http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=20536

I was discussing with my fellow monk maverick the bizzarre and almost spiritual powers behind the concept of symbolic references, and the use of the symbol table as a data structure, when a truth came upon me. One can not be strict, and symbolic at the same time, the two, are exclusive. Much like in art and music, strict structure sometimes precludes symbolism and experimentation, while simultaneously furthering rigidness and predictability. Much like the difference between a jazz improv, and a fugue, one based purely on symbolism, and the twists and turns of the mind (which can be thought of as an extended symbol table), the other on rules, and experimentations within the axioms and paradigms set forth, a complex and beautiful melody, however tightly constrained by the designs of some higher deciding force.

In the jazz improvisation, the symbol table is used freely, it is abused, it is turned, it is twisted, it is made to contort itself in forms and functions that it never conceived as part of it's form or design. Whereas in more strict compositions, the symbol table, the mind, is used to explore the infinite microcosm that exists within the lines of the paradigm.

I also realized how this metaphor extended itself, in an improvisation, it is very rare to keep a coherent composition going, and to grow it, and expand it, and to revisit it, and enhance it. An improvisation, is a snapshot in time, a tunnel, directly into the heart of the composer. Much like a script, without strict, is often a solution to a snapshot in time, a one-offer, something that is a solution to a core problem at a time and place. Whereas something like a fugue, or a symphony, can have themes much greater than the state of emotions of the composer at a place and time. A symphony, or a fugue can be written over a great deal of time, revisited, extended, expanded, grown. It can be made to symbolize more eternal questions, such as Beethoven's L'Eroica, a symphony originally tributed to Napoleon, and the great "peoples rebellion" which he lead in france. When Napoleon turned out to be a traitor to the people by crowning himself emperor, or when the system specification changed, Beethoven was able to revisit it, and tribute it to the people who had fought in the revolution.

The strictness which contstrains the music, much like the programs, gives it the strength and the power to grow into something that transcends any one experience, where one would be challenged to attempt such things during an improvisation, purely symbolic, without any strict.