40 part motet LO30189

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/20/03

Replying to LO30180 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell < ACampnona@aol.com > writes:

>'Spem In Alium' is a 40 part Motet by Thomas Tallis that was
>once sung in a cathedral performance, and in which the singers
>were dispersed at irregular intervals not normal for such a choir.
>This was so that the mobile listeners could walk near and up to
>each single voice and hear predominantly just them, their voice
>- at the expense of the others. Assuming any number of partcipants,
>any distribution, where according to any theory of LEP is the best,
>I hesitate to say 'perfect' perfomance ingathered, At ;-) ?

Greetings dear Andrew,

You have caught me by surprise. I have never thought of such a possibility
that the audience and the performers could intermingle. As one of such an
audience i would love to wander between the various performers and observe
them closely.

The LEP (Law of Entropy Production) is a curious law. Under certain
conditions it will cause separate things to mix and under other conditions
it will cause the constituents of a mixture to separate. Taking these
conditions into consideration always require a more holistic thinking. In
physical chemistry it involves exploring do-called phase diagrams, a
hooror to many a student.

I wonder what conditions made western people to separate the audience from
the performers with such strictness ? Come to think of it, here in
Southern Africa with its Banthu, Khoi and San (the little which remains of
it), such a strict division is almost alien during traditional
performances. It goes even further, often someone from the audience
spontaneously participates as minor performer, improvising as the
situation requires.

I often thought how fortunate i am for having taught chemistry. A major
part of the teaching was in the laboratory where pratical work was done.
Here i used to wander among the students as much as possible, observing
closely what they do, prompting them with questions to further thinking or
warning them to avoid risks by following safer procedures. In the lecture
halls this wandering was impossible because of its arrangement of benches
and the lecturing desk. There is definitely too much western culture in
the lecture halls.

It makes me think of email lists like this one. There are the minority who
participates often -- the performers -- and the majority who participates
seldom, if ever -- the audience. Yet the audience have the opportunity to
wander between the contributions of the performers. If only they would
particpate a bit more like in the African cultures, improvising as the
conditions require.

Thank you Andrew, you have made my day. You have made me aware of another
marked difference between Western and African cultures -- one that i was
oblivious too because of too much western thinking myself.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.