Introduction to Musicology Lecture

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Introduction to Musicology Lecture

  1. 1. Dr Paul Carr
  2. 2. 1. Introduce students to the study of various forms of popular music, including varying modes of communication such as recordings, performances, music videos, as texts.2. Develop critical and analytical skills in reference to various theoretical and analytical approaches to the texts3. Further develop students’ critical thinking, writing and presentational skills.
  3. 3. Monday Jan 14 2013 to Monday 18th March.Possibly one week study leave in between?Will include an additional one day session for group presentations.Easter Break: Friday March 22 to Sunday 14th April22/4/13 – Revision Session3/5/12 – Written Assignments Due
  4. 4.  Input to Wiki and class discussion (10%) Group presentation (30%) Date TBC – probably during Study Week  Written essay (60%) Due Date: May 3th
  5. 5.  Document a 2000 word essay that focuses on a specific aspect of musicology (See assignment brief for details)
  6. 6.  In groups organized by the module leader, organize and present a 10 minute presentation on a given subject area (See assignment brief for details)
  7. 7.  Blackboard My Blog: The Library! The Online Library!
  8. 8.  Some indicative questions about music Although appearing as a ‘product’ – it must also be considered as a process? It is made – it does not just happen? Although it can be replicated in recordings, it cannot be recreated in exactly the same form? It should have the capacity to please? It is created for humans – to be experienced through the senses (mainly the ears)? It has unity and somehow seems complete (unless it has been abandoned)? It is created from the perspective of the composers’ perspective of a vision of ‘the whole’?
  9. 9.  Term first used in Germany to describe the academic study of European Art Music. Originally concerned with the analysis of autonomous, ‘great’ master works from a theoretical or historical perspective. Until the later years of the 20th Century, musicologists did not really engage with popular music. This was for two reasons:
  10. 10. 1. It was considered ‘inferior’, not having the ‘authenticity’ of ‘Art’ music or even ‘Folk’ music.2. The vernacular/social foundations challenged the notion of an autonomous art form. Over the last 30+ years, popular music based musicology has emerged, and is still developing.
  11. 11.  Enables us to decipher meaning from music, using theoretical knowledge, aural skills, and analytical principles. Enables us to better understand the appeal of certain music forms. Enables us to better understand how certain music and genres function. Enables us to potentially relate a research methodology to our own music. Acts as a potential foundation for your dissertation!!
  12. 12. 1. Can music communicate anything beyond notes, sounds and textures? How/Why/Why Not?2. Is this ‘meaning’ universal or personal?3. What ‘caused’ the music and/or meaning (the author, society, our reception, technology, etc)?4. What does the music inform me about a band or composer (psychoanalysis)?5. Listen: George Benson – ‘Give Me the Night’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0e7OyxFsxQ
  13. 13. 1. Can we/how do we communicate this meaning to others?2. What voice is analysing the music (composer, producer, performer, listener)?3. How does the ‘methodology we adopt impact what we discover about music, and how aware are we of how we use theory?4. How aware or we of the cultural/historical/sociological ‘gap’ between ourselves and the music we are examining?
  14. 14.  Wrote pioneering article entitled ‘The Scope, Method and Aim of Musicology’ in 1885 (Available Under Learning Materials/Reading Materials in Blackboard). Separated musicology into two categories:1. Historical: Separated music history into epochs, periods and nations. Led to sub-divisions such as ethnomusicology and historiography.2. Systematic: Analysed the internal characteristics of music such as harmony and melody. Led to specific theories on harmony, melody, etc.
  15. 15.  Believed that music had no direct impact on ‘extra musical’ feelings. Any feelings we do encounter are a by-product of the music’s beauty. Beauty [is not] in the eye of the be holder – but independent. Influenced by Kant. "If the contemplation of something beautiful arouses pleasurable feelings, this effect is distinct from the beautiful as such. I may, indeed, place a beautiful object before an observer with the avowed purpose of giving him pleasure, but this purpose in no way affects the beauty of the object. The beautiful is and remains beautiful though it arouses no emotion whatever, and though there be no one to look at it. In other words, although the beautiful exists for the gratification of an observer, it is independent of him." (Hanslick, The Beautiful In Music, pp. 9-10. ) Listen Brian Eno – ‘Music For Airports’ – what and where is the emotion? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go3X- v2PWOE
  16. 16.  Denied the ‘reality’ of the material world, considering forms and events to be shadows of ‘perfect versions of themselves’ – ‘The World of Forms’. Plato differentiated between the ever changing world we perceive, and the ‘World of Forms’ – which is permanent, perfect and universal. Speculated that the only way to engage with the world we see is through REASON – not via experience (as we can’t trust it!). (If the world changes – then so can our account of it!)
  17. 17.  Plato believed humans had Two sides to them – Body and Soul. The Soul had two subdivisions – The Irrational (linked to emotions and the physical body). Perception therefore is limited to that possible by the physical senses. The Rational – (linked to Spirituality), and able to perceive objects and events as they really are. This forms the basis for differences today between Rationalism and Empiricism.
  18. 18.  The theory of truth is not sensory, but deductive/intellectual. Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) – believed we should doubt every belief about what we perceive as reality. Knowledge can only be obtained by REASON, not Sensory Experience. Regarded there to be a Dualism between the Mind and Body.
  19. 19.  Knowledge comes through Experience and Sensory Perception. All knowledge is Personal. Everyone has their own reality!
  20. 20.  Thinkers were often preoccupied with the relationship (or the distance!) of The Subject (IE You!) to The Object (In our case music) or the Author (IE a performer or composer), who can be known through the text) Interested in the relationship between ‘Part’ and ‘Whole’ when understanding a text. Each part we understand increases our understanding of the whole, after which our opinion can be revised. The initial listening of the part, gives us pre conceptions of the whole. This is called the Hermeneutic Circle.
  21. 21.  http://prezi.com/bhd92b9qozpx/musicologyt he-analysis-of-text/ Listen to start of Dark Side of the Moon. Where does the meaning lie? http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=328WhjAXpcs
  22. 22.  Look at the musicological model at http://prezi.com/bhd92b9qozpx/musicologythe-analysis-of- text/ and these lecture notes Briefly consider if you have any comments about approaches you can adopt regarding how to understand and write about music. Read: The Scope Method and Aim of Musicology by Guido Adler (All Materials under Learning Materials/Reading Materials). Read: Extracts of either: Umberto Eco: ‘The Poetics of the Open Work’ (From his book The Open Work) or Michel Foucault ‘What is an Author?’, or Roland Barthes ‘The Death of the Author’. What does is it mean for popular music? – Leave some opinions on my blog - http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/. We will discuss in class next week.
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