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Music and Environment

Factors Concerning the Designing of Ecological Environment



Green Roof






Music and Environment
Interaction of Music, Environment & Mood

Zuo Jia


Based on the reflection upon music and environment, the thesis focuses on the analyses of various social functions and attributes, to search for the internal order and aesthetic rule that closely link human nature with music & environment, to strengthen the complementation and mutual benefit of music in environmental design, to interactive the relationship among those three, in order to beautify the existing environment and improve the lives of human beings.

Key words: Music, Environment, Mood, Interaction, Visual music

It is said that art is divided into two categories. One is painting, sculpture and literature, the other is music and architecture. The former is the reflection of the actual material world, while music and architecture are the creative fruit during human beings’ development of their life state. As the same kind of art, they have close relationship. They are both cultural carriers that honestly record human history since human being started to understand nature.
Human can live without music, but not without habitat. That’s why our forefathers called their simple sheds architecture while they just came out of their canvas. On the contrary, their chirrup they used to communicate is never regarded as music. The music will never come into birth unless human can supply themselves with enough food and clothing, and form their own worship, faith and feeling that distinguish them from animals. As the symbols of mankind’s wisdom, architecture is focus on material, while music is based on spirit.
From the prehistoric period with stone tools to the present days’ breaking down of the human gene, people have renovated natural environment considerably, but can not set up the new internal order of natural ecology. Material environment and moral spirit is in worse state. Today, it seems that every culture is engaging in pursuing the style of fast-food and digitalization, only music with distinguish attraction becomes spiritual food of human beings. And environmental influence only act as a concept that exert a subtle influence on people. Although rich material stimulates human to pursue high quality life, the level of “direct influence” does not successfully conquer popular cognition yet. In comparison, high environmental quality is the spiritual ascription and self-expression of mankind as well as the social status. For the sake of special social purpose, some media play an illusive role but not music. People know clearly what kind of music they like, while they may not know what kind of environmental taste they get used to. We can choose music to enjoy ourselves, but we can not keep away from unpleasant environments. Music and environment interweave each other between concrete and abstract, material and spirit. The commons and differences between environment and music originate from their physical attributes. The emergence of environment counts on material foundation and is catalyzed by wisdom, energy and motivation. Music is the combination of sound wave and space. It is completely abstract and suppositional, which can be recorded and freely spread with symbolized music book. Unfortunately, wonderful environment is not for everyone and can not be kept forever. A musical composition created by a particular person can be played or sung by many people, while an environment, once it is shaped, leaves rare chance for recreation and rejoining except for using and enjoying. Music is popular and helps people to communicate and express their feelings as it is abstract and easily spread and enjoyed. These advantages of music should be referred in the environmental design, and it is a clue and direction in future.
Life is the balance of internal requirements, physiological and social demands, otherwise it will deviate from the normal track. Architecture and music precisely obey this basic rule. People are touched by one work because they obtained what they need from it. The architecture and music influence and comfort people with soul, and thus finish their social responsibility.
Ronchamp Church make people there forgetting themselves; Suzhou Garden attracts people with its natural and idyllic scenery; Decorated bridal chamber rejoices the newlywed couple; a Red Guard restaurant with Cultural Revolutionary style attracts those people who memory that time…... After all, people have various demands upon environment for those he may not experienced or a symbol in spirit and memory or something only in his imagination. They are balance of social aspects, perceptive good or bad and feeling. The feeling comes from the expression of environment and indication filtered through memory. The expression of environment originates from the comprehensive reaction of sensory nerve’s response to the physical transformation of substance. Such as the change of color purity caused by cold or hot; and form of dot, line, shape and body; smooth or roughness of texture; change of light and shadow etc, all these quantitative change is the progress of balancing. Coincidentally, it is also the basic principle of music. The frequency, amplitude and wave of sound form the tone, color and quality of sound. The change of quantity and combination create various visual imaginations via acoustical nerve. For example, violin & line, piano & dot, symphony & block, classical music sounds like mixing colors, modern music sounds like contrasting colors, median sounds like deep color, base sounds like gray, alt sounds like bright color, pop music sounds like pure color etc. Through these abstract visual imaginations, music figures the environment that people require, and keep the balance of people’s feeling and concrete demand. This is another way that music influence people.
Music can not only figure beauty abstractly but also can create the aesthetic feeling of soul. It uses the change of the quantities to form the rhythm and melody. People get touched when the rhythm and melody harmonize with the rhythm of their heart. The quantitative change of physical phenomenon of environment can also create rhythm and melody, which I call visual music. It can create an abstract mood and aesthetic feeling, which may be ignored by many people. The space will be more attractive if the environment has the aesthetic feeling of both concrete and abstract. Thus an excellent interaction among music, environment and mood will be reached, and the quality of environment will be improved when music starts.

