Download Music as a Content Processing Phenomenon_Magister Thesis 2008 PDF

TitleMusic as a Content Processing Phenomenon_Magister Thesis 2008
File Size3.6 MB
Total Pages113
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Music as a content

processing phenomenon:

Music semiotic and music

semantic approaches

to the construction

of musical meaning.

RUHR-UNIVERSITÄT BOCHUM

Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft

Institut für Musikwissenschaft





Alexandra Jandausch

June 2008

Page 2

��������������

�������������������������

��������������������������

2.1.1 Music as a means of human communication

2.1.2 What does music express? Formalist and ���Referentialist views

on music and meaning

2.1.3 Different approaches to music and semiotics

������������������������������������������

2.2.1 Music as a semiotic sign system

2.2.2 The semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce

2.2.3 The Semiotics of Algirdas Julien Greimas

�������������������������������������������������������

�����������

�������������������������

�������������������������������������������

3.1.1 Analogies between music and language

��������������

3.2.1 Grouping principles

3.2.2 The Four Stage Theory of Musical Awareness

����������������������������������������������������

�����������������������������������

3.4.1 Categories and prototypes

3.4.2 Basic level categories

3.4.3 The application of basic level categories to music

2

3.4.4 Musical concepts

�����������������������������������

�����������������

3.5.1 Introduction to metaphor and

cross-domain mapping

3.5.2 Introduction to image schemas

3.5.3 Cross-domain mapping, image schemas

and program music

����������������������������

��������������������������������

3.6.1 The Invariance Principle

3.6.2 The Event Structure Metaphor

�����������������������

�����������

������������������������������

����������������������������������

�����������������������

����������������������������������

�����������������������

�������������

3

��������������

�������������������������

��������������������������

2.1.1 Music as a means of human communication

2.1.2 What does music express? Formalist and ���Referentialist views

on music and meaning

2.1.3 Different approaches to music and semiotics

������������������������������������������

2.2.1 Music as a semiotic sign system

2.2.2 The semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce

2.2.3 The Semiotics of Algirdas Julien Greimas

�������������������������������������������������������

�����������

�������������������������

�������������������������������������������

3.1.1 Analogies between music and language

��������������

3.2.1 Grouping principles

3.2.2 The Four Stage Theory of Musical Awareness

����������������������������������������������������

�����������������������������������

3.4.1 Categories and prototypes

3.4.2 Basic level categories

3.4.3 The application of basic level categories to music

2

views on music and meaning

1. Introduction

2

4

9

9

9

12

18

22

22

30

36

39

41

42

42

42

49

49

54

55

57

59

60

62

70

Page 56

something else comes along as a kind of byproduct. This byproduct is called

spandrel.124 Conforming to Pinker's assumption, language is the adaptation

and music is its spandrel.125

Daniel J. Levitin cites a study by David Huron from Ohio State University.

According to Huron's results the key question for an evolutionary basis of

music is what advantage might be granted to individuals who exhibit musical

behavior versus those members of the species who do not show such

behavior.126 Pinker suggests that music is pleasure seeking behavior.127 This

view is problematic since if music were a non-adaptive pleasure-seeking

behavior, it would not last very long in evolutionary time.128 Basically, there

are two points that support the theory of music as an adaptation. First, if

music was a non-adaptive, the specimen that perform musical behavior must

be at some evolutionary or survival disadvantage. Second, if music was of

low adaptive value, it should not have been present in our species' history

for such relatively long time, or consume a significant portion of an

individuals time and energy.129

Musical instruments are among the oldest human made artifacts found by

archeologists. Excavations showed that music predates agriculture,

furthermore there is no tangible evidence that language preceded music, but

56

124 Birds' feathers are a spandrel: they developed to keep the birds warm. The co-option for
flying is a byproduct of the feathers' design. See: Levitin (2007), p. 260.

125 Comp. Pinker (1999), p. 529ff.

126 Levitin (2007), p. 261.
127 Pinker, Steven (2002): The Blank Slate. The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York, p.
405. Further quoted as: Pinker (2002).

128 Levitin (2007), p.261.

129 Ibid.

Page 57

physical evidence suggests the contrary.130 Levitin states that "genetic

mutations that enhance one's likelihood to live long enough to reproduce

become adaptations".131 The evolutionary log shows adaptions after a

minimum of 50.000 years. Since music has been present in our species'

history for more than 50.000 years, it is possible that music has become

adaptive behavior, that means that our ability to perform and listen to music

has entered the human genome.132


3.4 Musical Concepts and Categories

According to Arnold Schönberg's theory, musical composition requires insight

into how the human mind works.133 In his regard, composers should write in a

way that allows the recipient to recognize musical motives and the way they

are coherently structured.134 He claimed that musical understanding starts

with recognition of basic musical figures. Schönberg stated that motives are

the recognizable bits that are most easily remembered. For him, musical

coherence reflects properties that are shared by collections of motives in a

particular work. Furthermore he stated that coherence is a precondition for the

recipient to complete the process of semiosis.135 That view is consistent with

the Four Stage Theory of Musical Awareness. In order to process musical

phenomena, they must be stored as a stable unit.

57

130 Reznikoff, Iegor: On Primitive Elements of Musical Meaning. In: The Journal of Music and
Meaning. Volume 3, Fall 2004/Winter 2005, Section 2.

131 Levitin (2007), p. 263.

132 Ibid.

133 Zbikowski (2002), p. 28.
134 Zbikowski (2002), p. 29.

135 Ibid.

Page 112

Travers, Michael:
Programming with Agents. Theories of Metaphor. http:\\alumni.media.mit.edu/
mt/thesis/mt-thesis-2.1.html, accessed on July 14, 2008.

Sheet music:

Berlioz, Hector:
Symphonie fantastique. Bärenreiter-Verlag and Breitkopf & Härtel. Wiesbaden,
Kassel, 1972.

The New Realbook Vol. 1. Petaluma, CA. 1988.

112

Page 113

Versicherung selbständiger Arbeit

Hiermit versichere ich, dass ich die Arbeit selbstständig angefertigt,

außer den im Quellen- und Literaturverzeichnis sowie in den
Anmerkungen genannten Hilfsmitteln keine weiteren benutzt und

alle Stellen der Arbeit, die anderen Werken oder dem Sinn nach
entnommen sind unter Angabe der Quellen als Entlehnung kenntlich

gemacht habe.

Bochum, den



---------------------------------------------






ALEXANDRA SABELUS

Similer Documents