G. I. Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff International Review

Gurdjieff and Music

by Laurence Rosenthal

That Gurdjieff was a composer of music is in itself a remarkable fact. A spiritual master who, in addition to the main body of his teaching, has created forms of art which can be viewed as essential expressions of that teaching is certainly a rare phenomenon. Gurdjieff’s sacred dances, or Movements, and the two hundred or so musical compositions he left attest to the importance he attached both to disciplined bodily movement and to the vibrations of sound in relation to spiritual practice.

Gurdjieff’s views on the subject of music, and indeed on art in general, stem from his differentiation between what he terms subjective and objective art. Most of the music we know, he says, is subjective. Only objective music is based on an exact knowledge of the mathematical laws that govern the vibration of sounds and the relationship of tones.…

[The complete text is available in the printed copy of this issue.]
Copyright © 1996 Laurence Rosenthal
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Featured: Summer 1999 Issue, Vol. II (4)
Revision: January 1, 2000