Intersections, by Alfonso Alberti

From today begin the meetings with the italian musician and musicologist Alfonso Alberti, who offers us a series of articles about the relationship between different art forms.

From time immemorial, the arts have been evolving in parallel, together renewing themselves and together expressing their age. But also, sometimes in very different ages, facing the same themes and delving into the same tangles of human thought and imagination. This column, “Intersections”, aims to explore the many facets of this relationship, so that music, visual arts, literature and the other arts can shed some light on each other.

Here’s the first article:

Sixteen and a half: the Endless Column of Brancusi and Ligeti

by Alfonso Alberti

Music gets in time – so in it there are, first of all, a “before”, and an “after”.
It could seem odd, in the abstract, that you could talk, in it, of an “over” and an “under”, because the space coordinates are the main feature of visual arts. That notwithstanding, there is a musical parameter that has always (as far as we can remember) been associated to space: the pitch (which in Italian is “altezza”, “height”, a revealing term).
A sound can be treble (but we will also say that it is “high”), or bass (and then “low”). This parameter was always seen as the analogue of the vertical dimension in physical space; it is to be noted that the analogy is particularly deep-going, because it involves (at least potentially) the whole symbolic sphere associated to the vertical direction – up and down.
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