Basic Concepts of Studies in Musical Signification
In Sebeok, Thomas, A., and Umiker-Sebeok, eds. The Semiotic Web, pp. 405-581
Copyright © 2000-2007 Isabel Pedersen
This work arises from a meeting of the Semiotic Society
Eero Tarasti’s article, “Some Peircean and Gremasian Concepts as Applied to Music”, applies Peircean terms, icon, index, symbol to music. He goes over and above Peirce when he introduces the terms interoceptive, those signs which refer to relations within the musical work and exteroceptive, those signs which direct our attention to the relations between music and the external world. This expansion of the terminology is highly perceptive.
Frede Nielsen’s article “Musical ‘Tension’ and Related Concepts” analyzes the presence of tension gestalts in music. Does it lie in the music itself or in the listener? Can you capture a record of tension systematically? Tension can be defined by 4 aspects:
· A kinetic aspect – movement, direction, determination
· An aspect of emphasis or importance
· An aspect of uncertainty
· An aspect of intensity (pure tension)
Alexandra Pierce’s article “Music and Movement” explores the notion of the Beat. She contrasts it with the notion of juncture or stillness in music.
Shuhei Hosokawa explores the nature of musical reproduction in his “Technique/Technology of Reproduction in Music”. How different is the reproduction of music through reproduction in recording studios and through editing? How do you view the graphical symbols on the page as a reproduction when the performer performs? He quotes Glenn Gould who decided to forego live performance because of the superiority of the studio.
I Reznikoff studies “Intonation and Modality in the Music of Oral Tradition and Antiquity”. He mentions the Finnish itkuvirsi, a lament that cannot properly be performed unless the performer is crying.