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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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List of examples


1.1 The history of the universe according to Hawking and the zones of human time

1.2 The seven temporal zones of human activity and existence

1.3 The syntagmatic and systemic properties of time

1.4 Ajdukiewicz’s meanings of time, seen from the systematic and syntagmatic temporal perspectives

1.5 The present and types of history in the anthropological sciences

1.6 The historical and systematic perspectives in music anthropology

1.7 Heidegger’s Fourfold: Earth, Sky, Divinities, Mortals.

1.8 Heidegger’s Fourfold Distorted

1.9 The cross inscribed in the triangle of our earthly existence delineated by average human sizes and average musical tempi

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