Music: Notes Or Sounds ?

In all those years I was wondering why some Systems sound like the real thing and some - even ultra expensive - do something which have absolutely nothing to do with that. The more I thought about it the more I knew I have to think about that. The transmuting of a "happening in sound" into music necessarily involves the coming into play of a conscious faculty other than that of pure aural perception. And this can only be our faculty of feeling, an emotional activity which, in the case of the creative musician, gives an affective significance to the tonal structure he imagines, and which, in the case of the listener, rediscovers in these tonal structures the same affective significance that the creative musician found in them. Music, then, has its source not in sounds as such, but in the human psyche. It is not, as is too readily believed, a phenomenon of sound, an activity of feeling motivated by sounds which finds in tonal structures the possibility of expressing itself, just as our activity of thought finds the means of expressing itself in spoken language.

It is clear that such a phenomenon involves the coming into play of certain privileged sounds, which we call "musical sounds", as well as a certain tonal and rhythmic organization of these sounds which is the very condition of these musical tonal structures having the power of affective significance. But, as can be seen, all the data in sound brought to light by music acquire musical meaning only through the affective significance they have in a musical experience that is lived.
In other words, all musical data are affective data, rigorously related to acoustic data, BUT not determined by them. The proof of this is the fact that one and the same sound can, according to the circumstances, be considered by the musician as an F, an E sharp, or a G double flat, or that the same acoustical interval - the tritone for example, which consists of three whole tones - can be experienced, according to the circumstances , as an augmented fourth ( C to F sharp) or a diminished fifth (C to G flat), which is, affectively, very different.
So, music is not made with sounds, as is said only too often, but with notes and in general, with musical and NOT acoustic data, although these musical data are revealed by acoustic data.

All these facts have been known up till now without there having been any need to specify them in man's innate sense of music. Yet it appears necessary to me to bring them to light again in out time, because the manufacturers of the so-called "High End units" seem to have lost this innate sense of music.

For them ( and the "reviewers"), music is no longer the language of the heart (with some very few exceptions) but a language of sounds. They have abandoned the paths - tonal, rhythmic and even sonorous (for that they implement noises) - which has nothing to do with the reproduction of real sound in the listeners home. Their "music" is no longer the product of an activity of feeling but of their"intellect" (whatever that will be). They make it not with notes but with sounds and determine its structures by quantitative measures, both in the tonal and temporal sphere they fail.

This kind of "sound art" disconcerts the discriminated audiophile who asks himself in anguish whether this is still music, or whether he is the one who is no longer capable of following the historical evolution of our art.
The music made by a stereo is still in the physical realm. No metaphysics needed.
The difference between the mechanical performanc, and the sublime is in the subtle interplay of the music.
Lost in some systems. there in others (whether expensive or not)
So to me it is can the system display the very fragile, subtle bits needed by our brains to confer the illusion of beauty. Rather than the fact of noises good or bad.

Kind of like Glen Miller, no matter how good a musician.. He could not 'swing' if his life depended on it.
Some systems just do not have 'it'.
I've for a long time judge the worthiness of a component or audio system by its ability or failure to communicate the intrinsic emotion and beauty of music. Without this emotional connection why would you bother to listen? Otherwise it's just sterile un involving sound. Music is art.
Syntax, I know you don't like to acknowledge Linn's philosophy, or maybe their resulting products, but isn't that essentially what they are saying, or we can conclude that from what they are saying? Getting what the musician intends is more important than resulting sounds that (can) occur.
Mmakshak, well, I did write that just as a result from my audiophile History. The rarity shows that a lot of Manufacturers have some kind of "Philosophy".... most owners of something "believe" a given kind of "religion" for whatever reason. My lines are more or less a kind of information for readers, maybe for some they are helpful, who knows (I think, for the majority they aren't :-)).
Personally, when I die and God will say, Syntax you've been a bad boy and you will need some time at a very warm place, ok. No problem. But when he really wants to punish me he will force me to listen all day long to a LP12 with a Koetsu and Lyra Connoisseur Phono/Pre via Magico with shot midrange drivers and a 5Watt tube amp, and Telarc 1812. UUUUHHHH, next Sunday I will go to Church ...
It is like Elizbeth wrote, Some Systems just do not have "it".
When you know what "it" means, your next purchases will give you a new - probably - better direction.
Syntax, I guess you really don't like the Lp12. I just thought that their philosophy, although maybe not fully implemented, really deals with the difference between notes and sounds-much more than Absolute Sound and Stereophile were proposing. If a system allows one to "get" what the composer intends, it is more accurate than one note that sounds close to what we assume it should be.
Hello MMakshak, honestly, I have no "feelings" about components, I try to find out what they can or not. That's all. I write a comment about it and then it is done for me. Being a "Fanboy" or "Member of proud owner group" was never interesting for me. There are enough out there who think different about their position in the hierarchy of respect in the audiophile Pyramid...I try to get the time jump into the Golden Era of Analog.
Here is some good and true information about the Linn LP12
I listened to all versions multiple times and I am simply not the right customer for it :-)
Their marketing is brilliant, I seriously think, the best audio marketing ever made. To charge the same customer for 30 years for all kind of "revolutionary updates" for the same unit again and again is remarkable.

Touched by music is not really depending on hardware. It goes straight to your heart for multiple reasons. When you like a song, you enjoy it even via car stereo, Download, distorted Radio, doesn't matter. But getting the impression what High End stands for (ok, that is history and is replaced more or less to an expensive toy store for adults now) is still a different story. That's the reason why I wrote my impressions about Notes or Sounds.
The original (live) performance is all about how well it is played (notes). Any recording / playback is about how the notes are reproduced (sounds).