Session 4 Phil Tagg’s Musicological Model


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Lecture 4 of my musicology series

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Session 4 Phil Tagg’s Musicological Model

  1. 1. Phil Tagg’s Musicological Model Research Skills Musicology Dr Paul Carr
  2. 2. The Next Two Weeks <ul><li>Reading Week (19/2/10) Use time to assimilate what we have covered thus far. Begin to consider Assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>26/2/10 – No Lecture. Can you all use this time to meet and plan presentations. They are due three weeks on Wednesday (March 24 th ) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Music Theory Grades
  4. 4. Revision From Last Week
  5. 5. Frank Zappa ‘Meaning’ paper. (up to chapter 3) <ul><li>Inter textual Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology intends to ‘fill in the gaps’ between the meaning of the lyrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Short – but clear synopsis of methodology at the start of document. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses an attached CDR as an ‘Analysis Object’ </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses deliberate ‘ambiguities of meaning’ – how factors begin to make sense over time (deliberate on Zappa’s part). </li></ul><ul><li>The fact that some of Zappa’s allusions are ‘disembodied’ from their original source means he has access to their ‘real life associations’. (We hear them out of context) </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses two versions (arrangements/tracks) of the same ‘song’. </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses the blurring of the distinctions between live and recorded music via innovative ‘editing’. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Introduces background to Semiology as his ‘methodology’. </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses ‘encoded information being carried between performer and listener’ </li></ul><ul><li>Notes the impact that ‘social interference’ has between performer and listener. </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of music on film as example. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Inter-subjective’ response to music: the similar reactions that people have to the ‘meaning’ of a single piece of music. </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-objective’ response: relates a specific piece of music to other pieces of music . </li></ul><ul><li>Combining these two techniques enables us to gain understanding into ‘collective meaning’. </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses how Zappa has musical elements that support or contradict lyrical content. </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses ‘Hypothetical Substitution’ – although not by name. </li></ul><ul><li>Compares Zappa’s narrative in music to that of Nicolai Graakjaer (2006) </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Uses the piece ‘Gregory Peckary’ as an example of music that mirrors the lyrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Begins to discuss meaning of some lyrics – use of metaphor. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses a type of form chart to reference each section of the piece. </li></ul><ul><li>Analyses the piece section by section </li></ul><ul><li>Uses terminology such as ‘museme’ and sonic and kinetic ‘anaphones’. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses ‘inter-objective comparison’ to relate piece to other music (sea shanties) </li></ul><ul><li>Relates his opinion to quotes from the artist (Zappa) and theoretical ideas of how music can relate to motion (The Sea in this case) </li></ul><ul><li>Also relates production techniques inter – objectively – the flange effect = Sea! </li></ul><ul><li>Speculates on the meaning of the songs name. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes the analogy between dominant (deep water), tonic (surface) and slowing down (drowning) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Attempts to analyse his voice – Sprechstimme, ‘cartoon character’. Lenny Bruce (changing character of voice). </li></ul><ul><li>Etc, Etc </li></ul>
  9. 9. Phil Tagg’s Methodology
  10. 10. Music (channel) Emitter Receiver Intended ‘message’ ‘ adequate’ response Communication Model
  11. 11. The ‘Analysis Object’ <ul><li>AO: Analysis Object . Tagg believes that it makes sense for the ‘AO’ to be intended for and received by large numbers of people. </li></ul><ul><li>This enables us to study what is generally “ communicable” . </li></ul><ul><li>Also states that the music to be analysed should have clear ‘ Para Musical Fields Of Association’ </li></ul>
  12. 12. Para - Musical Fields of Association (PMFA) <ul><li>These are essentially agreed/generic emotional/expressive responses to musical factors </li></ul><ul><li>As discussed later, this methodology is interested in ascertaining exactly what makes the music happy, sad, invigorating, etc. </li></ul>
