Ranging chronologically from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and thematically from Latin to vernacular literary modes, this book challenges standard assumptions about the musical cultures and philosophies of the European Middle Ages. Engaging a wide range of premodern texts and contexts, from the musicality of sodomy in twelfth-century polyphony to Chaucer's representation of pedagogical violence in the Prioress's Tale, from early Christian writings on the music of the body to the plainchant and poetry of Hildegard of Bingen, the (...) author argues that medieval music was quintessentially a practice of the flesh. The book reveals a medieval world in which erotic desire, sexual practice, torture, flagellation, and even death itself resonated with musical significance and meaning. In its insistence on music as an integral part of the material cultures of the Middle Ages, the book presents a revisionist account of an important aspect of premodern European civilization. (shrink)
Artists inspired by music and musicians -- Composers inspired by art and artists -- Twin talents : artist-musicians and musician-artists -- Musicians pose for the artists : a history of portrait iconography.
Woody Guthrie's ashes were spread by the wind over the water from a Coney Island, New York pier a few days after he died on Oct. 3, 1967. His wife and children, including his 19-year-old son Arlo, were present as America's greatest folksinger was laid to rest. One of the last things Woody heard before he died was Arlo's recorded voice singing the draft-dodging tale of Alice's restaurant. He must have sensed that the spirit had been passed on. Woody Guthrie (...) died just as the second great wave of popular interest in American folk music was coming to an end. “Alice's Restaurant” was in many ways one of its last echoes. The symbolism could not have been more poignant. At the center of the first folk revival, Woody Guthrie was a vital source of inspiration for the second.The new generation of singer-songwriters who marked the second wave was largely composed of those with at least some contact with the new mass higher education and those “multi-versities” that were built to dispense it. They were neither members of a déclassé elite, as could be said of Charles and Pete Seeger and John and Alan Lomax, nor were they “authentic” folk singers, like Woody Guthrie. Nor could they be. By the 1960s, the conditions that had created the possibility for the first wave of the movement had been irretrievably altered. After the Second World War, with a postwar economic expansion and population explosion under way, America was a different place. Besides, the first folk revival had already claimed “authenticity” as its own. For the most part, if there was any aspiration toward authenticity amongst the topical singer-songwriters (those in New York City in any case), it was to be as close a copy of the first generation, Guthrie and Seeger, as possible. “Purism” was the second wave's answer to the “authenticity” of the first.Being part of an expanding generation of white, college-educated youths affected the form and content of the music that characterized the second wave. The most obvious aspect of this was the arena of performance and the audience who filled it. Gone were the union halls, the singing in working-class bars and beerhalls and at Party functions, all of which had characterized the first wave. These were replaced first by coffee shops and small clubs, either in Greenwich Village or those surrounding college campuses. The forays into the South in support of the civil-rights movement were for the most part short-lived and highly symbolic, not to say self-serving. The real mass audience arrived with the antiwar activity and was largely university centered.It was also this audience that filled the auditoriums and concert halls for the more obviously commercial performances by the singer-songwriters of the second wave. This overlapping public provided the grounds for a new mass market in folk music. Peter, Paul, and Mary, who sang in front of many mass demonstrations in protest against the war in Vietnam or in support of civil rights, were, although they saw themselves as carrying on in the spirit of the Weavers, an entirely commercial creation. In the article from the East Village Other cited above, written just after “the first big concert in America against the war in Vietnam,” Izzy Young angrily notes that “everybody was a part of it except the people managed by Albert Grossman - Peter, Paul and Mary, and Bob Dylan. When the war in Vietnam became “popular,” three years later, Peter, Paul and Mary flew down to Washington, D.C. to take their place in front of the cameras.”Commercial rationality was much more a factor in defining the second folk revival than the first. The possibilities were greater and the structure of the music industry was different. With a new mass market still in the process of formation and thus unspecified in terms of taste, the larger record companies could afford to take a liberal attitude and to include under their label, “all the revolutionaries,” as Columbia Records proudly announced in its contemporary advertising. Commercial possibilities thus were more important in shaping the musical form and content of second folk revival than politics, which were so central to the first. As opposed to the old left, the new left was a loosely organized contingent of organizations and groups with little coordination between them. In fact, many if not most of the organizations were ad hoc committees formed for a specific strike or demonstration. No one group was thus in a position to exert ideological hegemony. Following from this, at least during the