Oct 18

Word Order, Specifically the Words “Just” and “Only”

By Lars Rosager | Uncategorized

Textual Chordophonics
October 18, 2018

The further one advances in academic and professional life, the more it is apparent that details matter. In music as in language, what seems to be a dispensable, dismissible little piece of any project has the power to drastically change the outcome. It should go without saying that the same is true for almost any area of human activity.

Consider the following example: “You just drink lemonade,” vs. “You drink just lemonade.” By placing the word “just” before the word “drink,” one conveys that the only action taken is drinking. In other words, “you” do not do anything else to the lemonade besides drink it. By placing the word “just” before the word “lemonade,” one conveys that the only drink to be drunk is the lemonade. The desired message in both versions of the sentence is, colloquially, that “you” do not drink water, milk, or grape juice, for instance—even though the first version would be better off conveying the idea that no other action is taken upon the lemonade. Itt gets only drunk, not boiled, frozen, or spilled.

I would say this is pretty straightforward grammar, and relates directly to the word “only.” To me, both “just” and “only” are problems in common conversation. Other more egregious errors related to word order do occur, but these two often slip under the radar. How many times have you heard someone say, “You only have one left?”, or “You have only one left?” While these two questions would generally be used to express identical meanings, the details of word order present alternative analyses.

As you have read in the “just” example, “just” before “drink” affects the action of drinking. “Just” before “lemonade” refers specifically to what “you” drink. Similarly, one should commit to the wording “You have only one left?” because there is no doubt about the word “only” referring to “one.” The idea generally expressed does not have to do with “only” having, as opposed to some alternative to “have.”

The upshot here is that smaller units of meaning constitute entire ideas. No matter how confident or committed to some idea to be expressed as a whole, it is always necessary to make sure the units of meaning of which the bigger picture is comprised are coherent in and of themselves.


Jun 04

Weekly Performances at Riverfront Café in Petaluma

By Lars Rosager | Uncategorized

Textual Chordophonics
June 4, 2018

​This is a quick post to let everyone know that I will be singing and playing weekly at the newly opened Riverfront Café in Petaluma. The restaurant is located at 224 B St. I will be appearing every Tuesday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Please be in touch for more information. Thanks very much!

#casamontalvoguitars #thomastikinfeldstrings #textualchordophonics

Nov 20

Donations to Help Yemen; My Music the Thank-You Gift

By Lars Rosager | Uncategorized

Picture Textual Chordophonics
​November 20, 2017

The following post is urgent. For most of us, the current living conditions for Yemenis are unimaginable. With the recent blockade on basic supplies entering Yemen, things have taken a turn for the worse.

In response to such horrors, I am calling on all of you reading this to donate at least $5.00 USD to the SavetheChildren.org campaign for Yemen, or any other fundraising effort to aid the people of Yemen. Email me a screenshot of your confirmed donation (or some such proof), and I will send you some of my recorded music—a combination of voice and seven-string guitar on 11 tracks of quality audio. Hope to see messages from all of you!

#casamontalvoguitars #thomastikinfeldstrings #textualchordophonics

Aug 31

Suggested Listening

By Lars Rosager | Music

Picture Textual Chordophonics
August 31, 2017

I would like to share a track that caught my ear today: “Wait Up” by Q-Tip, from the album Amplified. Additionally, I will say that all of the music I share and participate in comes from my positivity and heartfelt hope for a fulfilling life for all humankind. God Bless.

Lars Rosager


Jun 25

Upcoming Performance: Some Background on Raag Hamasadhwani

By Lars Rosager | Uncategorized

Textual Chordophonics

In the context of a Yoga practice, music is most certainly being realized in a functional way. This post provides some background information on the music that will be supporting a special Yoga class at Renew Yoga in Petaluma, California, USA on August 5, 2017, from 6:00 to 7:15 pm. Through Raag Hamasadhwani, I will be offering a unique synthesis of North and South Indian styles rendered in a personalized yet traditional fashion.

An Indian raag may be briefly defined as a refined melodic formula through which a musician brings to life specific theoretical constructs and expressive qualities. Those who are present for the live music at the upcoming class will be hearing Raag Hamasadhwani at the right time, literally. Along with portraying various types of mythological and humanly emotive symbolism, raags are assigned to specific times of day. According to renowned North Indian musical education institute ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Hamasadhwani is typically played between 6:00 and 8:00 pm (http://www.itcsra.org/SamayRaga.aspx).