  13. 13. ‘ Parameters of Musical Expression’ (PME) <ul><li>Already discussed many of these in previous sessions. These are the microcosmic factors that carry the meaning of the music. Tagg recommends the following, but we could consider them ‘elements of music’. </li></ul><ul><li>Aspects of Time </li></ul><ul><li>Melodic Aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Orchestral Aspects (Texture/Timbre) </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Acoustical Aspects (See below) </li></ul><ul><li>Electro Musical and mechanical aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Some factors will be present throughout, some occasionally, and some omitted. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Examples of Parameters of musical expression (Tagg’s Version) <ul><li>instrumentational </li></ul><ul><li>timbral (timbre) </li></ul><ul><li>number/type of voices/instruments </li></ul><ul><li>mechanical devices : mutes, pedals, stops, plectrum, string types, reed types, mouthpieces, bows, sticks, brushes, &c... </li></ul><ul><li>electro-acoustic devices : microphone types & techniques, loudspeakers, echo, reverb, delay, panning, filtering, mixers, amplifiers, equalisers, phasing, flanging, chorus, compression, distortion, vocoding, dubs, &c... </li></ul><ul><li>performance techniques : vibrato, tremolo, tremolando, glissando, portamento, pizzicato, sul ponte, picking, strum, &c... </li></ul><ul><li>vocal : booming, breathy, clean, clear, cracked, crying, deep, gravelly, harsh, hoarse, howling, growling, guttural, husky, light, melismatic, muffled, piercing, plaintive, raucous, rich, screeching, shouting, shrill, sonorous, soothing, squeaky, squawking, strident, syllabics, thin, warbling, warm, wheezing, whooping, &c... </li></ul><ul><li>instrumental : as for vocal + blaring, bubbling, buzzing, chiming, clanking, clattering, crashing, grating, hissing, humming, jarring, muted, ringing, rumbling, scraping, stuttering, throbbing, tinkling, whirring, whistling, &c... </li></ul>
  15. 15. ‘ Musemes’ <ul><li>Can be short segments that are harmonic, textural, melodic etc in nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that make the music what it is. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be horizontal (melodic) or vertical (textural) in nature (Museme Stacks) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Inter Objective Comparison Material (IOCM) <ul><li>‘ Inter Objective Comparison Material’ (IOCM) is the range of music you compare the AO to. </li></ul><ul><li>The main problem a musicologist faces is how to describe what is essentially a non verbal art form. </li></ul><ul><li>The next step of the analysis is to decide on which of the following models to adopt: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Inter Subjective Analysis’ : Listeners’ emotive responses of a single piece of music. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Inter -Objective Analysis’ : Establishes similarities between the ‘Analysis Object’ and other music. </li></ul>
  17. 17. PMFA Paramusical Fields of Association (relevant to IOCM) PMFA Paramusical Fields of Association (relevant to AO) AO Analysis Object IOCM Interobjective Comparison Material
  18. 18. Potential Synopsis Of Process <ul><li>Find suitable ‘Analysis Object’ </li></ul><ul><li>Search for relevant ‘Parameters of Musical Expression’ (Elements of Music) in ‘Analysis Object’ and document in ‘Form Chart’ and/or notated transcription. </li></ul><ul><li>Find ‘Musemes’ in ‘Analysis Object’. </li></ul><ul><li>Find ‘Inter Objective Comparison Materials’ (IOCM) </li></ul><ul><li>Search for ‘Para Musical Fields of Association’ (PMFA) in ‘AO’ and ‘IOCM’ </li></ul>
  19. 19. ‘ Hypothetical Substitution’ <ul><li>If a piece of music conveys an emotion, this is a useful technique to determine how. </li></ul><ul><li>This is achieved by progressively altering specific ‘Parameters of Musical Expression’ to ascertain what carries the emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>For example how do the following influence the reception of a piece of music?: </li></ul><ul><li>Key, melodic contour, tempo, lyrics, time signature, dynamics, texture, timbre, phrasing </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
  20. 20. Videos <ul><li>Fernando Chapter 2-3 </li></ul><ul><li>Fernando Museme part 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Fernando Museme part 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Fernando Museme 2 </li></ul>
  21. 21. Homework <ul><li>Read ‘Introductory Notes to the Semiology of Music’ on Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Read Tagg ‘Analysing Popular Music – Theory, Method and Practice on Blackboard. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on developing group presentations over next few weeks. </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki – See below </li></ul>
  22. 22. Information for Wiki <ul><li>Find an Analysis Object. Then - </li></ul><ul><li>Indentify some ‘Parameters of Musical Expression’ (Distorted guitar, muted trumpet, Reverberated Guitar, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Describe one or two Musemes </li></ul><ul><li>Identify 3 - 4 ‘Inter objective Comparison Materials’ </li></ul><ul><li>Indentify ‘Inter subjective’ ‘Paramusical Fields of Association’ in both the AO and IOCM </li></ul>