La Téléphonie and the Universal Musical Language

François Sudre was a nineteenth-century musician who invented something long dreamed of by philosophers: a language based on music. For several decades he successfully demonstrated his new musical language throughout Europe to astonished audiences. No one ever reported a case where this system failed to communicate a desired text, regardless of the original language. On the other hand, no one else could duplicate his accomplishment and so the new musical language failed to take root. There was one remarkable result, however, for Sudre’s system was clearly the seed which, in Wagner, blossomed into his leit-motiv idea associated with his four operas of The Ring.

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