Uchii, Soshichi
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
preprint description
In this paper, I will present an analogy between Leibniz’s Monadology and musical works. A musical work is usually written down in a score. It is divided into many voice parts, and for every part, it gives all musical information necessary for performance. Now, since any such score specifies all notes of that musical work, at once, it can be regarded as atemporal; musical time does not flow in a score. And it does not specify spatial relations among the voice parts. Thus, the musical work described in a score exists as an informational entity. A score is a kind of “program” for playing. This program contains invariant structures, and such structures define the identity of the work. On the other hand, it allows freedom for performers. Any performer has to “interpret” the work, and his or her performance is an expression of that interpretation. Any such interpretation may be regarded as a kind of “coding” for transforming the specified invariant structures into actual sounds in space and time. This dual aspect of musical works is the basis of my analogy. It should be conducive to improving our interpretation of Monadology.