It is also notable that many have identified Raag Hamasadhwani to be particularly suited to compositions in praise of the Hindu god Ganesh. Another aspect of the function of this raag is present in the custom of employing it to begin a concert on the Indian instrument called veena. This is no real surprise because Ganesh, as the lord both of obstacles and of their destruction, is often invoked at the outset of an endeavor.

Master veena player Jayanthi Kumaresh has shown that the connotation of the word “hamasadhwani” bears the utmost importance within the history of the veena, namely its significance as the “song of the swan.” In both Hindu and Western astrological systems, the constellation Swaathi, or Cygnus, depicts a swan. Near the swan, one finds the shape of a lyre, a stringed instrument common to both Hindu and Greek cultures of ancient times. The Hindu goddess Saraswathi is often depicted playing a veena while sitting upon a swan. (See Jayanthi Kumaresh, “Analytical Study of Different Banis & Techniques of Playing the Saraswathi Veena,” doctoral dissertation [University of Mysore, 2005], 18). In Western cosmology, the same region of the night sky is associated with Orpheus, the master musician. Thus, Raag Hamasadhwani may be said to be especially potent in a spiritual sense.

I hope this brief exposition of some characteristics of Raag Hamasadhwani has piqued your interest, and I hope you enjoy hearing my musical accompaniment to your Yoga should you attend the class. Thank you.

#TextualChordophonics #LarsRosager #CasaMontalvoGuitars #ThomastikInfeldStrings

Jan 28

Happy Year of the Rooster

By Lars Rosager | Moral Philosophy

PictureI would like to take a few moments at the start of this Chinese New Year to celebrate cultural plurality through the acknowledgement of world history’s various approaches to the calendar. Cyclical conceptions of time pervade, but are also inherently difficult for human beings. Owing in part to the fact that each one of us experiences life through a body that matures and dies, decaying into what can only be explained in material terms as nothingness, people may tend to find references to a cyclical notion of time unconvincing. No one has ever returned to some point in the past to repeat or amend his or her experience of a given period of time. Meantime, not everyone feels compelled to honor the fantastical astrologer speaking metaphysical murkiness.

The truth is, no time cycle is without linear motion. The idea that the universe is never in the same state twice is a large-scale illustration of the matter at hand. With this is mind, time becomes more like a sine wave, an interaction between clearly observable cycles and irreversible linear motion. Many are familiar the “lunar year” whose new beginning many Chinese and other East Asian people celebrated on January 28, 2017. The cycle of twelve animals is also a well-known aspect of the tradition. However, it is rarely explicit that solar cycles are integral to the many variants of what are commonly called lunar years.

The sun has more to do with lunar calendars than just making the moon visible to earthbound humans. The solstices and equinoxes mark divisions of the year as it is experienced through the cycle of the seasons. These points in the solar cycle may be used to determine a beginning of the lunar year. In the Chinese system, this starting point usually falls near the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. In a system of my own devising (if there are other traditions that parallel my thinking, then I am yet unaware of them), I have come to the conclusion that the first new moon after the vernal equinox marks the beginning of the lunisolar year. For related ideas, see the Textual Chordophonics blog post from September 23, 2016.

Taking a more anagogical approach, the more astrologically minded are able to relate the intertwining lunar and solar cycles with the human condition. This is a clear example of the classical notion of macrocosm-microcosm. The sun marks crucial points of the year, namely with regard to temperature, light, and other immediately perceptible conditions on earth. The moon may seem to be more of a random factor, but also holds important relationships to natural cycles that are close to the human experience.

Prior to the modern business calendar, much of the human understanding of time and timekeeping was defined by the relationship between the sun and the moon. The presiding  astrological thinking as it has developed up until now sees the sun as essentially a forward-moving agent, a representative of initiative and long-suffering commitment. The moon has come to signify a much more mysterious side of human affairs, being associated with work behind the scenes, psychic fields, and the innermost reaches of the soul. Thus, the sun relates to linear time in its capacity to define one’s outward presentation of oneself. The moon, in contrast, is associated more with the comforts of home, where one can hide from the outside world and retreat to the customs and routines—cycles!—with which one is most familiar.

I hope this brief discussion is inspiring to those looking to balance their brave, exploratory sides with components of their personalities that act in more measured, conservative ways. May you find the best approaches to building skills, finding your talents, and fitting your work into the fabric of our ever-evolving world. All comments are encouraged. Thank you.

