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Old Errorsnew Insights

JOURNALIST: Why didn’t you tell the public about your findings at that time?

PETER HÜBNER: Originally, I wanted to report on this research and the error of modern musical development among the avant-garde in 1968 during the International Week for Experimental Music at the Berlin Festival Weeks, where I was invited as a speaker. But the responsible organiser of the Technical University in Berlin shrank from such a revelation, and saw the whole congress endangered by it, as avant-garde participants from all over the world had been misled, and this congress was taking place to pay tribute to this error. He urgently beseeched me to choose a different topic.

JOURNALIST: Thus, at this world summit of music you “only” talked about three new notation processes you had developed.

What consequences did this insight into the natural laws of harmony of the microcosm of music have for your further musical creations?

PETER HÜBNER: During this time of initial insight into the natural and inevitable tonal and rhythmical structural developments of the microcosm of music, my rejection of the highly modern atonal avant-garde of the twelve toners and serial composers, and my increasingly clear musical orientation towards the natural conditions of the microcosm of music took place – and that, within the context of my instrumental compositions, as likewise in my electronic work.

JOURNALIST: During this transitional period, your pieces “Faust”, “Light threads” and “Electronic choirs” were created.

PETER HÜBNER: These are three electronic compositions in which I give serious rhythmical and tonal thought to the microcosm of music – and for the electronic choirs even find a sub-microcosm of music deep inside the microcosm of music.

JOURNALIST: These three compositions “Faust”, “Light threads”, and “Electronic choirs” mark a change in your musical work. The place of the sharp, atonal musical social criticism which is indeed able to destroy structures, but is unable to strengthen natural structures, are replaced by the first steps to the conscious, musical resonance with the natural laws of harmony.
The violent revolution is replaced by natural evolution.

PETER HÜBNER: But at the time, this was not a musical question for me, but an ethical decision.

Whether or not you orientate yourself towards the natural and inevitable laws of harmony of the microcosm of music and/or biological life, or creation in your musical work, is today not only a question of musical talent – and must no longer be a question of musical training –, but is solely a question of one’s conscience.

Disharmonical music may today also be called “deformed music”. A natural composition develops in the natural harmony of the human heart; from this level of life, it is harmonious in a natural way, and shows natural proportions in the rhythmical and tonal ratios.

Disharmony is the artificial shift of these natural proportions, and you can perhaps best compare compositions of this kind with those paintings by Pablo Picasso, in which the faces are cut up, with one half of the face looking upwards and the other downwards.

Nobody looks like that, and I don’t know anybody who would like to look like that, either.
The music of the disharmonious avant-gardists has the same sort of effect on the listener, it cuts through his natural inner harmony, and leads firstly his inner and then his outer life onto unnatural tracks. The problem is, that these composers do not hear their music from the inside, as the plain man would assume a tone creator to do.

The compositions of the new toners are practically fabricated on a drawing-board – theoretically perhaps quite interesting to look at – but without relating to the reality of the musical instruments, to the microcosm of music, and therefore to natural life: simply unnatural.

If someone heard this music spontaneously inside him, he would feel wretched. And I wasn’t a bit surprised, when a medical professor from Berlin told me about studies, which demonstrate that musicians who frequently play such atonal music, are a lot more often ill than their colleagues who mainly devote themselves to harmonious music.

JOURNALIST: The unnaturally structured music makes them ill.

PETER HÜBNER: You see, most new toners don’t even have an exact inner idea of the tones and sounds they have noted by – let alone the complete inner hearing experience of their composition.
The classical composer naturally has the ability to hear his compositions inside – he doesn’t need to listen to them on the piano.
When I entered college, I thought that it was normal to have a clear inner hearing experience of one’s own composition, i.e. to experience the work’s premiere from the inside.

The fact that has long been scientifically proven is – namely, that the tone of each musical instrument has its own microcosm –, is perhaps made more real to the students at one or the other of the musical institutions, but it has not been established within education of the inner musical world of experience, and therefore within the musical world of design of future musicians and composers.

If a musical inner idea and interpretation is to function, however, then it must integrate the nature of boundless diversity of the tonal and rhythmical life of fine tones into a tone.

But what did reality as a rule look like among professors and students of composition, and what does it look like now: they design the compositions by means of theoretical contemplations on a drawing-board, or they write music, which they cannot imagine with their inner hearing, with the help of a piano.

After that, they wait for a performance, so that they find out, what their composition sounds like in reality.

This has nothing to do with a natural way of composing.



  Avant Garde Music                                            continued 23