Factors Concerning the Designing of Ecological Environment

Sun Mingchun


Natural resources are the material basis for human existence and the prerequisites for the development of human society. In the long primitive era human beings pushed ahead civilization by means of their hard labor. But due to the backwardness of science and technology their efforts in exploring and developing nature yielded but little results. Natural resources in those years seemed limitless. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution and, with it, the population increase and the rising of the people’s living standard, the various resources are being consumed with an alarming speed; a perplexing host of environmental resources have been depleted and cannot be reproduced. The rational utility and scientific management of natural resources are, therefore, of paramount importance. In view of this situation, it is necessary to infuse in the designing process the philosophy of co-existence, and a sense of future development with a view to creating a comprehensive ecological environment geared to further human advancement.

Key words: co-existence, ecology, thought field, space limitations, green technology

The notion of ecology and the philosophy of co-existence comprise the thought “field” of all humans inhabiting in the global environment. The formation of the “field” in the first place explains its preconditions: it has come into existence as a result of the mutual dependence of matter, consciousness and survival of the human race. Unlike the general notion of such environmental factors as scenery and architecture, it is a many-faceted and multi-cultural brand new concept that calls for on an international awareness.
As far as natural resources are concerned, they can, on the one hand, be developed and recycled while on the other, they can be exhausted and depleted. Recyclable resources refer to those that, by means of the recycling of materials, the conversion of energies and regeneration of biology can be replenished, such as biological resources and underground water. Such special ecological factors as solar energy, wind energy, weather conditions, on the other hand, also fall to the category of recyclable resources. What is common with the resources mentioned above is that these forms of resources are relatively steady and secure and, if rationally explored and utilized, they can not only be restored, replenished and regenerated but also be augmented. However, any attempt of over exploring them for instant benefits at the expense of future generations will adversely affect the regeneration of the resources. Even the ancient people knew they had to abide by the proper code of behavior in utilizing natural resources, exemplified by the familiar metaphors “to fish by draining the river dry’ or “to kill the goose to get the golden eggs”, which vehemently condemn such stupid behavior. It must be pointed out that some natural resources cannot be reproduced. These refer to the resources that, once utilized, can never be restored to their original status, such as energy resources and those related to them. In addition, the rich wealth of forests that men possess are in a sense exhaustible due to the time needed for and cycle of growth as in relation to the speed with which men explore them. In view of the reasons outlined above, it is of paramount importance and brooks no delay for designers of environmental projects to find resources or forms of energy that can be substituted for those that are not reproducible.
The advancement of space technology enabled men to land on the moon and travel further gradually into the depth of the universe. In the childhood of mankind, the concept of space and time helped them to record their progress and continuation. The leaps of time and space are the eternal theme and the track and mode of human existence; they are also the eternal theme of human cognition of the objective matter. This eternal theme has left a clear trail alongside the advancing of time and space. But just as the famous physicist Stephen Hawking has put it, “the advancement of science has by far not come to an end; that in the 21st century a great more mysteries will be unraveled.” In the future men will formulate a comprehensive system of macroscopic scientific theory and, in the meantime, will have completed the transformation of their own genes with a view to unveiling the many mysteries of the advanced forms of life. At the same time, there will be a great leap forward in men’s understanding of their environment of survival, the wise use of their resources, the mode of their own existence and the wider uses of green science and technology with regards to their notion of time and space, as in contrast to their primitive methodology and cognition.
With the extension of time and space mankind will rid themselves of the mode of existence under the contemporary surface structure of the various forms of environment; rather, they will seek existence under the deep structure. A new cognition of the essence of life has changed a variety of aspects of the philosophical systems of co-existence. In the meantime, it has given a prodigious birth to brand new concepts of ecological culture.
In terms of material science, space reflects the continuation of the motion of matter. The space in question refers to the space world with Planck length as its limit, and it is shorter than Planck length. (Planck length is 1.6*10 –3.5m). The existing notion of time is no longer appropriate; it will be defined by other means though its system has not yet been formulated. Therefore our notion of space has relative limitations. The space for survival in the human environment is a very limited part. The relative special limitations conditioned by their deep consciousness will result in the continuous development of the environment of the second “conscious space” which in turn will have a great impact on their concept of a broad scope of disciplines ranging from science, culture, humanities, history, material, to life, environment and technology.
The limitations of space are the manifestations of the subjective sensory perception, under which the ecological cultural concept manifests itself in many perspectives. The objective existence of resources is an important factor which we must take into account. The limitations of human resources are just one aspect of the common understanding of men. The relative space for human survival is also a factor on a given stage. The limited space, therefore, has brought forth such questions as the continued development of our environment, the tapping of energy resources, the evolution of biological ecology, genetic engineering and biological technology and the capacity and scale of the development of the “green” science and technology.
