By Jonathan Friday
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Additional info for Art and Enlightenment: Scottish Aesthetics in the 18th Century
Besides which, a due regard must be had to the key, which governs the whole, and to the time and humour in which the composition is begun, a frequent and inartificial change of any of which will produce the greatest and most unnatural discord. This will appear by observing the dissonance which would arise from tacking parts of different tunes together as one, although both were separately agreeable. A like uniformity is also observable among the basses, tenors, and trebles of the same tune. There is indeed observable, in the best compositions, a mysterious effect of discords: they often give as great a pleasure as continued harmony, whether by refreshing the ear with variety, or by awakening the attention, and enlivening the relish for the succeeding harmony of concords, as shades enliven and beautify pictures, or by some other means not yet known.
In short, pictures which represent visible beauties, or the effects of nature in the visible world, by the different modifications of light and colours, in consequence of the laws which relate to light, are samples of what these laws do or may produce. And therefore they are as proper samples or experiments to help and assist us in the study of those laws, as any samples or experiments are in the study of the laws of gravity, elasticity, or of any other quality in the natural world. They are then samples or experiments in natural philosophy.
But never were men naturally blind prejudiced against objects as of a disagreeable colour, or in favour of others as of a beautiful colour. They perhaps hear men dispraise one colour, and may imagine this colour to be some quite different sensible quality of the other senses, but that is all. And the same way, a man naturally void of taste could by no education receive the ideas of taste, or be prejudiced in favour of meats as delicious. So had we no natural sense of beauty and harmony we could never be prejudiced in favour of objects or sounds as beautiful or harmonious.
Art and Enlightenment: Scottish Aesthetics in the 18th Century by Jonathan Friday