Nov 17

Zodiacal Fertility (cont.): The Perfect Fifth

By Lars Rosager | Moral Philosophy

Image credit: http://www.positivehealth.com/img/img/image-article/b78320/heatherB.gif

This blog post continues on the topic of fertility and creative energy within the construct of the zodiac. See my blog post from 09/17/2016 for the first post on this subject. The comments to this earlier post are useful as well. Before, I touched upon the perfect unison and the perfect octave, the ratios 1:1 and 2:1, respectively. Here, I explore the perfect fifth, expressed in ratio form as 3:2.

First of all, it is useful to note that, in cultures across the globe, the perfect fifth is considered to possess a high degree of stability. In fact, its consonance is widely seen to be second only to the perfect octave. One way in which this manifests within an astrological context is the elemental agreement between two
signs 120 and/or 240 degrees apart.


​Image credit: https://www.twolittlefleas.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/hindu-zodiac.png

​The ratio 3:2 signifies, in music, a length of string or pipe divided into three equal parts; the length equivalent to two of these three parts vibrates. The traditional theory of astrological aspects (angles, angels?) calls the 120-degree aspect “trine.” Referring to the image of the zodiac above, one may find that this trine aspect connects Aries at nine o’clock (the ram) to Leo at one o’clock (the lion). One may be tempted to read the traits of the perfect fifth into only the trine, but it is essential to realize that the vibrating portion of the string or pipe would actually correspond to the larger angle, the 240 degrees from Leo clockwise to Aries. This information could be interpreted by an astrologer in a number of ways.
Elemental agreement is the most salient characteristic of the relationship between signs 120 and/or 240 degrees apart. Aries and Leo are both fire signs; as is Sagitarrius, which is found at six o’clock (the archer). Considering the fact that these are all the fire signs of the zodiac, and that there are always 120 degrees from one to the next, one begins to understand why astrology has considered the trine to be an inherently harmonious aspect. The trine signifies a smooth, comfortable relationship.With regard to how this might translate into a symbol of fertility, one might look into how each successive sign of a single element demonstrates maturation. Continuing with the example of the three fire signs, one could investigate the maturation of the self. The three iterations of the four earthly elements are, in part, representatives of firstly, the individual; secondly, the one-on-one relationship; and thirdly, the group interaction.

The trailblazer Aries commences the first of the three phases. The competitor Leo commences the second. Gregarious Sagittarius commences the third. Perhaps most directly related to fertility and birth is that which takes place from Sagittarius to Aries. This transition crosses the Pisces-Aries cusp, a point representative of the vernal equinox as well as of sunrise. It is transcendence and regeneration, transformation of the spirit.

As the elemental progression of group interaction (the signs from Sagittarius through Pisces) comes to a close, the Sagittarius-Aries trine marks a reconsideration of the self in light of collective experience. This is surely a marker of just how crucial it is to reach out to one’s community in service as well as in receptive modes. The give-and-take of social consciousness brings the fullest manifestations of one’s own potential.

It is necessary here to entertain the notion that the perfect fifth is related more closely to an angle spanning from Leo to Aries, skipping Sagittarius in a sense. But is anything really skipped here? How might one relate the 240-degree aspect to fertility? Briefly, I propose that the association of Leo with one-on-one relationships reaches across the regenerative Pisces-Aries cusp into Aries, the so-called baby of the zodiac. The imagery is quite literally fertile; the meeting of two individuals progresses into a nascent presentation of the self.

What role does Sagittarius have to play here? The duality of Leo leads ultimately to the freshness of Aries, but one must not forget that this process passes through Sagittarius. Thus, one might argue that Sagittarius here represents marriage. Weddings and life partnership have long been consecrated with spiritual or religious ceremonies, so this interpretation would not be far off mark. Sagittarius is typically associated with higher learning and spiritualized thought.

As the initiator of the elemental progression of group interaction, Sagittarius has other roles to play in the progression from Leo to Aries. It is linked to familial matters, perhaps relatives involved in making the pregnancy happy and healthy. The relationship between parent(s) and doctor further solidifies the interpretation presented here. The service-oriented human being is integral to so much of the spiritual consciousness of the world; as parents find ways to provide for their child(ren), the image of the active and community-minded, fully matured adult possesses, in this case, a Sagittarian likeness.

The manner in which I have illustrated zodiacal fertility in this post need not be restricted to procreation in a literal sense. The tripartite manifestations of each element all have much to offer. It would be a pleasure to discuss these topics with you further! Look out for my next blog post on this theme, which will focus on the perfect fourth, the ratio 4:3.