Question: Herr Huebner, you are a classical composer; how does this craft benefit you in the drawing up of the harmonic information in your Micro Music Laboratories?
Peter Hübner: Very much. The harmonic investigations in the microcosm of music lead us right into the center of the craft of our greatest classical sound creators. As I have already explained elsewhere, we can view our musical history – i.e. that of Europe, especially of Germany and still more particularly of Thuringia – as a process of cognition in terms of the laws of harmony of the microcosm of music. In doing so we must not take too narrow a view of the historical aspect since, up until Bach, this harmonic cognition process saw its greatest progression, whilst after Bach it already went into decline again.
Question: Does this decline explain the ‘salvationist’ leap into atonality?
Peter Hübner: Without a doubt! It became more and more apparent to composers that they had lost the spontaneous internal access to harmony and, for atonal music, one does not need such access.
Bach’s music, and indeed the music of his time, demonstrates the highest degree of cognition in terms of the laws of harmony of the microcosm of music in our European music tradition, since these sound creators developed the highest artistic craft in working at one with these natural laws of harmony.
In saying this, I do not wish to imply that this artistic craft is finished and cannot be further developed, rather that, historically, this was the time when the greatest insight into the laws of harmony of the microcosm of music can be proven, and that this insight has since been in general decline right up to modern times.
Question: Can you explain that in more detail?
Peter Hübner: Let us take, for example, polyphony, the counter point, the art of the fugue. In Bach’s time, dealing with these compositional elements was, for him and his colleagues, still something completely natural. It was clear, too, that these compositional methods only made sense with harmonic music, and also that it was only here that they could be viewed as artistic craft. After Bach, however, the artistic craft of polyphony lost its pre-eminence in music and simple homophony became more and more widespread: the melody with added accompaniment came to the fore.