period under discussion, there was little political dogmatism to be found. With no powerful organization to impose it, there was no clear political line to defend and thus to sing about. Even the notion of the “people,” so central to the first folk revival, was relatively absent in the second. Who were the “people” addressed? Certainly not the working class or even the “common man.” “I am just a student, Sir, I only want to learn,” sang Phil Ochs.During the second folk revival, the “people” had become “the silent majority,” the province of the conservative right. Neither in music nor in politics did the new left make many attempts to reach the “common man in the street.” The people had been massified, according to new left theory, and in the new one-dimensional mass society the grounds of political and social identity were always shifting. Besides, country music had already established itself as the musical genre of the rural, southern, western and white, common man. From a commercial point of view, there was little need to look for authenticity or the people; the market was sufficiently large and getting larger as more and more young people entered the institutions of higher education. Politically, this was not a serious problem either, as long as the aim was not revolution as it had been for the old left. It was sufficient, then, to address the masses of youngsters gathering together at institutions of higher education. If there was a revolution at foot, this was it.While the first wave practically had to invent folk music, the second could draw on the reservoir of public culture that to a large extent resulted from this invention. The networks and institutional support provided by the old left and the personal authority of a figure like Alan Lomax made possible the imposition of rather strict criteria for determining in what exactly folk music consisted. Neither networks nor gatekeepers were so determinate to the second wave. With the folksong and folksinger already invented, the new generation could pick and choose from a rather wide range of options. In addition, by the time the new left and the topical-song movement achieved at least a semblance of cohesion, folk music was already institutionally supported by “radical entrepreneurs” like Izzy Young and the more commercial recording industry. There were, thus, strong institutional bases for folk music outside of politics. Politics, in other words, was not the only game in town. But neither was commerce. The civil-rights movement and the new social movements that developed out of it opened for a short period a space, a public arena, in which the idea of folk music could be reinvented anew. Within this space the traditions constituted during the first wave of folk revival were experimented with and modified in light of the new social and historical context. America was not the same place in the 1960s as it had been in the 1930s and neither could its folk music be. The actors, the setting, and the songs were all different, yet still the same.In attempting to account for both this continuity and change in the two waves of folk revival we have drawn from both the cognitive approach to the study of social movements, which calls attention to the creative role of social-movement actors in the production of knowledge, and the production of culture perspective, which highlights the effects of institutional arrangements in the production of cultural goods. From the former, we have focused on the changing character of “movement intellectuals,” those to whom Ralph Rinzler in the epigraph that begins this article gave special place; from the latter, we have noted how, among other things, the changing nature of the recording industry helped recast the folk music revival. We hope that the foregoing has demonstrated that in combining these approaches, as well as areas of research interest, we have uncovered aspects of the folk revival others may have missed. 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The process of conceptualization and creation of a film score heavily depends on the collaboration between the film director and composer. The harmony of the director’s and film composer’s ideas should provide an impetus for the synchronization of literature (the script and film narrative) and music (film score). This was mainly used as a guide in crafting the film score for the independent film Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe (The Rapture of Fe, 2009) directed by Alvin Yapan. This article explores (...) how the music is deployed to resonate with the mythic and folkloric sensibility of the film narrative. We chose to use the tambuleleng, a native lute instrument/chordophone from Bukidnon, Southern Philippines, that is a modern adaptation of three traditional instruments. In its invention, its crafting, and in the sounds it produces, the tambuleleng is an artful blending of tradition and modernity. The tambuleleng’s composition, its symbolism and function in native life and rituals, aside from the sound it creates, all became material in conveying the folkloric narrative, and articulating the issues presented in the film. Some concerns on Philippine film musical scoring are also tackled, mainly focusing on the constraints, as well as the liberties involved when operating within a limited budget for an independent movie production. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: How do we recognize distinct types of emotion in music?
I read Sara Kofman's work on Nietzsche, Charles Mills' _The Racial Contract_, and Kodwo Eshun's Afrofuturist musicology to argue that most condemnations of "faking it" in music rest on a racially and sexually problematic fetishization of "the real.".
