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Time in Music and Culture


Ludwik Bielawski

From Aristotle to Heidegger, philosophers distinguished two orders of time, before, after and past, present, future, presenting them in a wide range of interpretations. It was only around the turn of the 1970s that two theories of time which deliberately went beyond that tradition, enhancing our notional apparatus, were produced independently of one another. The nature philosopher Julius T. Fraser, founder of the interdisciplinary International Society for the Study of Time, distinguished temporal levels in the evolution of the Cosmos and the structure of the human mind: atemporality, prototemporality, eotemporality, biotemporality and nootemporality. The author of the book distinguishes two ‘dimensions’ in time: the dimension of the sequence of time (syntagmatic) and the dimension of the sizes of duration or frequency (systemic). On the systemic scale, the author distinguishes, in human ways of existing and acting, a visual zone, zone of the psychological present, zone of works and performances, zone of the natural and cultural environment, zone of individual and social life and zone of history, myth and tradition. In this book, the author provides a synthesis of these theories.

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7 The zone of individual and social life


7.1 The zone of the time of human ontological development

The large zone covering the area between the year, as the longest unit of ecological time, and the period of a human life, extending for ninety or more years, is difficult to designate with a single common name, on account of the diverse aspects connected with it. Perhaps the most apt name would be ‘zone of human life’, the alternatives being ‘zone of demographic time’ or ‘zone of communal time’. It is an object of interest for many academic disciplines: biology, developmental psychology, demography, sociology, biographic studies, history, anthropology and ethnography, including ethnomusicology. All those disciplines are more or less dependent on the ontological development of the person, which is why a survey of selected issues should begin perhaps with an anthropological classification. Napoleon Wolański distinguishes, for example, the following periods, phases and sub-periods in the development of the individual (cited here after Klonowicz):179

I. The period of intrauterine development

A. The phase of the foetal egg (the first two weeks)

B. The phase of the embryo (3–7 weeks of life)

C. The phase of the foetus (from the eighth week of life till birth, on average to the end of a lunar month).

II. The period of progressive development

A. The passive phase (from birth to around 5–7 months of postnatal life)

B. The phase of expansion...

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