Session 5 the reception of music part 1


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The first lecture on using semiological techniques in the comprehension of musical meaning

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Session 5 the reception of music part 1

  1. 1. Musicology Dr Paul Carr
  2. 2.     Allan Moore (2013) asserts that music ‘refers’ in 3 ways: Within Itself: For example how Verse 1 relates to Verse 2, how the Question Phrase relates to the Answer Phrase, how Sentence 1 relates to Sentence 2, particular drum fills that mark the end of a section and the start of another, etc. Traditional Theory best approach. To Itself: Makes reference to a separate instance of music. For example Cover Versions referring to an original, a particular guitar sound that refers to an ‘original, etc. Sometimes known as ‘Intertextuality’. Outside Itself - How does music relate to ‘things’, feelings etc outside of itself? This is what I mean by the word ‘semiology’
  3. 3.  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Phil Tagg (2013: 45) asserts that music COMMUNICATES (note - not refers) in the following ways. Between an individual and themselves Between two individuals Within the same group (not necessarily a ‘band’ – could be a genre for example) Between an individual and a group Between a group and an individual Between Groups?
  4. 4.        Phillip Tagg (2013) makes reference to a few other important considerations: Believes the concept of ‘Absolute Music’ to be an ‘article of faith (92) leading to canonisation and elitism. By placing musical experience outside of the material world - enables upper classes to perpetuate elitism – informing us what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Believes Classical absolutism denied the context of music - modern day (postmodern) absolutism denies the text itself - e.g. journalism, social studies approach. Asserts that Ethnomusicology - sociological and semiotic approaches have made musicology hopefully realize the absurdity of the concept of ‘absolute music’ – This assisted the development of what we now call ‘New Musicology’.
  5. 5. FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE’S SIGN       Coined the term – ‘Semiology’ Dyadic model – consists of both aSignifier (for example the word ‘Tree’ or a musical phrase) and Signified (The Concept - what it stands for – its meaning!) According to Saussure – meaning is a combination of both – He called this ‘arbitrary relationship a ‘Sign’
  6. 6.         Notes Scales Chords Production Effects Posture/Dress of Performers Gestures such as crescendos, time signature changes, etc. Etc, etc? Combinations of these
  7. 7.      Signifier: A piece with a slow tempo, a high pitched female solo voice, synthesized strings, or gently arpeggiated piano chords Signified: Vulnerability, love, romance, social acceptance, etc. For example Listen to and make some notes what the following music makes you feel: Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber Symphony no. 3 by Goricki
  8. 8.         Platoon Symphony of Sorrowful Songs On these occasions – we need to differentiate between what music means – and what it means HERE Also need to differentiate between what music means and its EFFECTS on us Music and Image work together dialogically (together) Words and Pictures – Denotative (literal) Music – often Connotative (associative) When placed with image/words – meaning in music can be made more specific
  9. 9.  Place on my blog an example of how both musical and visual signified/signifiers work