North American music education is a commodity sold to pre-service and in-service music teachers. Like all mass-produced consumables, it is valuable to the extent that it is not creative, that is, to the extent that it is reproducible. This is demonstrated in curricular materials, notably general music series textbook and music scores available from a rapidly shrinking cadre of publishers, as well as rigid and pre-determined pedagogical practices. Distributing resources and techniques that produce predicable, consistent, and (...) repeatable goods and services, the economy of music teacher preparation and development must necessarily exclude creativity, which consequently must be viewed as not only inefficient but unprofitable. More than undesirable, however, creativity is constructed as dangerous as it injects difference in a system that relies on sameness. Because of its implications for music education discourse and practices, I focus my discussion on research in general and feminist critique in particular in music education. Reading through Monique Wittig's ‘The Trojan Horse’ as literary war machine, I argue that creative writing and academic research are not mutually exclusive, and that it is only through infusing the literary or creative in scholarly writing that interlocking systems of oppression may be altered and difference implicated in music education. My analysis of Roberta Lamb's (1995) research piece, ‘Tone Deaf/Symphonies Singing: Sketches for a Musicale’ depicts it as Trojan Horse, albeit one that Lamb herself, most likely as a function of editorial imperative, hobbles. (shrink)
The question of emotion in music is addressed from a linguistic perspective, providing a typology of statements that can be made about that topic. In particular, it is analyzed how an interlocutor could react to such statements uttered by another person, and whether or how the content of the statements could be refuted by the listener, and possibly corroborated by the speaker. Furthermore, it is briefly discussed which theories of emotion in music are compatible with the respective types (...) of statement and what illocutionary and perlocutionary function they may serve. (shrink)
Postmodernism is a term that has been used extensively to describe general trends and specific works in many different cultural contexts, including literature, cinema, architecture and the visual arts. This introduction clarifies the term and explores its relevance for music through discussion of specific musical examples from the 1950s to the present day, providing an engagement between theory and practice. Overall, this book equips students with a thorough understanding of this complex but important topic in music studies. It: (...) • outlines and addresses the problems of defining what we mean by postmodernism • explores when postmodernism begins • engages with a broad range of literature and reference sources, inviting wider reading and thinking • uses specific musical examples to present ways of interpreting music that can be defined as postmodernist. (shrink)
Recent encounters with structuralist and poststructuralist critical theory, linguistics, and cognitive sciences have brought the theory and analysis of music into the orbit of important developments in present-day intellectual history. Without seeking to impose an explicit redefinition of either theory or analysis, this book explores the limits of both. Essays on decidability, ambiguity, metaphor, music as text, and music analysis as cognitive theory are complemented by studies of works by Debussy, Schoenberg, Birtwistle and Boulez.
These free-wheeling, often exhilarating dialogues—which grew out of the acclaimed Carnegie Hall Talks—are an exchange between two of the most prominent figures in contemporary culture: Daniel Barenboim, internationally renowned conductor and pianist, and Edward W. Said, eminent literary critic and impassioned commentator on the Middle East. Barenboim is an Argentinian-Israeli and Said a Palestinian-American; they are also close friends. As they range across music, literature, and society, they open up many fields of inquiry: the importance of a sense of (...) place; music as a defiance of silence; the legacies of artists from Mozart and Beethoven to Dickens and Adorno; Wagner’s anti-Semitism; and the need for “artistic solutions” to the predicament of the Middle East—something they both witnessed when they brought young Arab and Israeli musicians together. Erudite, intimate, thoughtful and spontaneous, Parallels and Paradoxes is a virtuosic collaboration. (shrink)
Il carattere passivo dell'ascolto -- Il paesaggio sonoro come matrice simbolica -- Il tema dell'immaginazione -- Poetica del paesaggio sonoro : Zefiro torna -- Evocazione della primavera : il fluire metamorfico -- Ritardo e decorso percettivo -- Il canto degli uccelli come modello naturale -- Lo schema e l'immagine.
