Being young and impressionable, many young children exposed to 18th-century music assume that it embodies a state of perfect equilibrium that must have existed at that time.  Indeed, the music theory that we learn is all about stability: one moves from one stable tonal center to another via a process called modulation.  And the structural concepts, too, connote states of equilibrium: ABA implies that two two appearances of A are the same, balancing the central B section.
But I never perceived it this way.  To me the introduction of a black key into the otherwise stable white-key universe of C major on the piano was a major intrusion, as it threw off balance whichever tones were a fifth above and below it.  The major scale in disarray was simply not discussed.  
The longer I live with these events the more convinced I am that imbalance is the essential experience, not the balance configured in the structural models.


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