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Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music
     

Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music

by Jean-Jacques Nattiez
 

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In this book Jean-Jacques Nattiez, well-known for his pioneering work in musical semiology, examines both music, and discourse about music, as products of human activity that are perceived in varying ways by various cultures. Asking such questions as "what is a musical work" and "what constitutes music," Nattiez draws from philosophy, anthropology, music analysis,

Overview

In this book Jean-Jacques Nattiez, well-known for his pioneering work in musical semiology, examines both music, and discourse about music, as products of human activity that are perceived in varying ways by various cultures. Asking such questions as "what is a musical work" and "what constitutes music," Nattiez draws from philosophy, anthropology, music analysis, and history to propose a global theory for the interpretation of specific pieces, the phenomenon of music, and the human behaviors that music elicits. He reviews issues raised by the notion of the musical sign, and shows how Peircian semiotics, with its image of a chain or web of meanings, applies to a consideration of music's infinite and unstable potential for embodying meaning.

In exploring the process of ascribing meaning to music, Nattiez reviews writings on the psychology of music, non-Western metaphorical descriptions, music-analytical prose, and writings in the history of musical aesthetics. A final analytical chapter on the Tristan chord suggests that interpretations of music are cast in terms of analytical plots shaped by transcendent principles, and that any semiological consideration of music must account for these interpretive narratives.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Published by The Peri Press, PO Box 348, Hemlock Ridge, Voorheesville, NY 12186. Provides coverage for some 1800 periodicals. Information on each entry includes bibliographic identification, language of publication, summaries or abstracts, price, format, types of music regularly covered, types of reviews and their length and number, indexing, advertising, demographics, and circulation. Annotations are included as a descriptive guide to the scope, purpose and reference features of each publication. Thoroughly indexed. Nattiez (musicology, U. of Montreal) examines both music and discourse about music as products of human activity that are perceived in varying ways by various cultures. He draws from philosophy, anthropology, music analysis, and history to propose a global theory for the interpretation of specific pieces, the phenomenon of music, and the human behaviors that music elicits. Translated from the French (Musicologic generale et semiologick) by Carolyn Abbate. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691027142
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/01/1990
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.05(w) x 9.03(h) x 0.81(d)

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