Reading music and playing a musical instrument is a complex activity that comprises motor and multisensory (auditory, visual, and somatosensory) integration in a unique way. Music has also a well-known impact on the emotional state, while it can be a motivating activity. For those reasons, musical training has become a useful framework to study brain plasticity. Our aim was to study the specific effects of musical training versus the effects of other leisure activities in elderly people. With that (...) purpose we evaluated the impact of piano training on cognitive function, mood and quality of life in older adults. A group of participants that received piano lessons and did daily training for four-month (n=13) was compared to an age-matched control group (n=16) that participated in other types of leisure activities (physical exercise, computer lessons, painting lessons, among other). An exhaustive assessment that included neuropsychological tests as well as mood and quality of life questionnaires was carried out before starting the piano program and immediately after finishing (4 months later) in the two groups. We found a significant improvement on the piano training group on the Stroop test that measures executive function, inhibitory control and divided attention. Furthermore, a trend indicating an enhancement of visual scanning and motor ability was also found (Trial Making Test part A). Finally, in our study piano lessons decreased depression, induced positive mood states, and improved the psychological and physical quality of life of the elderly. Our results suggest that playing piano and learning to read music can be a useful intervention in older adults to promote cognitive reserve and improve subjective well-being. (shrink)
Playing a musical instrument demands the engagement of different neural systems. Recent studies about the musician’s brain and musical training highlight that this activity requires the close interaction between motor and somatosensory systems. Moreover, neuroplastic changes have been reported in motor-related areas after short and long-term musical training. Because of its capacity to promote neuroplastic changes, music has been used in the context of stroke neurorehabilitation. The majority of patients suffering from a stroke have motor impairments, preventing them to (...) live independently. Thus, there is an increasing demand for effective restorative interventions for neurological deficits. Music-supported Therapy (MST) has been recently developed to restore motor deficits. We report data of a selected sample of stroke patients who have been enrolled in a MST program (1 month intense music learning). Prior to and after the therapy, patients were evaluated with different behavioral motor tests. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was applied to evaluate changes in the sensorimotor representations underlying the motor gains observed. Several parameters of excitability of the motor cortex were assessed as well as the cortical somatotopic representation of a muscle in the affected hand. Our results revealed that participants obtained significant motor improvements in the paretic hand and those changes were accompanied by changes in the excitability of the motor cortex. Thus, MST leads to neuroplastic changes in the motor cortex of stroke patients which may explain its efficacy. (shrink)
This paper suggests certain differences between the interpretation of Indian classical music and the interpretation of Western classical music. In Indian music the work is constituted in the moment of a recital. The performer is the maker of the music. Accordingly, the performer simultaneously produces a work and interprets it. Further, in the Indian tradition. music is a path of “bhakti yoga,” or a path of devotion.
Even in the quietest of rooms, our senses are perpetually inundated by a barrage of sounds, requiring the auditory system to adapt to a variety of listening conditions in order to extract signals of interest (e.g., one speaker’s voice amidst others). Brain networks that promote selective attention are thought to sharpen the neural encoding of a target signal, suppressing competing sounds and enhancing perceptual performance. Here, we ask: does musical training benefit cortical mechanisms that underlie selective attention to speech? To (...) answer this question, we assessed the impact of selective auditory attention on cortical auditory-evoked response variability in musicians and nonmusicians. Outcomes indicate strengthened brain networks for selective auditory attention in musicians in that musicians but not nonmusicians demonstrate decreased prefrontal response variability with auditory attention. Results are interpreted in the context of previous work from our laboratory documenting perceptual and subcortical advantages in musicians for the hearing and neural encoding of speech in background noise. Musicians’ neural proficiency for selectively engaging and sustaining auditory attention to language indicates a potential benefit of music for auditory training. Given the importance of auditory attention for the development of language-related skills, musical training may aid in the prevention, habilitation and remediation of children with a wide range of attention-based language and learning impairments. (shrink)
The dilemma referred to in the title occurs in many contexts concerned with expressive meaning in art, and especially music, which suggests that the issue it raises will be central to any complete theory of musical expressiveness. One notable attempt to resolve the paradox of simultaneous generality and particularity in music is in Aaron Ridley's book Music, Value and the Passions. I show why I consider his account unsatisfactory and then propose my own resolution of the paradox. (...) It takes the form of distinguishing between two distinct notions of generality (which I term ‘generality’ and ‘abstractness’) and of particularity (‘specificity’ and ‘concreteness’), and of constructing two relatively independent oppositions: the concrete versus the abstract and the specific versus the general. Finally, I show that a description of music's expressive meaning as abstract, but specific, rightly captures what is usually thought about music, and does not entail any contradictions. (shrink)
