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Thread: A musical language?

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    Lightbulb A musical language?

    Other than music and music theory some of my main interests are languages and linguistics in general. If there are other people here who share these interests I welcome you especially to participate in this thread.

    So I was reading about unusual languages and came across a language called Solresol. If you don't know about this language I recommend you first go to because that article explains what it is and how it works better than I could do in this post.


    So now that you know what Solresol is and how it works, let me share with you my impressions of it.

    My first impression of Solresol is that I love the idea. A language that can be communicated through music alone, that's really amazing! Other than that, what makes it even more interesting is that this language can also be expressed with colors, numbers, written or gestured signs, and also in normal writing with Latin characters or spoken with words like any other language. That is for sure the language with the most diverse possibilities of expressing the exact same information I have ever heard of.

    I also like the simplicity of the language. Compared to other languages both spelling and pronunciation is the most simple I have ever seen. It's in fact, childishly simple. The only things you need to know how to spell and pronounce are the seven word stems (Do, Re, Mi, Fa Sol, La, Si), and then you will know how to write and pronounce every single word in the language.

    Now since I love music I of course had to try playing and listening to the musical expression of this language too. Now here, unfortunately, begins my more negative impression. After listening to both individual words and longer sentences, my feeling is that - at least in most cases - it doesn't really sound musical. It rather just sounds like notes played randomly, and I don't really find it pleasurable to listen to.

    That however doesn't change the fact that I love the idea of the language, and I don't want to give up on it just yet. Because other than the fact that I don't find the musical side of the language pleasurable to listen to, I think pretty much every aspect of the language is great.

    So my question to you is, how could we improve a language like Solresol so it sounds better?

    Of course what sounds "better" is subjective, but I think most of you would agree with me that from a musical viewpoint, Solresol lacks a bit of... aesthetics.

    This also awakens some more philosophical questions, like:
    * How is it possible for a musical language to sound good and also be useful as a language? Or
    * Are languages implicitly too complicated to translate to musical beauty? Or is it the other way around
    * Is musical beauty too complicated to be translated into a useful language? Or
    * Both of these, neither of these, or something else entirely?

    These questions don't have simple answers so I insist you really think deeply about them before you reply. I don't have the answers myself. Although I do love music and music theory, languages and linguistics, I am far from an expert on any of these topics. Maybe that's why I can't answer these questions.

    Please read, listen, play, feel and think about it and share your reflections about the questions above, and especially the main question I would like you to think about: How can we make a musical language that actually sounds musical?
    Last edited by Classicum; Sep-14-2019 at 20:08.

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