With the discussion between what composes art being renewed with the introduction experimentalism in music and the melding of art cultures through the melding of European art with that of primitive africa and indonesia, once again it seems necessary to look at the different perspectives in which art is viewed and the purpose that it serves. I have recently read "The Philosophy of Composition" by Poe, and "In Defence of Poetry" by Shelley, and both essays have differing viewpoints and offer interesting insight to this discussion.
In class, it was vaguely mentioned that Sun Ra was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. As was demonstrated in the video, Sun Ra was an experimental musician which is very interesting, as Poe's "Philosophy of Composition" lays out a process of writing that is in direct contrast with Sun Ra's style of composing music. Poe believes that the content of a story should be entirely known, before it is actually written. The entire plot structure and the material that comprises the story should be worked out before anything is written down. Sun Ra's brand of music is more reactionary than strictly structured as Poe believes it should be. Yet in contrast to this basis of Poe's essay, there is one quote in particular that although lends itself to Poe's argument is also relevant to experimental composition. "It is an obvious rule of art that effects should be made to spring from direct causes- that objects should be attained through means best adapted for their attainment." The fact that Sun Ra and other experimentalists rely on their musicians to react to the music being played, is supported by this statement. Also Percey Shelley lends a hand to Sun Ra's argument by stating that a poet can't will himself to create anything. Not even the greats can do that. Rather poetry (art) is a product of inspiration and is very serendipitous in that it is reactionary.
This explains also the degeneration of classically inspired styles of Europe to the art of "primitive" people and those from Asia. Many artists as was laid out in our most recent Scharfstein reading that explains the assimilation of art styles across cultures. Shelley also writes, "yet it is by no means essential that a pet should accommodate his language to this traditional form, so that the harmony which is its spirit, be observed."
*it should be noted that Shelley regarded a poet as any member that practiced one of the traditional artforms as well as "institutors of laws, and the founders of civil society and the inventor s of the arts of life and" those founders/teachers of religion.