Peter Kivy is the author of many books on the history of art and, in particular, the aesthetics of music. This collection of essays spans a period of some thirty years and focuses on a richly diverse set of issues: the biological origins of music, the role of music in the liberal education, the nature of the musical work and its performance, the aesthetics of opera, the emotions of music, and the very nature of music (...) itself. Some of these subjects are viewed as part of the history of ideas, others as current problems in the philosophy of art. A particular feature of the volume is that Kivy avoids the use of musical notation so that no technical knowledge at all is required to appreciate his work. The essays will prove enjoyable and insightful not just to professionals in the philosophy of art and musicologists, or to musicians themselves, but also to any motivated general reader with a deep interest in music. (shrink)
In his article 'Women in Music' Gordon Graham argues that 'women do not make composers' and 'there is good reason to believe that the composition of music will continue to be an activity largely of men'. In reply Shaw argues there is a deep inconsistency in Graham's argument or a gap which, given Graham's views, he would be hard pressed to fill. Shaw also raises objections to Graham's claim that his view that women cannot compose significant music, (...) if it were true, ought not depress feminists and other defenders of the equal worth of women. (shrink)
I offer an argument for the claim that there is a transcendent dimension in music. The argument begins with one offered by Augustine in the De Musica, and adds additional support from contemporary discussions in musicology.
This paper explores the use of chemical symbolism in works by the new media artist Sonya Rapoport, with a focus on the pivotal Cobalt series from the late 1970s. These works, drawings on computer printouts generated by research at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, respond to experiments in nuclear chemistry. They mark the beginning of three productive decades in which Rapoport produced a variety of images related to chemistry in her work. She states, “I looked for authentic research projects that (...) were interesting to me, preferably with captivating pictorial subject matter. Then came the creative chaotic process of resolving a cohesive product that combined scientific research with art concept.” Rapoport had an unusual degree of access to scientific materials through her husband, organic chemist Henry Rapoport, a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of production, these works were outside mainstream art world interests and they have received little critical attention. This paper examines the development of Rapoport’s images and places her use of chemical references in context in her lifetime of work. (shrink)
Expert skill in music performance involves an apparent paradox. On stage, expert musicians are required accurately to retrieve information that has been encoded over hours of practice. Yet they must also remain open to the demands of the ever-changing situational contingencies with which they are faced during performance. To further explore this apparent paradox and the way in which it is negotiated by expert musicians, this article profiles theories presented by Roger Chaffin, Hubert Dreyfus and Tony and Helga Noice. (...) For Chaffin, expert skill in music performance relies solely upon overarching mental representations, while, for Dreyfus, such representations are needed only by novices, while experts rely on a more embodied form of coping. Between Chaffin and Dreyfus sit the Noices, who argue that both overarching cognitive structures and embodied processes underlie expert skill. We then present the Applying Intelligence to the Reflexes (AIR) approach?a differently nuanced model of expert skill aligned with the integrative spirit of the Noices? research. The AIR approach suggests that musicians negotiate the apparent paradox of expert skill via a mindedness that allows flexibility of attention during music performance. We offer data from recent doctoral research conducted by the first author of this article to demonstrate at a practical level the usefulness of the AIR approach when attempting to understand the complexities of expert skill in music performance. (shrink)
There is mounting evidence that aging is associated with the maintenance of positive affect and the decrease of negative affect to ensure emotion regulation goals. Previous empirical studies have primarily focused on a visual or autobiographical form of emotion communication. To date, little investigation has been done on musical emotions. The few studies that have addressed aging and emotions in music were mainly interested in emotion recognition, thus leaving unexplored the question of how aging may influence emotional responses to (...) and memory for music. In the present study, eighteen older (60-84 years) and eighteen younger (19-24 years) listeners were asked to evaluate the strength of their experienced emotion on happy, peaceful, sad, and scary musical excerpts (Vieillard, et al., 2008) while facial muscle activity was recorded. Participants then performed an incidental recognition task followed by a task in which they judged to what extent they experienced happiness, peacefulness, sadness, and fear when listening to music. Compared to younger adults, older adults (a) reported a stronger emotional reactivity for happiness than other emotion categories, (b) showed an increased zygomatic activity for scary stimuli, (c) were more likely to falsely recognize happy music, and (d) showed a decrease in their responsiveness to sad and scary music. These results are in line with previous findings and extend them to emotion experience and memory recognition, corroborating the view of age-related changes in emotional responses to music in a positive direction away from negativity. (shrink)
Robert Sharpe examines the humanist conception of music as a language--as expressive and intelligible--which has been a dominant theory in Western culture. He argues against the view that music is expressive by causing certain states in us. Rather, he contends that our beliefs about music are integral to our appreciation of it. Differences in musical taste are then not just irresolvable differences in sensitivity, but the result of variations in circumstance and upbringing, of associations and ideology.
