Frozen Music

Recently I went to see the Farnsworth Scores at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The show started off with with a fascinating quote:

Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Before clicking on the link, what type of music do you think the building pictured embodies? Some quiet, peaceful piano music? I highly recommend listening with headphones, to get the full effect.

Not what you were expecting? Me neither. But after reflecting, the music really blends into one another, just as the house blends what is and isn’t there.

The house itself was built as a place for architects to retreat and contemplate on the connection between inside and outdoors. While the windows are magnificent, i took notice to another feature first.

Photo from

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The foundation. Look how high it is above the ground. Yes, they say it was done because the area is prone to flooding but I think it connects even more to the music. The music in the above scores are post tonal: they don’t have a defined key structure. That foundation is lacking, just like in the house. But it also lets you gain a new perspective on a building you never normally get: underneath, but still laying on grass.

What kind of music do the buildings you know sing?