18 Jun 2009

Husserl, para 6, Supplementary B1 to: On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

[The following is summary. My commentary is in brackets.]

Edmund Husserl

On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

B: Supplementary Texts

I "On the Introduction of the Essential Distinction between 'Fresh' Memory and 'Full' Recollection and about the Change in Content and Differences in Apprehension in the Consciousness of Time"

No. 1 "How Does the Unity of a Process of Change that Continues for an Extended Period of Time Come to Be Represented?
Intuition and Re-presentation"

Paragraph 6

So far, we have only considered melodies that we have heard a number of times before. For this reason, we have certain expectations for how the melody will continue and finally come to a close. So if it ends abruptly before finishing, we continue to imagine it carry-on in our phantasy. This makes us feel unfulfilled. We might even be surprised. Thereby, we can feel that the melody stopped in the middle.

But as we noted before, musicians construct their melodies according to certain tonal principles and conventions. So we can feel when the music will close moments before it actually ends. Suppose. We are listening to a new melody. We have not yet perceived those tonal or conventional indicators that tell us the melody is about to end. And before the melody does end, the musician cuts-off abruptly. Because the closing indications have not yet appeared, we can still feel that the melody ended before its completion, even though we have not heard it yet be played to its very end.

We base this judgment not on our knowledge of identical instances of that melody ending, but on our similar experiences with the way melodies normally finish.

Our musical experience no doubt lets us understand what is and what is not a completed melodic whole. It is similarity that guides us. [144b]

Husserl, Edmund. On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893-1917). Vol 4 ofEdmund Husserl: Collected Works. Ed. Rudolf Bernet. Trans. John Barnett Brough. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991.

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