Because music communicates extra-propositionally, philosophers often use musical concepts and metaphors to discuss implicit and/or affective knowledges. Music is a productive means to philosophically analyze affect, but only when these analyses are grounded in rigorous studies of actual musical works and practices. When we don’t ground our study of music in musical practices, works, and theories, “music” just becomes a mirror of whatever assumptions and biases we already have. I show how the overly-abstract treatment of (...) class='Hi'>music and sound in Jean-Luc Nancy’s Listening leads to significant philosophical and political problems. By following his musical metaphors all the way through, I show how his theory of listening naturalizes maleness/masculinity, and, like liberal multiculturalism, values “difference” only as a way to re-center whiteness and patriarchy. As an alternative, I use R&B/electropop singer Kelis’s 2010 single “Acapella” (sic) to develop an alternative account of music, affect, and the politics of difference. (shrink)
I. History. Mainwaring's Handel : its relation to British aesthetics -- Herbert Spencer and a musical dispute -- II. Opera and film. Handel's operas : the form of feeling and the problem of appreciation -- Anti-semitism in Meistersinger? -- Speech, song, and the transparency of medium : on operatic metaphysics -- III. Performance. On the historically informed performance -- Ars perfecta : toward perfection in musical performance? -- IV. Interpretation. Another go at the meaning of music : Koopman, Davies, (...) and the meaning of "meaning" -- Another go at musical profundity : Stephen Davies and the game of chess -- From ideology to music : Leonard Meyer's theory of style change -- Sibley's last paper -- In defense of musical representation : music, representation, and the hybrid arts -- Music, language, and cognition : which doesn't belong? (shrink)
The current conflict between the recording industry and a portion of its customers who are involved in illicit copying of music files arose from innovations involving the compression and electronic distribution of files over the internet. This paper briefly describes some of the challenges faced by the recording industry, and examines some of the ethical issues that arise in various industry and consumer responses to the opportunities and threats presented by these innovations. The paper concludes by highlighting the risks (...) associated with responses that threaten further innovation, ultimately reducing the chances of finding solutions that hold appeal for all parties. (shrink)
Although contemporary Western culture and criticism has usually valued composition over improvisation and placed the authority of a musical work with the written text rather than the performer, this essay posits these divisions as too facile to articulate the complex dynamics of making music in any genre or form. Rather it insists that music should be understood as pieces that are created with specific intentions by composers but which possess possibilities of interpretation that can only be brought out (...) through performance. (shrink)
This essay reconstructs the steps by which Cassirer moved from the philosophy of language in the early 1920s to his more general theory of symbolism. The linguistic turn in philosophy overcame idealism without falling into naturalism or psychologism, but according to Cassirer proclaiming the primacy of language was one-sided. He claimed that language is but one symbolic form among many and, what is more, it is not the most fundamental kind of symbolism. The basic function of symbolism (...) is neither "reference" nor "pure signification," but the unification of sensory phenomena in perception, a function he termed symbolic "Prägnanz." The essay explains how Cassirer argued for a continuity of symbolic processes linking expressive perceptual qualities with scientific theory. (shrink)