Looking forward to the development of science and technology of the 21st century, we will be brought to an awareness of the significance of multi-facets structures of natural ecology and human cultures. The evolution of biology of the present era, which Charles Darwin never dreams in his theories of evolution, has put forward a theory of “directional evolution” with a view to promoting the speedy growth for the optimization of biology and matter with external forces. It is safe to infer, therefore, that the method hereby discussed is the very best we can provide for the natural world because it corrects the deficiencies of many primitive DNAs, thereby ultimately resolving the problems of biological evolution and changing in principle men’s concepts of environment.
Nature has forced the many hosts of biology to suit their environment, thus leading to a perplexing variety of forms of lives and ensuring the survival of the fittest. However, the theory of “directional evolution” enables the different forms of biology to complete the process of evolution in a matter of few days or weeks of what it otherwise takes years to complete. The theoretical designing of natural ecology has, in turn, resulted in a qualitative leap forward. It can not only create a real green environment, with flowers, trees and urban and rural green, but also by availing itself of the green technology, as in accordance to the new environmental concept, carry across aesthetical values which otherwise calls for a long natural process to realize. The aesthetic values do not spring from its superficial stratum; rather, they demonstrate to men the essence of life in the co-development of men and other biological forms.
In the process of the designing and development of the ecological environment, men should hold the key that deciphers the secret codes of various hosts of lives and, by adopting a macroscopic view, probe into the many factors in designing the ecological environment; the improvement of the quality of existence will lead to a genuine revolution in the designing of ecological environment.
However, the development in certain areas has brought negative consequences. Take the Industrial Revolution for example. While enhancing men’s ability to conquer nature and promoting social progress, it has also produced bad effects: the intensifying scarcity of resources, the speeding up of the greenhouse effect, the deteriorated environment and the accelerated extinction of species. The deteriorated environment, in particular, poses a great threat to the very survival of human beings themselves.
Over the past century, Nature has taught men a bitter lesson: men’s obtainment from Nature cannot be without a limit. Men must cherish the global ecology and protect their surroundings. Only by doing so can men create a healthy environment in which human society can continue to advance. Failure to comprehend the quandary we are in, we will behold, in due course, exodus of “environmental refugees”; worse, there will be even an era of “super catastrophe” in the years to come.
When human society has ushered in the new millennium, the protection of our environment has become a universal concern. The first conference of global leaders held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 discussed and passed the agenda for the 21st century. Two fundamental long term programs of the conference are the “variations of biological forms” and “continued development”, the key note of which is the protection of the global environment.
With the advent of the new age, the global environmental awareness is being enhanced. New theories of environmental protection, new concept and technologies of designing have been advanced and practiced. Regarding with air pollution, for example, a kind of air filter attached to the lamp tube has been devised which, while shedding lights, can absorb 60% of the floating particles. Gardens built on top of the buildings, though by no means entirely new, have proved to be an effective means to cope with urban smoke and the rising of temperature, reducing air pollution; in the meantime, they can absorb industrial exhausting gas and reflect heat thus producing a natural cooling effect. The above mentioned gadgets and projects have not only improved our environment but also contributed to the philosophical ideas concerning co-existence in terms of the cycling of biology.
The creation of an ecological environment, which is a spiritual plane of human consciousness, is in effect the growth and releasing of psychological factors. A continuously developing society calls for two premises: a fundamental change in men’s concept of nature, wealth, consumption and growth; and a tremendously high level of development of science and technology so that men can employ science and technology under the principle of growing awareness of protecting their environment in the interest of the entire human race. Only by doing so can men realize the co-existence and harmonious development with nature without destroying their surroundings; and no longer will social development be realized at the expense of the environment. Therefore, the ecological environment and the continuous growing social civilization are based on high-tech, high quality environment and the “green civilization” which stem from an awareness of high quality designing. It is therefore safe to infer that if a society aims to formulate a program of continued ecological growth, it is imperative that men make an appraisal and adjustment of the values of scientific research and the direction of technological development as in accordance to the comprehensive goal of social advancement. In this continuously growing society, science and technology, the designing of environment, the programming for environment of survival should center around the rising of men’s living standard and the self improvement of the quality of men themselves. This in turn calls for a mutual improvement of natural and human environment, an adjustment of the relations between men and nature so as to promote the growth of social enterprises and the relevant progress in science and technology, it also calls for intensified efforts for the realization of the macroscopic goals of continuous harmonious growth of economy and society which, therefore, constitute strong spiritual factors.
To formulate the concept of a comprehensive growth of environment, is an important subject for research for builders and designers alike in the 21st century, the importance of which parallels that of the decoding of DNA. As this concerns the environment for the survival of the entire human race, we must let science and technology play a key role in utilizing resources and protecting the environment. While on the one hand the application of science and technology in itself cannot ensure the steady and continuous growth of existence of all forms of life; on the other hand, the ultimate change of the environment can only be realized with the guidance of science and technology and the wisdom technology, thereby ushering the human environment to what we call “the Era of Green Civilization”.


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